Australian/ Baking/ Christmas/ Easter/ Entrees / Appetisers/ Recipes/ Side Dish/ Snack

Easy Australian Oysters Kilpatrick

20/10/2020

Oysters Kilpatrick is our go-to for an impressively easy appetiser. Serve it as Oysters 3 Ways for an entertaining platter just in time for Christmas!

Crispy bacon on top of oysters kilpatrick.

Why We Love This

Oysters Kilpatrick is the perfect dish for celebrations. It’s popular on Christmas Day, Good Friday or any day you want to add something a little decadent. They’re quick and easy to prepare, and super delish when topped with crispy bacon and smoky sauce.

Not only do they taste amazing, they look fabulous when cooked in their shells.

It’s also much cheaper to make them at home than paying restaurant prices.

The only part that takes time/patience is waiting for the Oysters Kilpatrick to cook. Because once those aromas start filling the kitchen, tummies will start grumbling!

What are Oysters Kilpatrick? 

This is a classic Australian recipe for preparing oysters. Head to almost any restaurant or pub that serves oysters and you’re pretty much guaranteed to see oysters kilpatrick on the menu. It features freshly shucked oysters topped with a rich Worcestershir/BBQ sauce base and crispy bacon.

Kilpatrick is pretty much the only way we used to eat oysters – and that’s probably because with all the bacon-y / BBQ-y / smoky goodness going on in this mix you really can’t taste the oysters themselves at all. If you’re not yet a fan of natural oysters, or even oysters at all, we can guarantee you will LOVE Oysters Kilpatrick!

There are many variations to the recipe for Oysters Kilpatrick, and today we’re adding a new twist to the mix with the addition of liquid smoke. A few drops is all you need to add a delicious, subtle smokiness to the traditional kilpatrick sauce.

Make it Oysters 3 Ways

For an impressive Oysters Three Ways platter, pair Oysters Kilpatrick with these fresh and zesty flavours to offset the rich kilpatrick sauce. We’ve included full ingredients and instructions for all three versions in the recipe card below.

  • Soy & Ginger – Simple soy and ginger are a classic Asian ingredient combo, for a huge hit of flavour without being overpowering. Using freshly grated or sliced ginger will give you a more intense flavour than store-bought minced ginger, but either will work fine.
  • Ponzu & Lemon ThymePonzu is an amazing Japanese sauce, essentially a citrus-infused soy sauce with a little dashi stock for flavour. You can buy bottled ponzu online or from Asian groceries (and even some bigger supermarket chains) or easily make it at home yourself. On top of oysters it is divine! Citrus, of course, goes hand in hand with seafood like natural oysters, but the added flavour from soy and dashi gives an addictive umami kick. The lemon thyme brings such a deliciously soft, fragrant note to the flavour.
Top down view of oysters on a bed of rock salt, with ponzu dipping sauce.

Where We Learned This

It’s a tradition in Laura’s Wanderfamily to celebrate Christmas with a seafood and sparkling wine brunch.

Alongside Wanderdad’s beloved king prawns mum would serve up her smoky oysters kilpatrick straight from the oven. The smell of that heady mix of Worcestershire sauce, barbecue sauce and bacon always evokes those special mornings; torn wrapping paper strewn around the room, laugher, cheer and fun.

Laura remembers pinching her mum and dad’s oysters and eating the bacon and sauce straight off the top, leaving the oysters behind for her parents to eat.

What You’ll Need

  • Oysters – Always use the freshest oysters, sourced locally if possible. This will ensure they have the best flavour.
  • Worcestershire Sauce – This adds a tangy sweet flavour, and can sometimes be spicy depending on the brand you use.
  • BBQ Sauce – Any kind of BBQ sauce will do. You could also experiment further by using takoyaki sauce. Since takoyaki sauce is usually paired with slices of octopus in Japanese takoyaki, it pairs amazingly well with oysters too!
  • Bacon / Ham – Thinly sliced or diced into small squares. Or for even more flavour, top with finely sliced prosciutto.
  • Liquid Smoke – This is an optional addition for extra smoky flavour. You don’t need much, a little goes a long way.

