Fried Oysters with Cucumber Raita | Wine Enthusiast
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Fried oysters

Fried Oysters with Cucumber Raita

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.

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.”

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