Fried Oysters with Harissa

The first time I had an oyster it was just down the hatch with no lemon or anything. It wasn’t the greatest way of introducing me to them as I found it difficult to eat. This is a much nicer way of introducing you to this delicacy. Then you can become more adventurous and try them the traditional way


SERVES 4


INGREDIENTS

500ml sunflower oil 

6–8 oysters per person, shucked (retain the 

shells for serving)

Sea salt

FOR THE BATTER

Juice of 1 lemon

300ml beer

100g plain flour

FOR THE COATING

100g panko breadcrumbs

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon mild chilli powder

1 tablespoon sea salt 

FOR THE DIP

4 tablespoons mayonnaise 

½ teaspoon spicy harissa paste

METHOD

Mix the batter ingredients well with a whisk in a bowl until you have no lumps. Sometimes it helps to sieve the flour.

For the coating, combine and blend all the ingre­dients for 10–20 seconds in a food processor. 

Heat the sunflower oil in a wok or large frying pan over a high heat until it reaches 180ºC/355ºF (check this with a thermometer). Dip each oyster in the batter, then the breadcrumb coating and place gently into the hot oil. Fry until crispy. This should take 1–2 minutes. Try not to overcrowd the pan. Drain on some kitchen paper and then season with a little salt.

Mix the dip together and you are ready to serve. To plate, mix some sea salt with a tiny bit of water to soften it, and then place six small mounds of salt around a plate with some of the dip in a dish in the centre. Place an oyster shell on top of each salt mound, then lay a crispy oyster inside and enjoy them while hot.

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