Fried Oysters with Cucumber Raita

Fried oysters get a tangy twist with this zesty cucumber raita sauce in a dish that pairs perfectly with a refreshing Vinho Verde.
Photo by Penny de los Santos

Courtesy Phil Lewis, executive chef, The Hourly Oyster House, Cambridge, MA

Everyone loves fried oysters. This raita is a refreshing alternative to the more traditional aïoli or tartar sauce, and it reiterates the oysters’ affinity with cucumber.

How to Shuck and Cook Oysters
Ingredients for Fried Oysters
  • 12 oysters
  • Cucumber raita (recipe below)
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 1½ cups cornmeal
  • Vegetable oil, for deep frying
  • Lemon zest, for garnish
  • Minced chives, for garnish
Directions for Fried Oysters

Shuck oysters, pat dry and place in bowl. Clean empty shells with deepest cups, and put some raita in each. Cover and refrigerate.

Place flour, eggs and cornmeal in separate shallow pans. With fork, coat each oyster lightly in flour, then egg, followed by cornmeal. Let rest on wire rack.

In heavy, deep pan over medium-high heat, warm 2 inches oil between 350–375˚F. Working in batches, fry oysters until golden-brown and floating, about 60 seconds.

Drain on paper towels. Serve oysters atop raita-filled shells. Garnish with lemon zest and chives. Makes 12 oysters.

Ingredients for Cucumber Raita
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • ½ peeled and fine-diced English cucumber
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ clove minced garlic
  • 4 julienned mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Directions for Cucumber Raita

Combine Greek yogurt, English cucumber, black pepper, coriander and cumin, minced garlic, mint leaves and lemon juice.

Pair It

“I would go with a refreshing Vinho Verde,” says Lewis. “The tartness helps cleanse the palate after the fried oyster, and still complements the spice and freshness of the raita.”

Published on September 19, 2018
About the Author
Nils Bernstein
Contributing Editor, Food

A fan of sweet wines, sour beers, and old-school Rioja, Bernstein is an exhaustive traveler in search of new and unsung chefs and restaurants, innovative wine and food pairings, and eating and drinking at the source. In addition to Wine Enthusiast, Bernstein has written for Bon Appetit, Men’s Journal, New York Times, Men’s Fitness, Hemispheres, and Kinfolk, among others.

Email: nbernstein@wineenthusiast.net



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