If you love oysters, then you need this mignonette sauce recipe in your life. It’s shockingly easy and made with shallots, red wine vinegar, and pepper.
What is Mignonette Sauce?
Depending on where you are enjoying oysters, they are served with various sauces (or none at all). We’ve seen cocktail sauce, horseradish, hot sauce, fresh lemon slices, and mignonette sauce.
Mignonette is traditionally made from finely minced shallots, fresh ground pepper, and vinegar. This zingy sauce is one of our favorite accompaniments to briny raw oysters.
Our Essential Oyster Mignonette
Here’s our essential mignonette recipe. By the way, mignonette (French) is roughly translated to “cute” or “dainty.” For an herby, sweeter twist, try our beautiful herb mignonette!
Shallots — mince them finely and use a lot. The vinegar cuts their sharpness and gently pickles them. (We hand-mince our shallot instead of using a food processor. A food processor creates a more mushy situation that tastes stronger in the sauce.)
Pepper — use white or black peppercorns. I like both. White pepper tastes more mellow and less spicy than black pepper, but both work nicely in this sauce.
Vinegar — We have used red wine vinegar in our photos, but white wine vinegar and champagne vinegar are also excellent choices. But, again, use something you enjoy the taste of. My favorite widely available brand of red wine vinegar is Pompeian, but you can always look in specialty stores and online for more high-end options.
To make a classic mignonette sauce for oysters, combine the finely minced shallots with vinegar and pepper. I also add a small pinch of sea salt, but that’s optional! Then store the sauce in the fridge for at least two hours so the shallots can mellow and pickle.
Fun fact about mignonette sauce: it lasts in the fridge for a month! I actually love it after it has sat for a while in the refrigerator.
And that’s it, easy classic mignonette. Of course, there are variations (like this amazing herb mignonette), but this simple sauce is perfect with fresh raw oysters. We love it!
Essential Mignonette Sauce
If you love oysters, then you need this essential mignonette sauce in your life. It’s shockingly easy and made with shallots, red wine vinegar, and pepper. We have used red wine vinegar in our photos, but white wine vinegar and champagne vinegar are also excellent choices. Use something you enjoy the taste of. My favorite widely available brand of red wine vinegar is Pompeian, but you can always look in specialty stores and online for more high-end options.
You Will Need
1/4 cup (30 grams) finely diced shallots, 1 to 2 shallots
1/3 to 1/2 cup (80 to 120 ml) red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, or champagne vinegar; use something you enjoy the taste of
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black or white peppercorns
Small pinch fine sea salt, optional
1Combine the shallots, vinegar, pepper, and a small pinch of salt in a non-reactive bowl or glass jar. Taste, and adjust with more pepper. Remember that the vinegar will taste its strongest at first but will mellow as it sits with the shallots in the refrigerator. If you find the mignonette sauce too abrasive, stir in a pinch of sugar to balance the vinegar.
2Refrigerate the sauce for at least 2 hours before serving with oysters so that the shallots have a chance to pickle and mellow. The mignonette will last up to a month in the refrigerator. It will mellow even more over time, but I enjoy that! If you taste the sauce after some time in the fridge, and find that it has lost its zestiness, add a splash of fresh vinegar.
3Shuck your oysters and serve with the mignonette sauce in a small ramekin. Place a small spoonful of the sauce (I go heavy on the shallots) and add to a raw oyster before eating. Then repeat!