Growing up in Maryland Oysters are a way of life and deep fried oysters are crispy golden nuggets from the sea!
Deep Fried Oysters are my favorite way to eat them and dipped in a creamy remoulade sauce just takes this recipe and knocks it right out of the park.
Frying up some crispy oysters is pretty easy but there are a few tips that will make sure they come out perfect every time. I purchase already shucked oysters from my local seafood market (shoutout to Adam at Blue Point Crab House)
After I get them home I drain the oysters but don't rinse them. I then soak the oysters in some milk and hot sauce for just a few hours before I dredge them in the flour mixture.
The flour dredge is very simple and that's the way I like it. The oyster is the star of the show and the crispy texture just compliments the oysters fresh salty flavor.
about 30 minutes before frying is when I like to dredge the oysters in the flour. that gives the dredge time to absorb and attach to the oyster better. If you're in a rush you can dredge them 5-10 minutes ahead of time but 30 minutes is the sweet spot for me.
The secret is to not overcrowd the oil. Drop the oysters into the oil one at a time in different areas and make sure you don't fill the pot up. Too many oysters frying at once will lower the temperature of the oil and you'll end up with greasy breading. Over filling can also cause the oil to bubble over due to the high moisture content of the oysters.
Oysters don't need long to cook so as soon as you're happy with the crispy texture on the outside they are finished. If the cooking oil is brand new the oysters may not be as golden as you want but don't overcook them just for the sake of color. The first batch may have a blonde color but the second and third will develop a beautiful golden color.
As soon as the deep fried oysters are fully cooked immediately transfer to a pan lined with paper towel to absorb the excess grease. Season them while they are still hot so the flavor will resolve right into the breading. go easy on the seasoning so to not overpower the flavor of the oyster.
So not to make a mess in the kitchen we prefer to Deep Fry Oysters outside using a turkey fryer burner setup. Make sure to have cardboard underneath the burner to absorb any grease and have all of your equipment near by. I set up a folding table a few feet away from the fryer so everything I need is within reach.
Though its hard to beat the crispy texture of deep fried oysters I know its not always the healthiest or most convenient. If you want to use less oil and fry oysters on the stove you can use a cast iron skillet to pan fry the oysters. fill the skillet up with about 1 inch of oil and cook the oysters for about 1-2 minutes per side until crispy.
If you want a healthier version that won't stink up the kitchen with the smell of fried food you can make air fried oysters. You'll want to replace the flour and cornstarch with Italian or Panko Breadcrumbs. after you dredge the oysters place them in an air fryer and spray with cooking oil. cook at 375 degrees F. for 8-10 minutes then flip and continue cooking until crispy.
I drain the oysters before soaking them in milk and hot sauce but I don't rinse. I want the milk to help tenderize the oysters and ad flavor but I don't want to wash away the natural flavor of the oyster.
The classic fried oyster plater at most restaurants is served with a side of coleslaw, French fries, cocktail, tartar and a lemon wedge. I fancied things up with remoulade which is just a fancy tartar sauce anyway. the coleslaw is more of a palate cleanser to cut the richness from all the fried food. The cocktail and tartar sauce is a nice contrast which I like to go back and forth between the two. You'll find recipes for the Remoulade and Cocktail sauce at the bottom of this post.
Remoulade is easy to prepare and is my go to dipping sauce with any seafood. the creamy tangy sauce is the perfect balance of creamy, acidic, spicy and tangy. Heres a list of everything you'll need to make Remoulade at home: