Crispy oysters with pickled vegetables and oyster mayonnaise

Crispy oysters with pickled vegetables and oyster mayonnaise

British Seafood
David Loftus

My kids love this recipe. At the oyster festival in Rock last year, of the various different fish burgers we made, the crispy oyster and pickled veg burgers were by far our best seller. I was most impressed that many of our satisfied customers were kids trying oysters for the first time. You don’t have to put the crispy oysters in bread rolls, but it’s a great way to eat them.


Quantity Ingredient
12 oysters, shucked, juices retained, (see note)
50g plain flour, for coating
1 egg, beaten
75g japanese panko breadcrumbs
oil, for deep-frying
cornish sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Oyster mayonnaise

Quantity Ingredient
2 egg yolks
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 oysters, shucked, juices retained, (see note)
300ml light rapeseed oil

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
4 White bread, baked into rolls, (optional)
or 4 good-quality bought bread rolls, (optional)
Pickled vegetables, see spiced variation
lemon wedges


  1. First make the oyster mayonnaise. Put the egg yolks, lemon juice and oysters into a food processor and blend for 30 seconds. With the motor running, slowly add the oil until it’s all incorporated and you have a thick mayonnaise. Add the reserved oyster juices (including those from the other 12 shucked oysters) and season with salt to taste. Cover and refrigerate until serving.
  2. When you are ready to serve, put the flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs into separate bowls and season the flour with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a deep-fryer or other suitable deep, heavy pan to 180°C. One by one, pass the oysters through the flour, then the egg and finally the breadcrumbs to coat thoroughly, laying them out on a tray ready to cook.
  3. Split and toast the bread rolls, if using, and spread with some oyster mayonnaise. If not serving rolls, rinse and dry the oyster shells.
  4. Drain the pickled vegetables. Deep-fry the oysters in the hot oil for 1 minute until crispy, then remove and drain on kitchen paper.
  5. Pile a generous amount of pickled vegetables on the bottom half of each roll, top with 3 deep-fried oysters and sandwich together with the top halves of the rolls. Alternatively, serve the pickled veg and crispy oysters in the cleaned oyster shells, adding a blob of mayonnaise to each one. Serve with lemon wedges and extra mayonnaise on the side.

Opening oysters

  • I find an oyster knife isn’t the best implement for shucking an oyster unless you’ve one with a small blade; I prefer a sturdy butter-knife-sized knife.

    Hold the oyster flat side up in a folded tea towel (for protection), in one hand. Insert the knife into the hinge of the oyster and wiggle at the hinge, using a little force, until you hear a popping sound and it yields. Run the knife along the roof of the flat side to cut the attaching muscle and release the oyster from the top shell. Using the same knife, carefully cut away the same muscle from the bottom shell and flip the oyster over in the shell, being careful to retain all the juices. The oyster is now ready.
British Seafood
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