Oysters with Seafood Broth

Ben O'Donoghue presents a lavish Australian Christmas dish of oysters with a spicy dressing and a richly flavoured seafood broth
By Ben O'Donoghue
Oysters with Seafood Broth
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Prep Time: plus 30 mins to marinate
  • Effort: hard


For the oysters

  • 48 rock oysters, opened
  • 500 g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tsp thyme, chopped
  • 1 tsp flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp tarragon, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp brown sauce
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 4 tbsp light olive oil
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated horseradish, to garnish
  • tabasco, to taste

For the Seafood Broth

  • 8 razor fish
  • 1 kg mussels
  • 4 oysters
  • 4 gurnard fillets
  • 8 small fish fillets
  • 10 peeled prawns
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 pinches saffron
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 bunches coriander roots, finely chopped
  • 1/4 bunches basil
  • 500 g ripe tomatoes, blanched and peeled, seeds removed
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 200 g cooked chickpeas
  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil
  • 150 ml water
  • 75 ml white wine
  • 2 lemons
  • basil, finely chopped
  • parsley, finely chopped


1. Ensure that the oysters are detached from their shell. Cover and keep chilled until ready to serve.

2. To make the dressing, place the tomatoes in a bowl with the thyme, parsley, tarragon and garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Set aside to marinate for 30 minutes.

3. Transfer to a food processor and whiz until pulped, then strain through a sieve to extract the juice. Mix this with the HP sauce, vinegar, lime juice and tabasco sauce, then whisk in the olive oil. Chill before serving.

4. Arrange the oysters on crushed ice to keep them cold, and spoon over enough dressing to cover each oyster. Garnish with a little horseradish, and serve at once.

5. To make the seafood broth, wash all the shellfish to ensure they are free of dirt, scale and clean all the fish removing all the gills and then transfer to a large bowl.

6. In a mortar pound the garlic with the saffron, ground ginger, coriander root and half the basil with a little salt. Add the chopped tomatoes, onion, cooked chickpeas and 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil. Transfer to the bowl with the fish and shellfish.

7. In a heavy-based pot place all the of the marinade liquid along with the largest pieces of fish, and simmer (covered) on a low heat for about 10 minutes, turning the fish pieces once or twice.

8. Add the smaller fish and shellfish and cook for a further 3-5 minutes until the shellfish are open and cooked. Then add the half-glass of white wine, remove from the heat and leave to stand for 2 minutes before adding the chopped basil and parsley, some seasoning and a squeeze of lemon juice.

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