Crispy Fried Oysters With Cornmeal Batter

fried oysters with cornmeal
Diana Rattray
  • Total: 25 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings
Ratings (94)

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.


What You'll Need

  • 1 quart oysters (about 2 cups drained oysters)
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 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

How to Make It

  1. 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.
  2. Drain the oysters and pat dry with paper towels or a kitchen towel.
  3. In a bowl, beat eggs; add drained oysters and set aside for 10 minutes.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine the cornmeal, sugar, salt, pepper, and flour.
  5. Lift an oyster out of the egg mixture and let excess drip off; roll it in the cornmeal mixture to coat and then add it to the hot oil. Repeat with more oysters, frying them in batches of about 6 to 8. 
  1. Fry the oysters for about 2 to 4 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Use a metal slotted spoon to remove the oysters to paper towels to drain. Repeat with subsequent batches.

Make the Tartar Sauce

  1. In a bowl, combine the mayonnaise with the dill relish, capers, lemon juice, mustard, and black pepper.
  2. If desired, chop a green onion finely and stir it into the mixture. Stir to blend thoroughly.


  • 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.
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
438 Calories
12g Fat
53g Carbs
29g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)