The preparation for these Southern fried oysters couldn't be easier. The simple breading and frying takes no more than 15 to 20 minutes. Serve the oysters as the main dish with French fries or chips, or add them to a Caesar salad or tossed green salad. They make great appetizers as well. Top deviled eggs or stuffed mushrooms with fried oysters. Or make delicious oyster po' boys with these fried oysters.
A quart of oysters should be enough for six people, but if you have guests who are particularly fond of oysters, you might want to add an extra pint and scale the recipe up slightly.
- 1 quart oysters (about 2 cups drained)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 cup breadcrumbs (fine, dry)
Heat about 2 inches of vegetable oil in a deep, heavy saucepan or deep fryer to 370 F. Line a plate or pan with a double thickness of paper towels and set it aside.
Drain the oysters and dry them thoroughly.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, and paprika.
In another bowl, whisk the eggs with the water.
Put the bread crumbs in a third bowl.
Dip oysters in the flour mixture to coat and then dip in the beaten egg. Shaking excess egg batter off, roll the oysters in the breadcrumbs.
Fry in batches—about six at a time—in the hot oil until they are golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove the oysters to paper towels to drain.
- When selecting oil for deep frying, it is important to consider a few things. First, the smoke point. Different oils have different smoke points. Some have a high smoke point and are ideal for high heat cooking, and others have a low smoke point and are best for salads and other uses. For deep frying, the smoke point should be about 20 degrees () above the smoke point. See this chart for smoke points of various oils. The second consideration is flavor. Basic vegetable oil, canola, peanut oil, and refined sunflower oil are light to neutral in flavor and excellent for deep frying.
- To keep oysters warm for up to 15 to 20 minutes while you fry subsequent batches, preheat the oven to 200 F before you begin to fry. Line a baking sheet with foil. Drain the oysters on the paper towels and then move them to the pan. Place them in the oven. Repeat with the remaining oysters.
- Add spicy Louisiana flavor to your fried oysters. Add about 1 teaspoon of Cajun or Creole seasoning to the flour mixture. If there is salt in the seasoning blend, use only 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
- Add a tablespoon of hot sauce to the beaten egg mixture for extra hot and tangy flavor.
- Use seasoned garlic breadcrumbs instead of plain, or use a breadcrumb mixture seasoned specifically for fish or shrimp.