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(Grilled) Aphrodisiacs On the Half Shell

July 26, 2014

By: GQ Editors

"The dish was inspired by various grilled oysters in the shell that I’ve had in Louisiana and California. I don’t have a wood-burning oven at home, so I use my traditional grill with great results: It keeps all the natural juice in the oyster while gently cooking it, which preserves the oyster’s flavor." —Donald Link, chef-owner of Cochon in New Orleans, where this staggering snack is served.


  1. Cut 2 sticks butter into 1-inch cubes and let soften to room temperature.

  2. Mince 3 cloves garlic, 2 anchovy fillets, and zest of 1 lemon, then fold in butter along with the juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons), 2 tablespoons vietnamese garlic-chile paste, 2 teaspoons crushed red-chile flakes, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt. Roll the compound butter into a log, wrap with plastic, and refrigerate until you’re ready to grill.

  3. Shuck 16 raw oysters as you would for oysters on the half shell, discarding the top shells.

  4. Place a 1-tablespoon slice of the chilled compound butter on each oyster and set on a hot grill until oysters begin to bubble and curl up around the edges, 6 to 10 minutes. Serve immediately with wedges of fresh lemon.

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Photograph by Peden + Munk