Learn how to make the classic mignonette sauce recipe for oysters or other seafood. 

A small white bowl filled with red wine vinegar and shallot mignonette sauce for oysters. A small silver spoon sits in the bowl on a marble counter.

If you’ve read our article all about How to Eat Oysters and want to try serving them at home, you’ll need a good mignonette recipe. There are several common accouterments served with raw oysters, from lemon to tabasco sauce.

Some restaurants get creative and come up with their own sauces. One creative raw oyster I tried at a local restaurant had caviar lime pearls and avocado. But the most popular classic sauce for oysters is mignonette. 

Mignonette Meaning 

According to Wikipedia, “The French term mignonette originally referred to a sachet of peppercorns, cloves, and spices used to flavor liquids, but now simply means cracked pepper.”

Mignonette is a vinegar-based sauce, and whatever sauce you choose for oysters you’ll want some acid. While there are many options for vinegar, mignonette always contains finely diced shallots and cracked pepper. 

A white plate of raw oysters with a small bowl of mignonette sauce and lemon wedges.

How to Make Oyster Mignonette 

Oyster mignonette comes together in just a few minutes. It’s a good idea to make it a day in advance so the flavors can blend. 

The main components of mignonette are: 

  • Vinegar. Red wine vinegar is used most often, but champagne vinegar is another great option. Feel free to have fun with the vinegar and use a high-quality flavored vinegar such as raspberry white vinegar or Mimosa Champagne Vinegar
  • Shallots. In a pinch, you could use finely chopped red onion, but shallots are traditional and have a subtler flavor. 
  • Pepper. You can use black, white, or pink peppercorns here. 
  • Other additions. Though not traditional, you can make mignonette more exciting by adding finely chopped fresh herbs such as tarragon or a squeeze of citrus. Make it spicy by adding a minced jalapeno, lime juice, and cilantro. 
Mignonette sauce is spooned over a raw oyster on the half shell.

How to Use Mignonette Sauce 

Keep the sauce refrigerated until ready to use. Then use a teaspoon to spoon the sauce over the oysters or other seafood and enjoy. 

Yield: about 1/2 cup

Mignonette

A classic mignonette sauce recipe for oysters plus some tasty variations. Mignonette is a simple sauce made with vinegar, shallots, and pepper that lends acidity to oysters and seafood.

Four raw oysters on the half shell with a small bowl of mignonette sauce in the middle.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup minced shallots (about 1 small shallot)
  • 1/3 cup red wine, white wine, or champagne vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
  • pinch of sea salt, to taste
  • pinch of sugar, to taste (optional)

Instructions

  1. Place the shallots into a small bowl. A white rameken filled with minced shallots
  2. Pour the vinegar on top and stir in the pepper, salt, and sugar to taste. Red wine vinegar is poured over shallots to make mignonette sauce.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for an hour or up to one month.
  4. To serve, spoon over raw oysters on the half shell or other seafood that could use some acidity. A raw oyster topped with mignonette is scooped out with a small fork.

Notes

Variations

  • Red and white wine vinegar are the most traditional, but others can be used as well. Campagne vinegar is my favorite option. Many people substitute half the vinegar for seasoned rice vinegar for a bit of sweetness, in which case you wouldn't want to add any sugar.
  • Add a few pinches of chopped fresh herbs such as tarragon, mint, or dill.
  • Get creative with the flavor by adding a squeeze of citrus juice or a good quality flavored white vinegar.
  • For a spicy mignonette, add minced jalapeno, cilantro, and lime.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 8Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 12mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your favorite calculator.