A unique Fried Oyster Salad salad bursting with flavor and texture. We’ve paired fresh fried oysters with tart apples and almond brittle on a cool crisp bed of lettuce, then drizzled it with a homemade buttermilk dressing. Divine!
I love fresh fried oysters in the summertime. Salty, juicy and just barely cooked, so you get a crispy crunch on the outside, yet have an almost raw oyster on the inside.
That is a thing of beauty.
One thing I’ve noticed is that even the most rigid meat-n-taters eaters, will dive into a salad when it’s topped with something fried and something sweet.
We recently visited one of our favorite pop-up restaurants here in Asheville, “Punk Wok” located at MG Road Lounge on Monday and Tuesday nights. Local hero, Chef Elliott Moss, creates a unique experimental asian-inspired menu that changes each week.
On a recent visit, one of the dishes we ordered was a salad with almond brittle in it.
ALMOND BRITTLE, guys.
So you can imagine that every last crumb was scraped out of that salad bowl, and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since.
Today I’m borrowing Chef Moss’s brittle-in-salad concept and I’m pairing it with my Fried Oyster Salad to make the most marvelous summer meal.
The textural elements of the Fried Oyster Salad works unbelievably well with the sweet nutty crunch of the almond brittle and crisp tart apples. Plus you have a candied apple appeal mingled throughout the entire salad.
I’ve topped this Fried Oyster Salad with a simple buttermilk dressing, with a very slight note of curry.
This is a winner.
Remember, oysters are fabulous when fresh, but pretty terrible when not fresh. Have your local fishmonger shuck them for you, so you can buy them by the pound in a bucket. Then prepare your oysters the same day. Do not buy them in a can or jar that has been sitting around for weeks.
Fried Oysters Salad
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time:30 minutes
Cook Time:10 minutes
For the Almond Brittle:
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup corn syrup
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 3/4 cup chopped almonds
- 1/2 tsp. almond extract
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
For the Buttermilk Dressing:
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 3 Tb. mayonnaise
- 1/4 tsp. curry powder
- 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
For the Fried Oysters:
- 1 lb. fresh shucked oysters in bucket
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- Salt and pepper
- Oil for frying
For the Salad:
- 2 romaine hearts, chopped
- 2 granny smith apples, sliced thin
- For the Almond Brittle, place the sugar, corn syrup and salt in a large microwave-safe bowl. Use the largest bowl that will fit in your microwave, because the mixture will boil and expand. Microwave on high for 4 minutes. Then stir in the almonds and microwave again for 3 minutes. Lay a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet and spray with nonstick spray. When the brittle comes out of the microwave, quickly stir in the almond extract and baking soda. Pour the hot mixture out on the baking sheet and spread thin. Allow the brittle to cool and dry for 20 minutes before breaking into pieces.
- Pour all the ingredients for the buttermilk dressing in a jar. Place the lid on tight and shake until smooth. Refrigerate the dressing until ready to serve.
- For the Fried Oysters: Pour 1 inch of oil in a large sauce pot. Place over high heat. Then pour the buttermilk, flour, and cornmeal into three pie pans for easy dipping. Season the buttermilk with 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper. Drain the oysters. Working in small batches, dip them in flour, then in buttermilk, and finally in cornmeal. Gently drop them in the hot oil and fry for 1-3 minutes. You want the exterior to be golden, but the oysters to be just slightly cooked. Remove from the oil and place on a paper towel lined plate. Sprinkle with salt and repeat with the rest of the oysters.
- For the Salad: Pile romaine lettuce on four plates. Top each pile with several fried oysters, sliced apples, and almond brittle. Drizzle with buttermilk dressing and serve immediately.
Buy the freshest shucked oysters you can find, not the pre-jarred variety.
You can substitute maple syrup for corn syrup in the brittle. It doesn’t get as crisp as regular brittle, but offers amazing flavor.
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