Pan fried oysters are a delightful appetizer to enjoy with a variety of beer styles.
Making some at home doesn’t require much effort, just a bit of organization.
What Ingredients Do You Need
- cooking oil
- beer (sub with soda water or milk)
- bread crumbs
As flavoring agents – salt and pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne (optional).
Can You use already shucked oysters?
Absolutely. In fact pan frying oysters is a great way to eat store bought shucked oysters. If you live in a landlocked state like us frozen shucked oysters are much easier to find than live oysters in the shell.
Of course, fresh is best and if you live by the water and getting fresh oysters is not an issue – we raise a glass to your fortunate circumstances.
Organize Your Workflow
You need to serve the pan fried oysters right away which is why it is helpful to prepare a few things in advance.
Have a serving platter ready with several lemon wedges, dips, sauces, coleslaw (if serving). Perhaps a few side plates.
Also prepare a paper towel lined plate to drain the fried oysters for a minute before you transfer them to the serving platter.
How to Pan Fry Oysters
If using shucked oysters it is a good idea to quickly rinse and drain them. If using fresh oysters you just shucked, disregard.
Next you need to bread or batter them and then fry them.
As much as we love beer batters, when it comes to pan frying oysters we prefer to bread them. Chris usually makes us extra crispy Panko fried oysters and the contrast between the crunchy outside and the soft inside is just perfect.
- To start prepare an egg wash by whisking together eggs, flavorful beer (our favorite way, but you can substitute with milk), salt and pepper, garlic and onion powder and cayenne pepper (optional).
- Mix flour and Panko bread crumbs (in the South they use cornmeal).
- Heat oil in pan (about 1/2 inch deep).
- Dip oysters in egg wash, coat in breading mixture and slide into the hot oil.
- Fry for about a minute per side (turn them over carefully using a spoon) then drain over paper towel lined plate.
At what temperature do you fry oysters?
When pan frying oysters maintain a cooking oil temperature of 370-375 F.
Frying time depends on the size of the oysters and how many you have in the pan at the same time.
Work in small batches to avoid lowering the oil temperature.
Up to five-six at a time if your oysters are smaller or two at a time if they are bigger like the ones you see in the pictures.
Smaller oysters will cook much faster so watch out for that golden brown color to appear and remove from the pan using a slotted spoon.
What Sauces, Dips and Sides go well with fried oysters?
The quintessential way to present fried oysters is with remoulade. There are many delicious variations (spicy, smokey, more acidic), but this time around Chris made a classic remoulade – mayo, vinegar, mustard, shallots, capers, chopped pickles, fresh chives.
You can also make a quick lemon garlic aioli or serve with any kind of spicy dipping sauce. Lemon or lime wedges are a must and we like to include fresh garnishes like green onions and add crunch by way of a quick mayo-less coleslaw.
If you want to turn your fried oysters into more of a meal than an appetizer you can always assemble a po boy sandwich or eat them with a salad (Caesar is our favorite choice).
Tips on Fried Oysters
How to make battered oysters?
If you would rather batter your oysters than bread them all you need to do is prepare a batter, carefully pat dry the oysters, coat each oyster in batter and then fry.
TIP: Make sure the oil in your frying pan is a tad deeper, about 1 inch. Same temperature of 370-375 F. For a quick batter right before frying mix 1 cup of flour, 1 tbsp corn starch, 1 tsp salt 1/2 tsp pepper and 12 oz of cold beer (or soda water). Mix and immediately coat oysters and fry until golden brown.
How to make firmer oysters?
Sometimes people have issues with the softer texture of the oysters underneath the crunchy casing or sometimes the oysters are simply too large to firm up entirely during pan frying.
TIP: If you’d like a bit firmer oysters simply blanch them before starting the breading process.
To do that bring water to boil (no need to salt it for obvious reasons) and blanch the oysters for about 2 minutes. Remove, let cool off a bit and follow the recipe.
Pan Fried Oysters
- 1-1 1/2 pint shucked oysters
- cooking oil as needed, must be about 1/2 inch deep in pan
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup beer (citrusy IPAs or malt forward lagers and ales work equally well) (sub with milk for non-alcoholic option)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp each pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne (optional)
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1 lemon, sliced in wedges for garnish
- Heat the oil to 370-375 F.
- In the meantime beat eggs, beer, salt, pepper, garlic, onion powders and cayenne if using.
- Mix the flour and Panko bread crumbs in another bowl.
- Dip the oysters in the egg wash mixture and thoroughly roll them in the breading. Arrange them onto a pan sheet.
- Fry for about 1-2 minutes per side depending on the oysters size until they turn golden brown. Do not overcrowd the pan.
- Briefly drain on paper towels and serve while still hot. Garnish with lemon wedges.
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With Chris being from Florida every time we visit we love sitting by the water in a casual setting, sipping on cold session beers and munching on fried oysters, crab etc. It is about as idyllic as sitting under the shade of a walnut tree in a Bavarian beer garden. So Pan Fried Oysters are joining the other tasty members of our Beer Garden Menu.