Smoked Oyster Replacement
April 27, 2015 11:07 AM   Subscribe

What can I use in place of smoked oysters in this recipe?

My sister and I decided to give smoked oysters a try as a whim. We purchased a tin and didn't really like them. I found the above recipe as a way to use up the rest of the oysters in the tin.

I enjoyed the stew, but I knew I would like it better minus the smoked oysters (and with more cod). So I want to make it again, but would like to keep the smoky / fishy quality that the oysters added without buying smoked oysters ever again.

So my options are based on what I currently have in my kitchen:
1. Just omit the oysters from the recipe?
2. Add anchovy paste?
3. Add some sardines?
4. Smoked paprika?
5. Fish Sauce?

Or is there some other obvious choice I'm missing?
posted by Julnyes to Food & Drink (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Chipotle, either dried or in adobo, is the obvious choice you're missing.
posted by mudpuppie at 11:10 AM on April 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


Liquid smoke.
posted by Jahaza at 11:14 AM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

Of your choices I would add fish sauce and smoked paprika. If you're willing to add spiciness, then mudpuppie's suggestion of chipotle is good. I'd use the kind in adobo and include a healthy spoonful of the adobo sauce.
posted by cabingirl at 11:16 AM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

How do you feel about other smoked seafoods? Trader Joe's has inexpensive canned smoked trout that I absolutely love.
posted by something something at 11:17 AM on April 27, 2015 [3 favorites]

I have to agree, You need the smokiness and the umami without the heat of chipotles.
Smoked paprika and fish sauce is your best bet.
Bacon defeats the purpose stated in the recipe.
Liquid smoke is an option, but easily overdone or underdone.

(or some other smoked seafood, but those have a drier texture, so cook them well in the stock.)
posted by Seamus at 11:18 AM on April 27, 2015

I would use some liquid smoke, but I mean like a few drops. You could also use bacon salt or smoked salt.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:24 AM on April 27, 2015

Oh I should have mentioned - no beef or pork products.
posted by Julnyes at 11:32 AM on April 27, 2015

> Trader Joe's has inexpensive canned smoked trout that I absolutely love.

Yes, this, if other smoked seafoods would be acceptable. It's fantastic.
posted by rtha at 11:37 AM on April 27, 2015

Smoked herring, if you can get it.
posted by oceanjesse at 11:50 AM on April 27, 2015

No to fermented fish sauce or any of that jazz.

Yes to smoked scallops, clams, or mussels - scallop would be best with cod! Or really, a little of any smoked WHITE fish. Salmon or tuna would overpower the flavors.

There's one more trick, but I will Memail. Because it is a secret. Shhhhhh ;))
posted by jbenben at 11:54 AM on April 27, 2015

To clarify... Fish sauce (a fermented product) is specifically is a "no" because it changes the flavor profile entirely, making it a different dish.

Smoked paprika may help. Or hurt. You'd have to try it. Too much paprika would also be a bad idea, I think.

Okay. Okay. My trick is a pinch of shaved bonito flakes from the Japanese market. They are smoked and add a savory smokey element. They are a main component of Japanese stock base. It's a secret weapon in your pantry. I keep mine in the freezer after opening. I can't believe I told you the secret. Please don't tell anyone else, okay? Thanks.
posted by jbenben at 11:58 AM on April 27, 2015 [2 favorites]

Flip it: Smoked fish (haddock is a good choice, though I might use salmon too) with another bivalve, say scallops. If you want a bit brinier, clams, but that might be too much. I'd stick with scallops, which would replace the unsmoked whitefish to a degree as well.

That gets you the smoke and the fish/bivalve combo, which I think is the heart of the dish.
posted by bonehead at 12:36 PM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

In that specific recipe, I would sub with a small amount of other smoked fish, or another smokey flavored item.

I would 2nd both smoked trout (its one of the bessssst fish that Trader Joes has in cans; I would go out of my way to stock up on it if you don't normally shop there) and the smoked (not sweet or hot, also not hot-smoked) paprika (Super smokey bacon works here too as a flavor-component, not a 'OMFGBACON' ingredient, but you've nixed that with your update).

The other thing I would try, given this particular recipe, would be to finish the dish with a smoked, flake sea-salt. Don't add it until just before serving, and it'll imbue a really nice mellow smokiness and saltiness. Its good stuff.

I would also say, that smoked oysters vary in quality quite a bit, depending on the place you get them, and who canned them. There are some really atrocious ones out there, but some are sooooooo great.
posted by furnace.heart at 12:48 PM on April 27, 2015

If it's a textural thing, I love smoked mussels but can't abide by smoked oysters. Spend a couple bucks to see if you're the same.
posted by blue suede stockings at 1:06 PM on April 27, 2015 [2 favorites]

(Note: Bacon Salt brand bacon salt is vegan.)
posted by Lyn Never at 1:45 PM on April 27, 2015

Bonito Flakes!
posted by euphoria066 at 6:32 PM on April 27, 2015

Okay I favorited all the ones I plan to try and I'll come back in and add best answers to the ones that work.

So last night was Trader Joe's smoked trout and it was delicious!
posted by Julnyes at 6:33 AM on April 28, 2015

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