Southern Fried Shrimp and Oysters

Southern Fried Seafood is a well known style in the US, but is just gaining popularity in Japan now. Cajun cafes are starting to pop up everywhere and people can enjoying dishes like Jambalaya and Gumbo. Fried oysters are popular, but the technique of frying with cornmeal is one people are not familiar with. I absolutely love this dish, and I hope you will too.

The US Gulf Coast is known for its amazing seafood.  Deep South states – Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Texas and Florida –  all border the Gulf of Mexico and there is an amazing culture that has sprung up around seafood.  Mardi Gras, Crawfish Boils, and huge festivals are held every year and draw hundreds of thousands of visitors all anxious to try a taste of the Deep South.   I lived on the Mississippi Gulf Coast for years and picked up quite a few recipes while I was there.  And the good news is that because the world has become more connected, you can find all the ingredients in Japan and other countries to enjoy the tastes of the Deep South.

Southern Fried seafood is not only delicious in it own right, but it can be used as an ingredient in other dishes such as Oyster Po’ Boys.

Enjoy this wonderful meal with tartar sauce or hot sauce, lemon wedges, and wash it down with a soft drink or a cold beer.  French fries, potato salad, coleslaw, hush puppies, or potato chips are all great sides that complement this authentic Southern dish.

 

Southern Fried Shrimp and Oysters

This recipe works equally well for shrimp and for oysters.  Be sure to devein the shrimp with a sharp knife and soak the oysters in some salt water prior to cooking to remove the inedible bits.  You can also soak the oysters in room temperature milk for w0 minutes prior to washing to dull down the smell.

While deep fried Japanese food often uses a mix of panko and flour, Southern cooking replaces the panko with corn meal or corn flour.  I use close to a 1:1.25 ratio of flour to cornmeal for the perfect breading.  This breading is so delicious that it can be fried as a side dish called “hush puppies” all on its own.

You can find cornmeal at many grocery stores and online as well.  Check out the bottom of this page for a link to order some through Amazon.

PREP COOKING YIELD
15 mins 30 mins Makes Four 1/4 lb Servings
PREP 15 mins
COOKING 30 mins
YIELD Makes Four 1/4 lb Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 TBSP milk
  • 1 lb assorted shrimp and shucked oysters
  • Rice bran or peanut oil for frying

Instructions:

  • Peel the shrimp.
  • Soak the oyster in salt water for 5 minutes to remove any shells.  Remove from water and pat dry.
  • Preheat the oil to 340 degrees F / 170 degrees C
  • Mix the flour, cornmeal and cayenne pepper to make your breading.  Beat the egg and milk together in a separate bowl.

  • Soak the seafood in the egg mixture and then dredge through the powder being sure to completely coat each piece.

  • When the oil is preheated, add the seafood to the oil.  Cook 6-8 pieces at a time to prevent the seafood from clumping together.  Fry for 3 minutes until the seafood is golden brown.

  • After frying, put the seafood on a rack or on paper towels to drain.  Blog off any excess oil.

  • Serve while still hot.  Serve with salt, tartar sauce, lemon and/or hot sauce.

Notes:

  • I try and find the largest and freshest Shrimp and Oyster that is available.
  • Prior to cooking I like too soak the oysters in milk for 30 minutes to neutralize the odor and then wash and soak in salt water for 5 minutes to remove any stray pieces of shell.  Once it comes out of the brine, rinse at Pat the oysters dry.
  • For the shrimp, remove the shells and tails.  Use a sharp knife to devein the shrimp.  Wash and pat dry after deveining.
  • Make sure to preheat the oil and keep it at the same temperature throughout cooking.  You can use an oil thermometer to check the temperature if you don’t have an automatic fryer.  Be sure to allow a few minutes between batches for the oil to regain its temperature.
  • Use peanut oil, rice bran oil, or another unflavored cooking  oil with a high boiling point.

 

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