Crispy Beer Battered Oysters: Delightfully Light, Incredibly Easy

9 Apr

I am not lying when I say you can make these crispy beer battered oysters with just five ingredient in a jiffy. That is, in a jiffy if you either can shuck oysters yourself, or buy them shucked.

If neither of the above is true – as was the case when my friend Ashley brought us two dozen Maryland oysters from her Easter trip back home — Don’t worry! You can either steam, grill or microwave  them open, or, if you’re daring, grab anything that looks like an oyster knife, do a quick Internet search on shucking, and give it a go. (Shucking instructions and recipe below!)

Protect the hands in a towel while hunting for the hinge

Protect the hands in a towel while hunting for the hinge

Me and the dad gave it a go (because we couldn’t help ourselves in the face of the challenge), banishing the moms from the kitchen so she couldn’t see the mess we were making or how we were taking our lives in our hands for the sake of an oozy, slimy, bivalve with no pearl. Lo and behold, a few scary, sweaty minutes later, we had a pile of plump glistening oysters waiting to be fried and a couple of beers waiting to wash them down with.

Shucked this one myself...the first of the batch.

Shucked this one myself…the first of the batch.

But first, the beer had to go into the batter. We used Hoptical Illusion, a local IPA from Blue Point Brewing Company. I am not normally a beer drinker, but I do like a hoppy IPA on occasion. And this was an occasion. We were very pleased with our Bear Grylls selves.

These Maryland oysters were quite creamy and not super-salty

These Maryland oysters were quite creamy and not super-salty

The dad abandoned his crazy-ass diet like a bad habit (which it is) once we had these crispy, golden, puffy, oyster babies drying off on some paper towel. The moms came in to try one “for professional reasons” claiming she doesn’t like oysters and ended up eating several, while Leandro proclaimed them better than the ones he had in a Brooklyn restaurant a while back. And while they were busy yapping about it (all of us tend to narrate our every move), I was busy eating as many as I could.

Thanks to Ashley for being a true friend and bringing those oysters back for us! Next time she will be right there with us knocking them back.

I’d love to know what you all do with oysters. Please comment on your favorites. And check out my review of one of my favorite books – The Big Oyster by Mark Kurlansky (The History of New York on the Half Shell) on Seasoned Fork.

A pile of crispy-fried goodness

A pile of crispy-fried goodness

Crispy Beer Battered Oysters

To shuck:

Place the oyster, rounded side down, on a towel.

Fold the towel over and use your non–knife hand to keep the oyster stable, using the towel to protect you from nasty incident.

With your oyster knife (or other pointy implement that is thin enough to slide between the shell and strong enough to withstand some twisting, and small enough to give you some leverage), feel around the narrow end for the slot between the shells. Once your knife tip is in, feel around and twist to pop the hinge. (My implement sucked and I ended up breaking off the point in the oyster. Twice. No harm done, fortunately)

Before you open it entirely, slide the knife along the top flat shell to cut the muscle.

Open the shell (keeping the juices in the bottom round part), cut themuscle under the oyster and you are ready for action!

Beer Batter

3/4 Cup flour

a bottle of beer

1/4 tsp salt

Vegetable oil for frying

Heat oil until rippling. You want enough oil to come up about 1/2″- 3/4″ up the pot (we used a small saucepan and fried about four at a time).

Whisk enough beer into the flour to wet thoroughly. Then add enough, still whisking, to make a loose batter. Whisk in the salt. Drop a few oysters at a time in the batter, cover thoroughly, then drop in the oil, lowering heat if they crisp too quickly. Remove and drain on paper towel after about 30 seconds. Sprinkle with lemon (or not) and eat! We dipped in cocktail sauce and aioli for kicks, but really, a bit of lemon was enough.

Drink the rest of the beer!

All gone!

All gone!


20 Responses to “Crispy Beer Battered Oysters: Delightfully Light, Incredibly Easy”

  1. Jim August 31, 2014 at 11:53 pm #

    I’m am sure there are those that like this receipe. I found it to blaw & sour. Maybe the beer used?

    • Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy August 31, 2014 at 11:59 pm #

      Maybe it was the beer. We used an IPA, if I remember correctly. Also, in summer (months with no R) oysters tend to be a little more bland as they are spawning at this time. Perhaps a bit more salt and try again in September or October with a wheat beer?

  2. lulu February 8, 2014 at 10:02 am #

    My mouth is watering just thinking about fried oysters. BTW, you can do shrimp this way, too.

  3. Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy February 7, 2014 at 6:01 am #

    Reblogged this on Hot, Cheap & Easy and commented:

    Note to Readers: Loads of folks are looking for this recipe right now. It’s easy and casual and includes instructions for shucking!

  4. Ashley April 12, 2013 at 8:32 pm #

    Can’t wait to try them next time!

  5. Tammy April 12, 2013 at 10:42 am #

    They look so good! I love oysters any way they are prepared.

  6. Karen April 11, 2013 at 3:40 pm #

    My husband loves oysters and bought a commercial oyster opener years ago when we lived in Key Largo. He would love your fried oysters.

  7. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide April 9, 2013 at 9:24 pm #

    Those look amazing!

  8. Mad Dog April 9, 2013 at 9:09 pm #

    I bet they were all gone very quickly. I love oysters, but they cost a fortune in England. There was an oyster disease 100 or so years ago in Europe – the French restocked them and the English didn’t. So these days, even though they have been restocked now, they are considered luxury food – damn! I’d love a battered oyster or po’ boy sandwich right now 😉

    • Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy April 9, 2013 at 9:44 pm #

      we’ve got loads of aquaculture programs going now reviving the industry…now some New York legislators are talking about using oyster beds as storm tide mitigation!

  9. Conor Bofin April 9, 2013 at 5:25 pm #

    They look very tasty indeed Natalia. Here in Ireland, we like to celebrate oysters at various festivals and wash them down with Guinness. A nice way to go….

    • Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy April 9, 2013 at 9:08 pm #

      Hmmm. I was a Guinness drinker for a long time…it seems a bit too powerful for the oysters….But if you say so I will give it a try one day,

  10. daisy | April 9, 2013 at 10:50 am #

    I love oysters and eat them raw most of the time. Your crispy fried oysters look so good, I might have to break from my tradition and try them.


    • Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy April 9, 2013 at 1:19 pm #

      I am also a fan of raw oysters (especially the really briny ones), but since I had to get my family involved, I tried this and it was truly great! Thanks so much for the visit.

  11. andalucianchien April 9, 2013 at 10:38 am #

    great recipe, will try that one out. A Hot Cheap and Easy feature on batters in general would be good. Some recepies ask for whisked egg white, some fizzy water, some beer, some all of above. What is Hot Cheap and Easy’s take on this?

    • Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy April 9, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

      You could substitute fizzy water in this one, but we wanted the foamier fizz and body of beer….Thanks for the visit…when can I come visit you for real?

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