Fried Oyster Po' Boy

Fried oysters are so delicious when they are prepared well. Living in Savannah, I have tasted a good amount of fried oysters : a few good ones but mostly not so good.

Batter coating that is too thick seems to be the most common problem, and over frying is another. Here are some helpful tips you can apply to achieve crispy and tender fried oysters at home.

Fried Oysters on Salad with Pacific Rim Caesar Dressing (Will post this recipe soon)

Dredging oysters in flour/cornmeal mixture absorbs any exterior moisture. And since Panko bread crumbs are much airier than regular bread crumbs, coating stays crispy longer. A good thing when you are frying 8 pounds of oysters!

* 1 pint “select” oysters (yields about 2 dozen)

Mix #1
* 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
*3/4 cup cornmeal
*1 teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning or Dry Rub (See previous post)
* A pinch of Salt and pepper

Mix #2
* 2 large egg
* 4 tablespoons buttermilk
*1/2 teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning or Dry Rub

Mix #3
* 2 cups panko crumbs (can be purchased in Asian Store or Asian food aisle)
*1/2 teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning or Dry Rub

* Canola or vegetable oil for frying, about 3 cups

Drain the oysters well in a colander. Pat dry with paper towels.

Combine the flour, cornmeal, seasoning, salt and pepper on one shallow pan. Place the egg, seasoning, and buttermilk in a bowl and whisk to combine. Place the panko crumbs and seasoning on another shallow pan. Set a rack on a small sheet pan.

*Make sure oysters are well dried

Dredge the oysters first in the flour, then the eggs, then the panko, shaking off any excess. Place on the wire rack. When all of the oysters are coated, place the pan in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. This step is important since chilling the oysters before frying ensures that they won't be over cooked.

Meanwhile, pour enough oil into a heavy duty frying pan to come up about 2 inches. Heat over medium-high until hot, about 370° F. Use a thermometer to check the oil temperature.

Fry the oysters in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the pan, until light golden, about 1-1/2 to 2 minutes per side. Do not over crowd the pan or the oil temperature will lower too quickly and you will have soggy fried oysters. Terribly Sad it will be!

Remove oysters and place on wire racks to drain. Serve immediately on a soft hoagie bun or salad as shown with Remoulade sauce.

For additional help on frying see "Cooking Tip : Frying".

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