How to Cook Oysters

Did you know: GRILLING and BROILING are actually the same cooking technique! Both refer to when direct high heat is used to cook the food. There is just one point of difference. When grilling, the heat comes from below the food (ie like with a regular BBQ). When broiling, the heat comes from above the food. In Australia, we call it ‘grilling’ but it’s technically correct to say that we ‘broil’ the oysters.

There are a few different ways you can cook oysters kilpatrick, feel free to use the method most convenient for you. All methods require high heat, so preheat to around 200˚C / 400°F before cooking.

  • In the Oven / Griller (Broiler) – Baking kilpatrick oysters helps to evenly distribute the heat. Cook for 5-10 minutes until sauce has started to caramelise and oysters are cooked. If you like, you can grill them instead, just keep a close eye while cooking to make sure you don’t burn the toppings. You could also grill after baking just to finish them off and make the bacon pieces extra crispy.
  • On the BBQ – Place the oysters directly on the grill plate. You can use scrunched up aluminium foil to prop them up and avoid spilling the sauce, and/or wrap each oyster in foil to trap steam and make them extra juicy.

Make it Easier

  • Oyster Wheel / Tray – Using one isn’t essential, but it does make it much easier to prepare and cook oysters kilpatrick. If you don’t have one, you can use scrunched up aluminium foil to prop them up.
  • Make a Rock Salt Bed – Cook the oysters on a tray lined with rock salt. This helps keep the oysters level in the oven, while also helping them cook through evenly. Or you can just use the rock salt on the serving platter as a decorative nest for your cooked oysters.
  • Air Fryer – We haven’t tested this method, but have heard it’s possible to cook oysters kilpatrick in an air fryer. It seems likely that it would take a similar amount of time as cooking in an oven. If you try this, please let us know in the comments below and we will update the recipe!
Close up shot of fresh oyster in its shell, topped with soy sauce and fresh garlic.

Wandercook’s Tips

  • Watch Carefully – Oysters cook fast, so keep your eye on them to avoid burning.
  • Avoid Glass When Grilling or Broiling – There’s a risk it could explode, especially when liquids are involved.
  • Serve in Bowls – If the shells are too damaged or you can only buy oysters without their shells, you can place them in ramekins or oven safe dishes, top with sauce and cook as normal.
  • Serve with Oyster Forks – These mini forks aren’t essential but do make them much easier to eat!

FAQs

How do I choose the freshest oysters?

Look for tightly sealed oysters. If the lids are slightly cracked, it means the oysters aren’t fresh. Some stores will sell oysters already shucked, in which case they’ll be good to go. We’ll try to buy them on the day we plan to eat them if we can, otherwise a day or two before is fine.

Do I need to clean the oysters before cooking?

It’s a good idea to clean them first to remove any dirt from the shell. Scrub each oyster under running water, especially around the hinge as this is where dirt and grit can accumulate. If they’re already shucked, you can skip this.

What is the easiest way to shuck an oyster?

The easiest way is to use a shucking knife and a towel to protect your hand. Hold the oyster firmly in your hand, and press the knife into the oyster hinge. Wiggle it in until it’s under the top shell, then twist the knife to crack it open. Pull out the knife and wipe off any grit, then slide it back in and work your way around the lid towards the opposite end. Slice the knife between the top shell and the oyster muscle to fully remove the lid. Then slice underneath the oyster muscle to remove it from the bottom shell. Watch this video to see it in action.
If you’re unsure how to shuck oysters, you could ask for them to be shucked when you buy them, which is how we buy ours.

What should I serve with oysters kilpatrick?

This dish is a great starter or entree, but you can also enjoy it as a main meal on its own. Allow 3 oysters per person for entree or around 6-12 oysters per person for mains, depending on how big the oysters are and how hungry your guests are! We usually make oysters kilpatrick for special occasions like Christmas, and serve it as the entree before a roast chicken lunch with all the trimmings!

