Living in Maryland we are blessed with a variety of fresh seafood. Once again it's oyster season. Recently while having lunch, I opted for the Oyster Po Boy sandwich. I really like fried oysters but have found restaurant fried oysters disappointing. The restaurant we were dining in was upscale and very popular, so I decided to give the Oyster Po Boy another chance. Surely the chef in this restaurant would know how to fry oysters! When my sandwich arrived, it looked appetizing, fried oysters on a chiabatta roll with lettuce and tomato. I was very disappointed when I took my first bite, the sandwich didn't taste as good as it looked. The fried oysters were coated with bread crumbs and had no flavor. The breading acted as a sponge that had soaked up the oil, making the oysters soggy and greasy instead of crisp. I have come to the conclusion that although Marylander's have fresh oysters readily available they just don't know how to fry them.
It's really so simple to make delicious fried oysters. The recipe is so easy to prepare that I feel a little guilty when my husband raves about my fried oysters. So here is the "recipe".
Delicious Fried Oysters:
1 pint of Select Oysters, shucked
1-2 sleeves of Saltine Crackers- the store brands work just as well as the name brands. Don't use crackers with low salt or no salt. The salt in the crackers is your only seasoning.
Flour-approximately 1/3 cup
Shallow dishes or pie plates
1. Place the crackers in a food processor and pulse until all of the crackers have been ground. The crackers should have some texture and not ground to a powder. Empty the crackers in to a pie plate, or shallow dish.
2. Put about 1/3 cup of flour in another pie plate, or shallow dish.
3. In a small bowl, large enough to dip the oysters, whisk the egg and milk together. You want enough egg mixture to be able to dip all of the coated oysters.
4. Place one oyster in the dish with the flour, coating the entire oyster with flour. You want a light coating of flour to help the egg mixture stick to the oyster. Next dip the flour coated oyster in the egg mixture, allowing the excess liquid to drain from the oyster before putting it the cracker crumbs. Place the oyster in the dish with the cracker crumbs and generously coat the entire oyster. Place the coated oysters on a baking tray and set aside.
5. Repeat the process until all of the oysters have been coated with cracker crumbs. Place the baking tray in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. This allows the coating to adhere to the oysters, making them easier to fry.
6. Heat some vegetable oil in a frying pan ( I use cast iron) until the oil is hot. I like to drop a couple of cracker crumbs to test the oil. If the crumbs start to sizzle and fry immediately, the oil is hot enough to fry the oysters. If your oil is not hot, the breading will act as a sponge and soak up the oil. Fry the oysters, turning once, until golden brown. Remove the oysters from the oil and drain on a paper towel covered baking rack.