Oyster Horseradish is an authentic condiment made from a type of yellow to white shrimp. It is commonly served as a hot sauce or a sandwich sauce. When I was growing up, my mother used to make it for sandwiches and soups. In the southern part of the U.S., it is often made with shrimp and scallops. There are several versions of this dish and its source is almost as elusive as is the food itself.
Different versions of this sauce contain two or three ingredients. The more common one contains flour, garlic, celery, onion powder, dried thyme, vinegar and salt. Other recipes include Cayenne pepper, oregano, chopped tomatoes, vinegar, chicken broth, chicken stock (navy bay or another), Worcestershire sauce, paprika, cumin, salt and lemon juice. There is also a white version which is made with white wine, flour, garlic, onions, dill, green chili, vinegar, lemon juice, sugar and butter. No wonder it is so popular!
My mother grew up in the South, but she didn’t learn to cook until later. She loved southern cooking and loved this recipe above all others. It had been passed down through the generations. Grandma would make it for Sunday dinner and it was always a hit. This was before frozen meals were popular and people back then were used to eating real food. They used all the fresh ingredients that they had.
Seafood dishes such as oyster soup are a traditional favorite, but this one is different. My mother made it for special occasions such as baby birth and weddings. My father is a shrimp and clam guy so he enjoyed serving this as well. However, I’m not a huge clam person so I stick to the classic oyster sauce.
First off, you need a good oyster which can be picked fresh. You should have at least six fresh oysters use. The smaller the oysters, the better. Don’t skimp on the freshness. If you skimp on quality here is what will happen.
Next, you will want to get the recipe. The most basic recipe is egg whites, milk, mustard, lemon juice, celery, and a bit of salt. Depending on the size of your oysters, this can vary. I generally use two tablespoons for a small oyster. For a larger oyster, use three tablespoons of the mixture. It’s just a personal preference.
Next you will want to beat the egg whites and milk together. Once beaten, add in the lemon juice, celery and salt. Mix thoroughly and let sit for 10 minutes. In a bowl, combine the egg whites and the mustard.
Once mixed up, you are ready to make your horseradish sauce. You will want to add your prepared mustard, salt and mix thoroughly. Pour your sauce into a bowl, then cut your prepared oysters in half. Place each half in their own bowl of the sauce. Place the remaining half of the egg white in each one of the bowls of the sauce.
Cover the oysters with the sauce. Place them in your baking dish with their tops off. Bake on 350F for about one hour or until your oysters are soft. Once done, remove them from the baking dish and allow them to cool down.
Now it’s time to make the Mayo. Whisk together the egg whites and mustard until smooth and creamy. Pour over the oysters and spread evenly. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
The last step is to serve. Gently crack open the oysters and fill with the prepared horseradish sauce. Top with a toothpick. Secure with toothpicks for freshness. Then serve with your favorite foods. I like to serve this with grilled hamburgers, steaks, chicken dishes and pasta dishes.
If you make this recipe often, you can freeze the prepared horseradish sauce. When you need it, simply take the prepared sauce out of the refrigerator and heat it up in your microwave. No cooking time is required. This saves a lot of time in the summer time when you are eating out because the store is closed and all you need is some egg whites. A little preparation never hurts anyone.