There are three main oyster varieties available in the UK: native, Pacific (or rock oysters) and Portuguese. The native oyster (Ostrea edulis) is available from September to April and considered the best, but takes twice as long to grow as other varieties and is quite expensive. Faster growing Pacific oysters (Crassostrea gigas) are available year round.

All oysters should feel heavy for their size and be kept with the round ‘cupped’ part of the shell facing downwards to retain moisture.

Despite their modern image as a luxury food, oysters used to be a cheap working class dish, traditionally used in British beef oyster pie. Now commonly served raw with lemon and pepper, though stronger salsa type toppings are also used.

Oysters can also be steamed open like mussels, topped then grilled or baked, or the meat can be removed, coated in tempura batter and deep-fried.

Oysters Recipes

Here are some of the latest recipes for this particular species of fish.

To discover even more tasty meals, be sure to check out our full recipes section for a range of starters, snacks, main meals and sides.

Oysters Carmauroli

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Oysters rocker-feller

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Herby Cod Bake

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Portaferry Clam Chowder

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Pan Fried Crab cakes with Sweet Chilli Dip

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Nutritional Info

High in:
Protein; Vitamin B12; Phosphorus; Iron; Copper; Zinc; Selenium; Iodine

Source of:
Vitamin D; Biotin; Calcium, Manganese;


Species Info

Latin Name: Ostrea edulis / Crassostrea gigas

Commercially Farmed: Yes

Price Band: High

Flavour: Bold

Texture: Soft

Omega-3 Level: TBC

Form/Type: Shellfish

Cooking Method(s): Bake, Deep fry, Poach, Steam

Alternative Species for Recipes

    View more similar fish species using our Usual Suspects Lexicon Chart.


    Although available to buy all year round the best time to buy oysters is between September and April.
    • = Good
    • = Varying
    • = Poor

    Best Quality: TBC