Crispy Fried Oysters With Cornmeal Batter

Fried oysters with cornmeal batter recipe

​The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic

  • Total: 25 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
438 Calories
12g Fat
53g Carbs
29g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 438
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 15%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 251mg 84%
Sodium 1294mg 56%
Total Carbohydrate 53g 19%
Dietary Fiber 4g 15%
Protein 29g
Calcium 75mg 6%
*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.

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Watch Now: How to Make Fried Oysters With Cornmeal Batter

Ingredients

  • 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 green onion (finely chopped)

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 oysters
    ​The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic
  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 oil in saucepan
    ​The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic
  3. Drain the oysters and pat dry with paper towels or a kitchen towel.

    Drain oysters
    ​The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic
  4. In a bowl, beat the eggs.

    Beat the eggs
    ​The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic
  5. Add drained oysters and set aside for 10 minutes.

    Add drained oysters
    ​The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic
  6. In a medium bowl, combine the cornmeal, sugar, salt, pepper, and flour.

    Combine cornmeal, sugar
    ​The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic
  7. Lift an oyster out of the egg mixture and let excess drip off and roll it in the cornmeal mixture to coat.

    Mix oysters
    ​The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic
  8. Then add it to the hot oil. Repeat with more oysters, frying them in batches of about 6 to 8. 

    Fry
    ​The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic
  9. Fry the oysters for about 2 to 4 minutes, or until they are golden brown.

    Fry oysters
    ​The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic
  10. Use a metal slotted spoon to remove the oysters to paper towels to drain.

    Remove oysters
    ​The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic
  11. Repeat with subsequent batches.

Make the Tartar Sauce

  1. Gather the ingredients.

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

    Combine
    ​The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic
  3. If desired, chop a green onion finely and stir it into the mixture. Stir to blend thoroughly.

    Blend
    ​The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic
  4. Serve as a side to the fried oysters and enjoy!

    Serve
    ​The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic

Tips

  • 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.