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Lowcountry Cooking Seafood

So You Think You Know Lowcountry Cooking?

Pt. 1 - Seafood

By: Kyle Stucker; From 5757 Palm Magazine 

Grilled seafood, barbecue, and comfort food can be found throughout the Lowcountry, including at Wild Dunes Resort's restaurants. But do you know why these culinary styles are the building blocks of the area's culinary styles are the building blocks of the area's culinary and cultural DNA? Or, just as importantly, how to tell the real deal from the mediocre meal? 

Think You Know Lowcountry Seafood?

In the Lowcountry and at Coastal Provisions, Wild Dunes Resort's signature seafood and chophouse-style restaurant, you'll find seafood in some Southern preparations you'd expect, such as the hero ingredient in some super savory boils. But you may be surprised to learn that most locals lean on a much simpler, fresher approach. 

From the earliest native tribes through the colonization and plantation era, Lowcountry locals had to make do with what was around them. And with more than 500,000 acres of wetlands, salt marshes, swamps, creeks, lakes, and ponds in the Charleston area alone, it's easy to understand why proteins harvested from the water became the backbone of Lowcountry cuisine. And one of the staple ways to prepare them? Grilled. 

They kept their seafood dishes simple while the fish was fresh, letting the natural flavors take center stage, with some nice caramelization on the grill. Even with oysters, which they placed on the rack just long enough for the hinges to open. But keeping fresh fish on hand was no small feat in South Carolina's intense summer heat, so that gave rise to some of the other seafood traditions popular in the area. Among them are drying shrimp, which, when added whole or in powdered form to grains and vegetables, allowed locals to impart a deep, buttery flavor to meals year-round.

Did you know?

One of the Lowcountry's most famous seafood dishes, Frogmore Stew, is neither frog nor stew. Named after a town, it's made by boiling shrimp, corn, sausage, and potatoes over an open fire. 

Coastal Provisions

  • Taste the Tradition - The grill drives simple, clean menus at Coastal Provisions that seek to use the fruits of the Lowcountry's sea and land better than any Wild Dunes Resort restaurant before it. 
  • What You'll Find - A rotating offering of grilled fresh-caught seafood, dry-aged steaks, a seasonal assortment of regionally inspired dishes, and, of course, shrimp and grits, made using locally sourced Jimmy Red grits and a smoked bacon-tomato sauce. 
  • What You Won't Find - Solely Lowcountry fare. In addition to crab hush puppies and cornmeal-fried catfish, the menus also sport an unexpected poke, a raw fish dish making its way to the area, combining regionally caught tuna with earthly pine nuts and grapes. 


Grilled Oysters with Carolina Barbecue Sauce 

Coastal Provisions' popular grilled oysters take their cue from the 'cue, using tangy barbecue sauce and smoky bacon to infuse a little Lowcountry flair into the half shell tradition.


Mustard Barbecue Sauce

3/4 cup yellow mustard

3/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 teaspoons sea salt

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons black pepper

2 teaspoons Frank's Red Hot sauce 


24 fresh oysters, shucked but left in shell

1 cup fresh bacon bits

1 cup shallots, minced

2 cups shallots, thinly sliced

Corn starch 

Frying oil 


Combine all mustard barbecue sauce ingredients in a small saucepan. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, whisking occasionally. Let cool before using. 

Bring a grill or broiler to medium-high heat. Spoon mustard barbecue sauce over oysters. 

Place oysters shell down on grill. Cook until sauce starts to bubble, then remove oysters. 

While grilling the oysters, heat oil in a cast-iron skillet to about 350 degrees. 

Toss shallots in corn starch, and fry in oil until golden brown and crispy.

Top oysters with bacon, fried shallots, and green onion, and serve. 


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