PANKO-FRIED WHOLE OYSTERS, CLAMS OR STEAMERS
By Tom Schlichter
Summertime simply begs for the crispy taste of fried shellfish. Whether you gather your own or pick up a few dozen oysters, steamer clams or hard clams at the local fish market, the sweet, delicate taste of these juicy bivalves is a treat to be savored.
This recipe calls for using the entire oyster or clam freshly shucked from its shell. Pile several together on a small French sandwich roll and add a little tartar sauce, hot sauce and greenery to enjoy the best po’boy you’ve ever sampled.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes (plus shucking)
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Yield: Serves 4
- 2 dozen oysters, hard clam or steamer clam bodies, freshly shucked (for hard clams use little necks or cherrystones, for steamers, small- to medium-size are best)
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- ½ tsp Old Bay seasoning (optional)
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 2 Tbsp water
- 1 cup Panko-style breadcrumbs
- 1-1/2 tsp chopped fresh dill
- 1 lemon, quartered
- Enough vegetable oil for frying
- In a shallow bowl, stir together flour, salt, pepper and Old Bay seasoning (if included).
- In another shallow bowl combine breadcrumbs and dill.
- Drain oyster or clam bodies and gently pat dry with a paper towel or two.
- Roll shellfish in seasoned flour.
- Dip flour-coated shellfish in a mixture of beaten eggs and water.
- Roll shellfish in the breadcrumb mixture.
- Fry batches of six shellfish each at 375° until golden brown, allowing 1-1/2 minutes for oysters or 2 minutes for clams.
- Remove shellfish from pan or pot and set aside on drying rack atop several paper towels.
- Allow two or three minutes to cool and serve with lemon quarters and tartar or cocktail sauce.
Note: Unlike baking, cooking is not an exact science. Readers are encouraged to adjust and modify these recipes to their own tastes.
By Tom Schlichter
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