Southern Fried Oysters, I love oysters. Fried Oysters, Oysters Rockefeller, Grill Oysters, Smoked Oysters...<Insert Forest Gump Sound Bite Here> 🙂 The list goes on and on...
Yet, I have to say Southern Fried Oysters are the winner in my book and every other option a very close second 🙂
If there's one tip to frying oysters, that would be to get the freshest you can find. Shucking oysters yourself is a great way to control the freshness. Advice to help open the oysters. Place each oyster into boiling water for 20 seconds, which causes the oyster muscle holding the shell close to relax, making it easier to shuck.
⬇️ Table of Contents
🥘 Recipe Ingredients
- Freshly Shucked Oysters (24oz)
- All-Purpose Flour + Magic Flour Mix (on the recipe card)
- Creole Seasoning Tony's or Old Bay
- Garlic Salt
- Onion Powder
- Dried Oregano
- Dried Thyme
- Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
- Sea Salt
- Hot Sauce (Cholula)
Amounts listed on the recipe card
🦪 About Fried Oysters
When you take something as beautiful as a fresh oyster and decide to fry it, everyone becomes instant winners at the dinner table.
The entire world loves fried food, and every country around the world does it so well.
Oysters are known for many interesting properties like,
Let's talk about what makes Southern Fried Oysters so great!!!...
There are a few things to think about when frying. The first would be freshness. When you fry food, the oil creates a barrier seal, like a wall, surrounding the food you're cooking. This effect of frying at a high temperature keeps the oil out.
If your oysters are not fresh when frying, any little off-putting smells or sent will be increased from the cooking process. This happens because of the perfect wall created around the oyster, keeping oil out keeping the scent on the inside.
💭 Tips For Frying Oysters
Do the Sniff Check - Seafood Should Smell Like The Beautiful Sea
- The next thing to be concerned about is the temperature of the oil. Under 300 degrees and the oil will start to leach inside, creating mushiness.
- Over 375 degrees will cause discoloration and move into the burnt flavor category.
- Be sure to rinse the oysters - Super fresh oysters, maybe not.
- Marinade in buttermilk, 20 minutes.
- Do not use regular All-Purpose flour - See Recipe Below For The Magic Flour mix.
- Frying: If you can, fry with peanut oil for maximum flavor. Peanut oil has a very high smoke point.
- High Smoke Point oil helps the oil not become oxidized and burnt in flavor.
Fresh oysters, shucked by hand:
A good rule of thumb, if freshly shucked, the oysters will be great for serving raw. When laying out the oysters to serve, be sure to add at least one dozen raw oysters on the half shell. This offers your family and friends a clear message of how fresh your oysters are.
Tip: Next time, try using lime instead of lemon. I can almost promise you'll never use lemons on raw oysters again. Take the challenge…👨🍳
Raw Oyster Health Warning:
There is a health warning about eating raw oysters. It is important to remember that oysters can contain harmful bacteria, including Vibrio Vulnificus. This bacteria can cause serious illness, including death, in some people. Anyone who eats raw oysters should take steps to reduce their risk of infection, including washing their hands thoroughly and cooking the oysters.
🥗 What To Eat With Oysters
Chef Pennington loves taking saltine crackers, placing an oyster on top, then adding a touch of horseradish and cocktail sauce. Serve with both fried oysters and raw.
Talking about side items, good options to eat with oysters are as follows:
- Fried Calamari
- Shrimp Diablo
One of Nature's Natural Beauty's - Oysters
On Mother's Day, I was fortunate to be with my Mom. She loves Fried Oysters, so I just had to make them. She rates these Oysters at the top of her list - Soon to possibly become your favorite fried oyster recipe.
📖 Fried Oysters Without Buttermilk
The buttermilk offers a hint of tang in the best of ways. But if you're looking for substitution, here's a list of options to try.
- Almond Milk - to get the right consistency add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. This will make the almond milk thicker. The marinade will help the dry fry ingredients stick.
- Coconut Milk - good option to match the consistency of whole buttermilk. The bit of sweetness in the coconut milk will bring out some of the oysters' natural sweetness.
- Whole Milk - this options works but is thinner than buttermilk. I would suggest adding a small amount of cornstarch to get the consistency close to that of buttermilk.
Bonus Recipe: Oysters Rockefeller
Recipes To Try
- Southern Buttermilk Fried Chicken - Grandma's Way
- Crispy Chicken Piccata
- Bacon Pepperoni Sticks with Homemade Buttermilk Ranch
- Red Quinoa Crab Salad w/Avocado Crema – So Good & Healthy
- How To Clean Crab Fine Dining Style
📖 Recipe Card
- 24 oz Oysters - Freshly Shucked Freshly Shucked Everywhere sells them slightly differently; that's okay. The flouring mix works for all amounts, double when needed. Buy local oysters when possible.
