There’s something very gratifying about biting through the crisp outer crust and into the tender center of a fried oyster. It’s an ephemeral moment when your ears hear the crispy crust crackling as it gives way, your mouth is flooded with the briny juices from the oyster, and your nostrils fill with the smell of a salty ocean breeze.
While I could pop these all day long with a splash of lemon juice, they’re also great on salads, added to seafood soups, or served with a side of fries. Like their cornmeal dusted southern counterparts, these panko crusted fried oysters are sublime in Po’boy sandwiches as well.
While nothing beats freshly shucked oysters, for this recipe, the pre-shucked variety will also work. There’s nothing worse than biting into a piece of shell though, so be sure to rinse the oysters in salt water before breading.
- 18-24 small to medium sized oysters, shucked
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 egg, beaten
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Lemons wedges for serving
- Prepare 3 bowls, one with flour and paprika, one with the egg, and one with panko. Add about 1” of vegetable oil into a pot and pre-heat until the oil shimmers.
- Gently rinse the oysters in salted water, pluck the oysters out of the water with your hands (the grit will settle to the bottom of the water) and drain on a paper towel. Lightly dust each oyster with flour. If your oysters are small, you may want to put two together.
- Dip each flour-coated oyster in the egg mixture, and then coat the oyster with panko. I usually drop the oyster in the panko, sprinkle some on top, and then press it a little with my hand to ensure it gets a nice thick layer of breadcrumbs.
- Place the breaded oysters in the hot oil and fry until they start turning brown around the edges, flip them over and continue frying until golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel lined rack to drain.
Yield: 4 servings
Marc Matsumoto is a culinary consultant and recipe repairman who shares his passion for good food through his website norecipes.com. For Marc, food is a life long journey of exploration, discovery and experimentation and he shares his escapades through his blog in the hopes that he inspires others to find their own culinary adventures. Marc’s been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, and has made multiple appearances on NPR and the Food Network.