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KIM MARCHBANKS' OYSTER STEW - Breanna Foister, NYTW Special Events Manager

"My mom's oyster stew has always been my favorite food. It's great any cold winter night, especially Christmas Eve or January 8, my birthday. Used to be we would only eat oysters in "r" months, but I think that rule has relaxed thanks to modern oyster farming. I cook and refine recipes literally all the time, but this needs zero tinkering. I only ever want it just this way. It's better than what you'll get at a restaurant."
Notes from Kim Marchbanks: (1) Fresh oysters are essential! I get mine from the seafood section of Publix. (2) You need REAL whole milk. Not the time for 1-2%! (3) I've also added chopped onion on occasion.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Cuisine This is a Southern US version of oyster stew. Versions are also popular in Gambian cuisine, where the dish likely originated.
Servings 4 people (6 if you're using small bowls)


  • Stove Top
  • Pot


  • Oysters (about a pint or more depending on your love of these critters)
  • 1 stick Butter
  • 3 cups Whole Milk (do not use skim, 1%, or 2%)
  • 1 cup Half'n'half (use more for more people)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Tobasco
  • Oyster Crackers
  • 1 Chopped Onion (optional)


  • Open the oysters & put them & their juice with the butter in a pan. Cook the oysters on low slowly stirring frequently watching for the oysters’ edges to curl.
    If you’re adding onions, cook them with the oysters.
  • When the oysters are ready, stir in milk & half'n'half. Simmer, but don’t let this boil as the milk will curdle. It’s a simmer, stir, stir, stir dance.
  • When it’s heated through, add seasonings to taste and serve with oyster crackers. Enjoy!


It's gluten free if you skip the oyster crackers. It's fine for pescatarians. I really wouldn't sub out the dairy, but I'm sure oysters would be a great addition to a coconut milk-based stew!
If you want fresh herbs, top with dill. Not necessary though! If you're not a fan of oysters (!), you're not alone - I know people who strain them out to enjoy bowls of the broth alone.