Finally, here’s the recipe for Fried Richmond Oysters. Like all good traditional southern recipes, this has more suggestions than strict measurements. Telling y’all what to do would just be rude.
Shelled oysters, in their juice.
Small container of buttermilk.
Oil for frying, one that’s good for high heat. Think peanut, not olive.
High quality fine ground cornmeal, flour, black pepper, salt, cayenne pepper, and Old Bay
Brown grocery paper bag for draining
You may want to:
Drain oysters, then place in a bowl and cover with buttermilk.
Mix your Sassy Sauce- ½ cup Duke’s mayonnaise, about 1 teaspoon sriracha, 1 ½ fresh lemon juice, dash of Old Bay. Taste and adjust the lemon and sriracha amounts for your preferred level of acid and heat. Chill while making the oysters.
Mix the breading together, use about 1 cup of cornmeal, ¼ cup of flour, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper, ¼ teaspoon cayenne or chipotle pepper and ½ teaspoon of Old Bay. Mix well and place on a large plate.
Remove oysters from buttermilk with one hand, and dredge into breading with the other until the oyster is fully coated. Place on a cookie sheet and repeat until you have enough to fry two batches.
Meanwhile, add three inches of oil to a heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat, until oil is 375. Use an instant-read thermometer to test the oil, or drop a bit of flour in it. If the flour sizzles, it’s ready. (I personally use a deep fryer, which I would highly recommend.)
Quickly and carefully add the first batch to the oil (don’t crowd) and cook for 1-2 minutes. Cooking time will depend on the size and amount of oysters going in the pot, but shoot for 90 seconds. When in doubt, under-cook. The whole trick to this recipe is to use fresh oysters, and cook them quickly. You cook them for more than two minutes and I will track you down, and we will have a conversation, bless your heart.
Drain the first batch on a brown paper bag, and start the next batch when the oil reheats to 375.
Serve when the second batch is done, top with a squeeze of fresh lemon and serve. Extra tasty with Sassy Sauce.