I love deep fried oysters, but let’s be honest, oysters are not the most glamorous of sea creatures. In fact, an oyster removed from its shell is quite ugly.
However, even though oysters aren’t the prettiest, fresh oysters are packed with a sweet briny flavour and when breaded and deep-fried produce a crunchy exterior with a deliciously moist interior. I am not a fan of raw oysters (I should say I won’t eat them) but give someone who usually turns their nose up at the thought of an oyster a piece of one that is deep fried a beautiful golden colour they might just change their mind!
The only time I ever had an oyster while living in New Brunswick was when I was ten years of age. An older relative promised to take my cousin, my sister and I fishing for an afternoon. We were all super excited until we learned there was just one catch! After we spied a sack full of fresh oysters, we were informed we each had to eat a raw oyster before we could go! Someone certainly had a warped sense of humor bordering on cruelty! Desperately wanting to go fishing we all tried in vain to eat the raw oysters. Let’s just say they didn’t stay down for very long. To make a long story short, we did end up fishing, but our heart wasn’t into it anymore.
Fast forward to years later and Vancouver Island. The first time I ate one of these golden deep fried oysters I was hesitant. I was so happy though to discover they were nothing at all like the slimy texture of a raw oyster! Now I live not too far from the pristine coastal waters of Baynes Sound where oysters are actively harvested and supply British Columbia with 39% of the provinces oysters. Fanny Bay oysters are a real treat for our family! We like to put a little hot sauce on the oysters and a squirt of lemon juice.
Of course, a must have with deep-fried oysters is deep fried potatoes! Enjoy every last bite, but then make sure you behave yourself the rest of the week!
- 12-16 oysters removed from shell
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon or ½ teaspoon dried
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (use more if needed)
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups Panko bread crumbs (use more if needed)
- salt for seasoning
- hot sauce (optional)
- lemon slices
- oil for deep frying
- Place vinegar in a medium sized bowl and add tarragon, then the oysters. Soak oysters for 10 minutes.
- While oysters are soaking, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Put flour on one plate and Panko crumbs onto another.
- In a bowl, whisk eggs with a fork.
- Remove oysters from tarragon vinegar and dredge in the flour.
- Dip oysters in beaten egg mixture.
- Roll in Panko crumbs, making sure the oyster is covered well. Your hands will get coated as well, just rinse them off.
- Place oysters on a baking sheet.
- In a deep fryer (or deep pot), heat oil to 375 F.(190 C).
- Working in batches, carefully lower oysters into hot oil, cook until they are golden brown. Do not overcook, they only take about 2 minutes!
- Remove oysters and place on a tray lined with paper towel.
- Season with salt.
- Add hot sauce (optional) and lemon.