Fried Oysters With Tartar Sauce

Fried Oysters With Tartar Sauce

Getting fried oysters from your summer seafood shack is fun, but making them yourself yields something crispy, light and, most significantly, tender. Shuck carefully, bread delicately and fry to golden perfection, then serve with this bright, lively tartar sauce, which gets its spark from cornichons, capers and lemon juice. Eat while hot — whether you’re wearing flip flops or polished oxfords, that’s up to you.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 24 persons



  1. Step 1

    Prepare the oysters: Season flour with salt and pepper. Dredge each oyster in the flour, then dip in the beaten egg, then coat evenly in the panko.
  2. Step 2

    Set breaded oysters on a baking cooling rack, leaving a little room between the oysters so they can dry and set. Refrigerate until ready to fry and serve.
  3. Step 3

    Make the sauce: Finely mince garlic with a pinch of salt until sticky and pasty. Mince shallots, cornichons and capers as finely as possible. Add all to a small bowl. Stir in mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, caper brine and cornichon vinegar, and stir well. Add chopped parsley, stir well and season to taste with salt. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  4. Step 4

    Fry the oysters: Melt enough shortening in a deep medium skillet (we love cast iron) over medium for 1 1/2 inches of liquified fat once hot. Increase heat to medium-high. It’s ready to fry in when a few crumbs of panko or the tip of a wooden chopstick sizzles actively in the fat.
  5. Step 5

    Add the oysters cold from the refrigerator, working in batches of 6 to 8 or as you have room. Fry, making sure to turn them to get both sides, until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes, depending on size. Remove with a slotted spoon or spider, and let rest on a clean rack while you fry the rest. Season each batch with a little salt while still piping hot, as soon as you pull them from the fat. Serve with tartar sauce.