James Bond food oyster stew

Oyster stew

In the short story ‘007 in New York’, James Bond considers oyster stew, as served at the famous Oyster Bar of Grand Central Station, to be the best meal in New York. Having visited the restaurant and sampled its signature dish, I wouldn’t disagree.

My own recipe for oyster stew appears in my cookbook, Licence to Cook. That version uses smoked oysters, but if you prefer to use live oysters, then look no further. The recipe, slightly different from the recipe in the cookbook, is presented below.

Serves two

  • Generous knob of butter for frying
  • 1 medium stick of celery, finely sliced
  • 1 medium onion (or 2-3 shallots), peeled and finely chopped
  • 150ml milk (semi-skimmed is fine)
  • 150ml double cream
  • A dozen fresh oysters
  • Pinch black pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2-3 splashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp parsley, finely chopped

Shuck the oysters and remove the the meat from the shell, placing the meat, along with the liquor, into a bowl.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium flame. Add the onion and celery and cook, stirring frequently, for approximately 5 minutes until the vegetables have softened. Pour in the milk and cream and bring to the boil. Pour in the oysters and the liquor and add the paprika, black pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Stir, then bring the stew to the boil. Allow the stew to boil for half a minute or so, then serve.

Ladle the stew into bowls, and sprinkle the parsley over the top. If available, accompany with oyster crackers and a Miller High Life beer.

5 thoughts on “Oyster stew

    • Fraser Lockley says:

      I love trying the food and drink of Bond….particularly those featured in the novels.

      I have wanted to try stone crabs with melted butter and dry toast since first reading the description some 35 odd years ago….one day!

      I tracked down and bought a bottle of Old Grand Dad Bourbon (not easy in the UK) which is excellent and knowing it features in the works of Fleming takes the enjoyment of the drink to a whole new level.

      Your book is excellent by the way Edward, thanks for putting it together 🥃

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      • Edward Biddulph - licensed to cook says:

        I’m still looking for stone crabs myself. I’ll put a recipe on the website eventually.

        Well done on the Old Grand Dad. You’re right about enhancing one’s reading of the books through the food and drink. If one can’t visit the exotic locations, it’s definitely the next best thing.

        Glad you like my book. Thanks for reading. Have you tried the mutton ragout? It’s probably my favourite!

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      • Fraser Lockley says:

        Not tried the mutton ragout but will be giving it a go for sure.
        Going to pick up some tinned oysters this week for angels on horseback and the oyster stew.

        Ive made my scrambled eggs to the 007 in new york recipe for years but have never tried eggs glorian and i’m looking forward to them.

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