Monday, March 26, 2012

Nice.. but at that price?

I started this blog in March 2010, which means we're currently in the third Bluff oyster season since the Edmonds Challenge began. During each of these I've thought to myself, week after week, "I must get some oysters before the season is over". But somehow I'd forget, or they didn't fit in the grocery budget, and before I knew it, the season would be over.

Now, I could have got different oysters, and did so for the one oyster recipe I have so far completed. But for fried oysters (p114), I really had to get the real deal: Bluff oysters, often touted as the best in the world. I have no idea whether that's true or not, but they're certainly in high demand.

So much so, in fact, that you're supposed to pay for them before the supermarket seafood counter will actually hand them over. Apparently there's been a bit of trouble with thieving. I must have an honest face, however, because they let me have mine straight off.

The recipe is for oysters coated in breadcrumbs and shallow-fried, though there's also a suggestion that battering and deep-frying would work (for those of us who are not hard-core raw oyster eaters). I drained the liquid from the oysters, and prepared three bowls - one of seasoned flour, one with a beaten egg, and a third with soft breadcrumbs.

While the oil was heating, I dipped the oysters in each of these bowls in turn, and as soon as the oil was hot enough, I dropped them in the pan, half a dozen at once. I'd estimate that it took about 30 seconds on each side for the crumb to go golden-brown, at which point I scooped them out and paced them on some kitchen towel to drain.

One dozen oysters didn't seem like much when they were packed into that little pottle. Once they were fried and piled on my plate, it suddenly seemed like an awful lot. They weren't likely to bear reheating, though, so I had no choice but to eat my way through them all.

I'm no oyster fan, but I have to say I enjoyed these, biting through the crunchy shell to the smooth, creamy oyster beneath (except for that rubbery bit. Are you supposed to cut that off? I wouldn't know). For those of you horrified at the sacrilege of frying oysters, the frying seemed to have served mostly to cook the outer crumb, and to warm the oysters through, without actually cooking them.

By the time I'd eaten about eight or so, the appeal had worn off. I've heard of people scoffing dozens of oysters at a sitting, but I think I'd have enjoyed my dozen oysters more if I'd split them into two meals. I'd say I'll do this next time, but I don't see myself frying oysters again in a hurry. They're really nice - it's just I'm not so enamoured of them that I'll be prepared to pay another $26 to get more.

Any of my readers who are prepared to pay that sort of price for a dozen oysters almost certainly already have their preferred way of eating them, so I don't expect too many people will be rushing to try this recipe as a result of my blog entry. On the other hand, if you happen to have acquired some oysters (Bluff or otherwise) and don't know what to do with them, I can recommend this as a very quick, easy and tasty option.

1 comment:

  1. I'm like you - not a big oyster person. $26 sounds pretty expensive for a pottle of oysters (Bluff or not) to me, but then I'd have no idea what a good price for oysters is. I had some in Japan and they were exactly how you described them: nice enough, but no need to go out of my way to try them again. I don't think I'd want to eat them any way other than fried... and even then, a fried prawn or piece of fish would be much nicer in my opinion... and cheaper!

    Yours look nicely fried though. They LOOK appetizing!


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