Roasted Oysters with Crab Fat Butter

  • Author: Chef Isaac Toups, Toups’ Meatery
  • Total Time: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


The thing I love about oysters is they’re mother nature’s perfect ingredient. You pick them up out of the water, you shuck them properly, and you scarf them back.



EDITOR’S NOTE: We invited Isaac to join us for 2021’s Virtual Cook-Off for the Coast. He was kind enough to demonstrate two recipes for us. You can get his Brown Sugar and Soy Glazed Roast Duck recipe here.

I came up with this idea while I was standing on the banks at the fish camp cracking open raw oysters with my knife. I looked around and thought, “I want to build a fire!” I got the fire cranking on the ground and then set up a few bricks around it. I balanced a grate on the top and let my inner beast roar. Man! Fire! Oysters! I’ve adapted this recipe to the oven for those less likely to succumb to bestial tendencies. But you can also do them on a super-hot grill. Just be sure to arrange the oysters on the grate so they don’t tip over— the Crab Fat Butter will light the grill on fire. And then you’ll have a fun story about how you ruined the oysters

How do you get crab fat? Well, first you can buy it. Look for crab roe at seafood markets and some specialty Asian markets. But to harvest it yourself: Crack open the carapace of the female crab. Right below the lungs are these little golden nuggets. That’s what you want. Scoop ’em out. Most people have already been eating crab fat without knowing what it is, or throwing it away because they think it’s guts (poor bastards). My mama likes the roe better than she likes crabmeat. When I bust open a big crab, I always share a hunk of the crab roe with Mama. This recipe makes more than you’ll need for Crab Fat Rice, but it freezes well. I keep some on hand to use for future batches of Crab Fat Rice, roasting oysters, adding to scrambled eggs, buttering biscuits, or even with a plate of pasta.





  • Author: Chef Isaac Toups, Toups’ Meatery
  • Total Time: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Ingredients

    Crab Fat Butter

    • 1 lb. crab fat (from about 20 to 30 female crabs)
    • 1 lb. unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes, softened
    • 2 Tbsp. minced garlic
    • 1 cup white wine Grated zest of 2 lemons
    • 2 tsp. ground aleppo pepper (or paprika or crushed red pepper flakes)
    • 2 tsp. ground white pepper
    • 1 tsp. kosher salt


    Roasted Oysters

    • 6 Tbsp. Crab Fat Butter
    • 1 dozen oysters, shucked, still in shell with oyster liquor
    • rock or kosher salt
    • pickled jalapeños, for serving (optional)


    Crab Fat Butter

    1. Manually push the crab fat through a drum sieve or fine mesh colander to remove all shell particles. Chill the crab fat in the fridge until ready to work with it.
    2. In a small skillet, melt one of the 1-inch cubes of butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and sweat for 2 minutes, until aromatic. Add the wine and cook over medium heat until it reduces to 2 tablespoons. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.
    3. Transfer the reduced wine mixture to a stand mixer bowl. Add the crab fat, remaining butter cubes, lemon zest, Aleppo pepper, white pepper, and salt. Fit the stand mixer with the paddle attachment (don’t use a hand beater with a whisk!), and mix on medium speed for 30 seconds, until all ingredients are well incorporated, scraping down the sides once or twice. You just want to mix the butter, not whip it. (If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can mix it together by hand with a rubber spatula.) It’s done as soon as you don’t see any chunks of plain butter.


    Roasted Oysters with Crab Fat Butter

    1. Turn the broiler to high and allow to preheat. You want your oven piping hot before you put them in. Put 1⁄2 tablespoon Crab Fat Butter on top of each oyster. It works better if you cut off thin slices of butter and not put it on in a big clump. Top each with 1⁄2 teaspoon breadcrumbs. Line a rimmed baking sheet with rock salt to stabilize the oysters and keep them from tipping over. Hell, you can use dried beans. Anything to keep them stable. Nestle the oysters in the salt on the baking sheet, making sure they don’t touch or overlap. Put them under the broiler for 6 to 8 minutes, but keep an eye on them pretty much the whole time. As soon as the oysters have tightened and the edges start to curl, they are ready. Serve immediately. I like mine with a slice of pickled jalapeño.


    Note: This recipe leaves you with a whole lot of extra Crab Fat Butter. You can use it immediately or save it by packing into a Tupperware container, rolling into logs in plastic wrap like cookie dough, or placing in a ramekin covered tightly with plastic wrap. In the fridge, it’ll last for a week but it freezes well when formed into logs and wrapped tightly with plastic. You can pull it out, slice off what you need, and put it back in the freezer for up to 3 months.

    “The thing I love about oysters is they’re mother nature’s perfect ingredient. You pick them up out of the water, you shuck them properly, and you scarf them back.”
    – Chef Isaac Toups

    Got a recipe to share?
    Submit yours now!