Simple Ingredients Will Upgrade Fried Oysters In A Pinch

fried oysters with dipping sauce
fried oysters with dipping sauce - Annapolisstudios/Getty Images

If you're not a fan of oysters in their slippery, raw form, you may enjoy them fried as a snack or in a po boy sandwich. While the raw versions have more of a seafood-esque taste, that element gets toned down once they're fried, and the oysters' flavor takes a buttery turn with a crunchy bite. The classic version of this fried seafood dish involves dipping the oysters in buttermilk and coating them in a mixture of seasoned cornmeal and flour, but with a few other simple ingredients you can give it a tasty upgrade. These tips will also work if you don't have the standard ingredients on hand and need to make substitutions.

Try replacing the cornmeal with bread crumbs, either regular or panko. Breadcrumbs will give you a lighter (but still crispy) version, while cornmeal will give you a heavier coating and a golden-brown color. To switch things up even more, use your favorite crushed crackers like Clubs or saltines. On the flip side, you could eliminate the crunchy element altogether and stick with flour only. If you want to give your oysters the tempura treatment, try frying them in a batter of flour, baking soda, an egg, cold water, and cold soda water.

Read more: The 20 Best Seafood Tips And Tricks From Richard Blais - Exclusive

More Ways To Customize Fried Oysters

fried oysters with sauce
fried oysters with sauce - sasazawa/Shutterstock

Upgrading your fried oyster recipe goes beyond the type of breading you're working with. Feel free to add seasonings to the flour, breadcrumbs, or whatever else you're using. Classic recipes include garlic and onion powder, salt, pepper, and paprika, but you can replace any of these, or add to them, with Creole, Cajun, Old Bay, and Italian seasonings. For spicier, tangier bites go with cayenne pepper, chili powder, celery salt, or lemon pepper. For a tempura-battered version, you may want to keep it simple with just a little salt and pepper, but if you like some heat, try adding hot sauce to your buttermilk before you dip your seafood in it.

It's also important to make sure you have the right oil for frying oysters. You'll need something with a high smoke point since you'll be cranking up the temperature to at least 375 degrees Fahrenheit, so go with either peanut, vegetable, or canola oil. And if you're eating these as a snack, don't forget a dipping sauce; tartar sauce, chipotle aioli, and cocktail sauce are all delicious options, although you can simply use ketchup, barbecue sauce, or even just a dash of your favorite hot sauce.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.