Years ago, while on vacation and walking around the port and quaint side streets of Key West, my husband and I came upon a small outdoor seafood restaurant. The palm trees were swaying in the soft tropical breeze which  carried the intriguing aroma of shrimp being steamed in beer. We suggested that the cook steam oysters similarly. The result was unforgettable! As we left, we were asked to sign one of our dollar bills, as we were the very first customers of this brand new little restaurant. Here is the recipe from that memorable day. It has proven to be equally delicious enjoyed under Pacific Northwest pine trees.

Serves  4

2 (12-oz) bottles beer (preferably dark ale - one for the pot and one for the cook!)  

1 bay leaf

4 whole cloves

10 whole black peppercons

24  OYSTERS - in the shell, or more as needed (allow at least 6 per person)

  1. Pour 1 can of beer into a large soup pot, then add the bay leaf, cloves and peppercorns.  Heat until beer starts to foam. Cook a few minutes.  Remove from heat.
  2. Scrub the OYSTERS and place them into the pot with the deep side of shells down.
  3. Cover the pot and turn the heat to high.  Steam until the OYSTERS begin to open, 5 to 8 minutes.  Let rest a few minutes
  4. With tongs, carefully remove the OYSTERS from the pot.
  5. Open the OYSTERS with an oyster knife or supply your guests with oyster knives and towels. 

Serve with a soy-mirin sauce for dipping.  Simply mix soy sauce,  mirin and hot chile oil to your own tastes.