Variations & Substitutes

  • Oysters Natural – Skip the toppings and serve fresh.
  • Garnish with Herbs – Top with fresh lemon thyme, parsley, chives or spring onion after cooking.
  • Top with Cheese – Parmesan, mozzarella / bocconcini and havarti are all great choices.
  • Add Onion – Add finely chopped onion when cooking the bacon for extra texture and flavour.
  • Make them Boozy – Add a splash of vodka or vermouth to the sauce before cooking.
  • Spicy Seasonings – Top with fresh birds eye chilli slices, sprinkle with shichimi togarashi (Japanese 7 Spice Blend) or add a few drops of tabasco sauce.
  • Okonomiyaki Oysters – Bake the oysters in okonomiyaki sauce, then top with kewpie mayonnaise, aonori and bonito flakes.
  • Oysters Rockefeller – Top the oysters with a dab of butter, finely chopped parsley and a sprinkling of breadcrumbs.
  • Serve with Lemon – For a delicious citrus burst!

Want more Christmas ideas? Check these out:

★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and star rating below!

Close up shot of oyster in kilpatrick sauce with bacon.

Easy Australian Oysters Kilpatrick

Oysters Kilpatrick is our go-to for an impressively easy appetiser. Serve it as Oysters 3 Ways for an entertaining platter just in time for Christmas!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Appetiser, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: Australian
Servings: 18 Oysters
Calories: 9kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: $15

Equipment

Ingredients

Oysters Kilpatrick

Soy & Ginger

Ponzu & Lemon Thyme

Instructions

For the Kilpatrick

  • Preheat your oven to 200˚C / 400°F. Pop the bacon or shredded ham in a small frypan and sauté in its own fat until cooked through and crispy. (You can add a dash of oil if needed to give it more colour). Meanwhile, mix the liquid ingredients in a small bowl. Top your oysters with bacon and and drizzle with lashings of sauce. Bake in the oven for 5-10 minutes until sauce has started to caramelise and oysters are cooked.
  • Serve hot, but be careful not to burn your fingers or your tongue!

For the Soy & Ginger

  • Mix the soy and ginger together, then drizzle over fresh oysters. No cooking required, so get stuck in!

For the Ponzu & Lemon Thyme

  • Pour ponzu sauce over fresh oysters, then garnish with lemon thyme and chives if you’re using them. Simple, fresh and delicious!

Recipe Notes

  • Cook In the Oven / Griller (Broiler) – Baking kilpatrick oysters helps to evenly distribute the heat. Cook for 5-10 minutes until sauce has started to caramelise and oysters are cooked. If you like, you can grill them instead, just keep a close eye while cooking to make sure you don’t burn the toppings. You could also grill after baking just to finish them off and make the bacon pieces extra crispy.
  • Cook On the BBQ – Place the oysters directly on the grill plate. You can use scrunched up aluminium foil to prop them up and avoid spilling the sauce, and/or wrap each oyster in foil to trap steam and make them extra juicy.
  • Use an Oyster Wheel / Tray – Using one isn’t essential, but it does make it much easier to prepare and cook oysters kilpatrick. If you don’t have one, you can use scrunched up aluminium foil to prop them up.
  • Make a Rock Salt Bed – Cook the oysters on a tray lined with rock salt. This helps keep the oysters level in the oven, while also helping them cook through evenly. Or you can just use the rock salt on the serving platter as a decorative nest for your cooked oysters.
  • Watch Carefully – Oysters cook fast, so keep your eye on them to avoid burning.
  • Serve in Bowls – If the shells are too damaged or you can only buy oysters without their shells, you can place them in ramekins or oven safe dishes, top with sauce and cook as normal.
  • Oysters Natural – Skip the toppings and serve fresh.
  • Garnish with Herbs – Top with fresh lemon thyme, parsley, chives or spring onion after cooking.
  • Top with Cheese – Parmesan, mozzarella / bocconcini and havarti are all great choices.
  • Add Onion – Add finely chopped onion when cooking the bacon for extra texture and flavour.
  • Make them Boozy – Add a splash of vodka or vermouth to the sauce before cooking.
  • Spicy Seasonings – Top with fresh birds eye chilli slices, sprinkle with shichimi togarashi (Japanese 7 Spice Blend) or add a few drops of tabasco sauce.
  • Okonomiyaki Oysters – Bake the oysters in okonomiyaki sauce, then top with kewpie mayonnaise, aonori and bonito flakes.
  • Oysters Rockefeller – Top the oysters with a dab of butter, finely chopped parsley and a sprinkling of breadcrumbs.
  • Serve with Lemon – For a delicious citrus burst!