- 1 cup All-Purpose Flour Magic Flour Mix for a cup: Ingredients - Use ⅔ cup AP Flour & ⅓ cup of Corn Starch
- ⅓ cup Cornstarch
- 2 ½ cup Cornmeal
- 2 Tablespoon Creole Seasoning Tony's or Old Bay
- 1 Tablespoon Garlic Salt
- 1 Tablespoon Onion Powder
- 2 teaspoon Dried Oregano Crush in the palm of your hand to release the natural oils
- 1 teaspoon Thyme - Dried Crush in the palm of your hand to release the natural oils
- 1 teaspoon Black Pepper
- 2 teaspoon Sea Salt To Your Taste
- 2 cup Buttermilk Whole milk / Half & Half will work
- 2 Tablespoon Hot Sauce (Cholula) The hot sauce does not make the oysters spicy. Adds additional flavor. Often used when marinading fried chicken.
- 1 tip Refrigerator for 30-40 minutes The natural acids in the buttermilk will bring flavor and help the flour stick better than normal milk
Preparation & Marinating Of The Oysters
- Rinse off the oysters under cool running water. (If the oysters are super fresh, you can skip this step). Place the rinsed oysters into a bowl.
- Combine the buttermilk and favorite hot sauce like Cholula hot sauce (link in notes below). So good. Not like Tabasco hot sauce in flavor. Much better in my opinion.Cover the oysters with the marinade, then into the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Not overnight, the natural acids in the buttermilk will break down the oyster texture too much.
The Dry Ingredients
- Mix all dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.1 cup All-purpose flour + ⅓ cornstarch + 2 ½ cup cornmeal + 2 T creole seasoning + 1 T garlic salt + 1 T onion powder + 2 teaspoon dried oregano + 1 teaspoon thyme + 1 teaspoon black pepper + 2 teaspoon salt. Chef Tip: After mixing the dry ingredients, take a taste of the flour mixture. Does it taste too much like flour or cornmeal? Then adjust and add more seasoning based on what you think it needs. You can always cook a small test batch and then adjust the seasoning. This is how restaurant chefs balance out dishes.TSA: Taste. Season & Adjust
Dredging For Frying The Oysters
- Take the oysters straight from the marinade, (do not rinse) and place them straight into the dredging flour mix. Crispy/Thickness Options:1) The photo on the post = wet (marinade), then the oysters are added to the dry (flour), then into the fryer.2) A thicker outside crust. Repeat option 1) above twice. Double dredge and fry.
- Plan Ahead Option: You can dredge and flour the oysters in advance, place them on a cookie sheet, and store them in the refrigerator until you are ready to fry. (max prep time: 30 minutes in the refrigerator). Be sure to cover the cookie sheet first with a good amount of cornmeal to avoid sticking.
Oil For Frying
- A high smoke point oil is needed when frying oysters.I like using peanut oil or canola oil to fry oysters.Tip: If the oil does get too hot and exceeds the smoking point, there is no saving the oil. The flavor will be rancid and not useable. Start over... Google the "smoke point" of whichever oil you choose. Never exceed the max temperature of the oil.
- Add enough oil to the pot to cover the oysters; the oysters need to be in the oil, not floating on top of the oil. At least 4 inches of oil in the pot. You are "deep" frying the oysters. If you're low on oil, use a pot that isn't as wide and is deeper.
- Preheat to 360 degrees, testing with a candy thermometer or temperature probe. The temperature will drop as soon as the first batch of oysters goes in, so keep an eye on the frying temperature. This is why we start at 360 and not 350.Tip: Do not overcrowd the pot, or the temperature will drop too much, and the oysters will not get crispy but muddy and soggy full of oil. Manage the oil temperature, do not overcrowd the pot.
- Suggestions: Test fry a few oysters to test the oil temperature before committing all your delicious oysters to the fryer.
- Tip: Have a large plate with paper towels all laid out and ready to go before you begin frying. Place the oysters on the paper towels straight from the fryer.
- Immediately after coming out of the fryer, sprinkle the oysters with sea salt.
- Use a high smoke point oil.
- Do not exceed the maximum smoke oil temperature.
- Perform the sniff test for freshness. The oysters should smell clean and that of the ocean.
- Taste the raw flour dredge to check for seasoning.
- Salt the oysters once out of the frying oil.
- Suggested hot sauce for the marinade: Cholula Hot Sauce
📖 Recipe Card
- 1 dozen Oysters
- 1 cup Bread Crumbs
- 2 tablespoon Creole Seasoning
- 4 slices Bacon cooked
- ¼ cup Celery Leaves chopped
- ¼ cup Chervil chopped
- ¼ cup Parsley chopped
- 2 tablespoon Olive Oil
- ¼ cup Spinach
- 1 Lemon juiced
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
Presentation & Finishing
- Rock Salt / place roasted oysters on the rock salt on a large serving plate.
- 1 tablespoon Pernod optional
- Parmesan Cheese optional
- In a heavy round ovenproof baking dish spread enough rock salt to make a 1-inch layer. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a small bowl combine bacon, celery, chervil, green onions, parsley, and spinach. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with lemon juice and optional, Pernod. In another bowl combine bread crumbs with oil and creole seasoning; season with salt and pepper.
- Carefully open oysters and discard the top shell. Drain liquid, loosen oyster and remove any grit or sand. Push oyster shells firmly into the rock salt. Top with greens mixture, then with bread crumb mixture. Bake 10 to 15 minutes until bread crumbs are lightly browned. Serve immediately, directly from the baking dish.