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