Nutrition

Calories: 9kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 107mg | Potassium: 17mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 9IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 1mg
Hey hey – Did you make this recipe?We’d love it if you could give a star rating below ★★★★★ and show us your creations on Instagram! Snap a pic and tag @wandercooks / #Wandercooks
Easy Australian Oysters Kilpatrick

14 Comments

  • Reply
    Rachel
    05/01/2017 at 2:13 am

    5 stars
    Wow, gorgeous photos! I’ve never made oysters, but this makes me want to try. The soy and ginger especially sounds good.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      05/01/2017 at 11:52 am

      Aww thanks Rachel, so nice to hear from you. Enjoy the soy and ginger, it’s super light and refreshing and adds a great flavour kick to the humble oyster!

  • Reply
    Jolina
    27/12/2016 at 2:01 pm

    5 stars
    I personally don’t like oysters but my spouse is a huge fan. We haven’t tried prepping them at home though, the idea always sounded so hard. But your recipes look easy enough! I know the perfect person to show this to 🙂

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      05/01/2017 at 11:45 am

      It’s super simple Jolina, especially if you can buy already shucked oysters! Just top with your favourite blends, and either eat straight away or bake if needed. Ta-da!

  • Reply
    Tiffany
    27/12/2016 at 12:46 pm

    5 stars
    What gorgeous photography! I love Ponzu so I am very excited to try that variation!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      05/01/2017 at 11:44 am

      Yes! A fellow ponzu fan! Glad you love it as much as us. Enjoy your ponzu oysters, let us know how you go. 🙂

  • Reply
    J @ Bless Her Heart Y'all
    27/12/2016 at 10:51 am

    5 stars
    I’m not an oyster fan but my husband and father are. Going to have to show this one to the hubster and see what he thinks. He’ll go gaga over these three recipes!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      05/01/2017 at 11:43 am

      Haha that’s great J – and you should try them too. Maybe you’ll find a new favourite? Definitely start with the Kilpatrick – there are so many delicious flavours going on in there to fall in love with. 🙂

  • Reply
    Sam | Ahead of Thyme
    27/12/2016 at 7:18 am

    5 stars
    This recipe is perfect for my hubby who loves oysters!! I have never made them but you make it soo easy and pretty!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      05/01/2017 at 11:41 am

      Awesome, glad we could help! Which flavour do you think you’ll try first?

  • Reply
    Igor @ Cooking The Globe
    24/12/2016 at 6:52 pm

    5 stars
    I would love to celebrate Christmas with oysters but unfortunately my parents wouldn’t approve that :)) We have other traditions 🙂 Love all your ways of preparing oysters, especially the one with soy and ginger. Bookmarking for the future!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      05/01/2017 at 11:54 am

      Thanks Igor, hope you get to enjoy them when you can. We’d love to hear more about your family traditions too! What do you and your family share for a Christmas meal?

  • Reply
    Marisa Franca @ All Our Way
    22/12/2016 at 10:18 pm

    Hi, there! First of all Merry Christmas! Hubby and I are oyster lovers. We do eat them raw quite a bit and for a special occasion, we make Oysters Rockefeller with our own twist. I really like your twist on the flavors. We have liquid smoke in our kitchen cabinet and some of the other ingredients we’ll have to search. Can’t wait to make a platter of all three. Thank you!! so glad you have your own herbs. I miss them in the winter time. It’s great just walking outside the kitchen door and grabbing what you need. Your photos are great 🙂

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      05/01/2017 at 11:56 am

      Merry Christmas Marisa! Hope you’ve had a wonderful break over the holidays. We’ve never (yet!) experimented with Oysters Rockefeller so definitely adding that to the must-try list. So glad to find another fan of liquid smoke – it’s such a quirky, almost-secret ingredient and we love sharing it with friends. Enjoy your platter and hope to hear from you soon! 🙂

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