Crispy Fried Oysters With Cornmeal Batter

Fried oysters with cornmeal batter recipe

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 25 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
775 Calories
58g Fat
43g Carbs
20g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 775
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 58g 75%
Saturated Fat 8g 38%
Cholesterol 153mg 51%
Sodium 1288mg 56%
Total Carbohydrate 43g 15%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 20g
Vitamin C 10mg 51%
Calcium 38mg 3%
Iron 9mg 50%
Potassium 403mg 9%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A cornmeal coating makes these fried oysters super crispy and delicious. Fry them up to make a delicious meal or add a few to a fresh salad. Split a French bread baguette and use the fried oysters to make a fabulous New Orleans po' boy sandwich, too! 

Serve these crispy fried oysters with the included tartar sauce or serve them with a Louisiana remoulade sauce or cocktail sauce. Add coleslaw and fries to complete your menu.


Click Play to See This Make Fried Oysters With Cornmeal Batter Recipe Come Together


For the Fried Oysters

  • Vegetable oil, for frying

  • 1 quart oysters (about 2 cups drained oysters)

  • 2 large eggs, beaten

  • 2 cups cornmeal

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons flour

For the Tartar Sauce

  • 1 cup mayonnaise

  • 1/3 cup dill relish (or finely chopped dill pickle)

  • 2 teaspoons capers, drained and chopped

  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • Optional:

    2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this fried oyster dish is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.

Make the Fried Oysters

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for fried oysters
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  2. Pour about 3 inches of vegetable oil in a heavy, deep saucepan. Place the pan over medium-high heat and bring it to a temperature of 370 F.

    Pour vegetable oil in heavy saucepan
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  3. Drain the oysters and pat dry with paper towels or a kitchen towel.

    Drain oysters
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  4. In a bowl, beat the eggs.

    Beat the eggs
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  5. Add drained oysters and set aside for 10 minutes.

    Add drained oysters
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  6. In a medium bowl, combine the cornmeal, sugar, salt, pepper, and flour.

    Combine cornmeal, sugar, flour
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  7. Lift an oyster out of the egg mixture and let excess drip off and roll it in the cornmeal mixture to coat.

    Lift oyster out of egg mixture and dip in flour
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  8. Then add it to the hot oil. Repeat with more oysters, frying them in batches of about 6 to 8. 

    Add oyster to hot oil
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  9. Fry the oysters for about 2 to 4 minutes, or until they are golden brown.

    Fry oysters
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  10. Use a metal slotted spoon to remove the oysters to paper towels to drain.

    Use metal slotted spoon
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  11. Repeat with subsequent batches.

    Repeat with subsequent batches
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Make the Tartar Sauce

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for tartar sauce
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  2. In a bowl, combine the mayonnaise with the dill relish, capers, lemon juice, mustard, and black pepper.

    Combine mayo with dill relish
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  3. If desired, chop a green onion finely and stir it into the mixture. Stir to blend thoroughly.

    Chop a green onion
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  4. Serve as a side to the fried oysters and enjoy!

    Serve as a side to fried oysters
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck


  • Make sure to choose a high-heat neutral vegetable oil for deep frying. Some good options: vegetable oil, peanut oil, and canola oil.
  • To serve the hot fried oysters all at once, preheat the oven to 200 F before you begin to prepare the oysters. Drain the hot fried oysters as directed and then place them in a pan and keep them warm in the oven until all of the oysters are ready.

Recipe Variations

  • Cajun Seasoned Fried Oysters: Replace 1 teaspoon of salt with 1 teaspoon of a Cajun or Creole seasoning blend.
  • Spicy Fried Oysters: Add 1 tablespoon of hot sauce—such as Frank's or Texas Pete—to the egg mixture. Add the oysters and let stand for 10 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper (more or less) to the cornmeal mixture.