Deep Fried Oysters

Oysters deep fried hold in all their juices and flavour, oysters prepared in this fashion make a regular appearance on many restaurants menus. Oysters should not be considered a luxury food that you only eat in a restaurant, when you can purchase them at only a small cost from most fish mongers and supermarkets.

Wine Recommendation: This calls for lightly oaked creamy Chardonnay. See The Mixed Case for details.

Portions: 6 Portions

Preparation: 15 minutes

Cooking: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 24 oyster, freshly opened *
  • 50-75g rice flour * or plain flour
  • 250g self raising flour
  • Maldon salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 125ml beer
  • 1 egg yolk (beaten)

Method

  1. Batter:Mix the flour, salt and pepper in a bowl, make a well in the centre and pour in the beer and egg yolk. Mix the batter until smooth.
  2. Oysters: Heat the oil fro deep frying to 180°C. Remove the oysters from their shells and pat them dry. Place the flour in a bowl and lightly lightly dust the oysters, shake off any excess flour. Dip the oyster in the batter and coat them, remove them from the batter and deep fry, a few at a time, until golden brown, around 2 minutes. Remove them from the oil and drain and kitchen paper.
  3. To Serve: Serve the oysters as a light main or starter with a rocket salad with basil, tomato, pine nuts and a light pesto dressing (pesto sauce with some olive oil and white wine vinegar) or on a bed of vermicelli noodles tossed with garlic, ginger and soy sauce and served with Thai sweet chilli sauce or as substantial winter main on steamed shredded cabbage and mashed potatoes with a tartar sauce.
* To Open:Place the oyster in your hand with the flat side up and the hinged corner facing towards you. Place an oyster opening knife in the hinged corner and twist it to break the muscle, then carefully lever the shell off. It is a good idea to either wrap the hand holding the oyster in a tea towel or wear a thick kitchen glove.* I prefer to dust food which is being battered in rice flour as it gives the food a crisp coating.* You can vary the batter by adding herbs and spices such as roughly hopped basil or coriander or five spice powder.