Is there really such a thing as the perfect gluten-free pan-fried oyster? My husband grew up part of his life on the shores of New Jersey, and the other part on the shores of the Puget Sound, where fresh oysters abound! One of his favorite meals is pan-fried oysters. They are one of the first items on a menu he will order because unfortunately, he married a woman who is gluten-free, so frying up oysters dipped in flour has never been a part of my cooking routine. Well, this afternoon he brought home a jar of baby oysters and said, “It’s time you create a perfect gluten-free pan-fried oyster and I’ll be your tester.” I looked up a number of recipes on how traditional pan-fried oysters are cooked, then went to work on my version. Most recipes stayed fairly light on the batter so it didn’t over-power the oysters. I first tried a mixture of rice, potato, and tapioca flours, but they gummed up a bit too much during the cooking process. The best blend that fried up well and passed the taste test with my hubby was an even mixture of ultra-fine ground almond meal and tapioca starch. If it has been a while since you have enjoyed a good pan-fried oyster, give this a try, and let me know what you think. My husband called it the perfect gluten-free pan-fried oyster!
Bob’s Redmill makes a good ultra-fine ground almond meal:
Drain the oysters in a strainer. They are extremely slippery, so don’t try to remove the water without a strainer beneath or you may lose a few down the sink!
Frying in butter and olive oil enhances the flavor but keeps the butter from burning.
Gluten-free Pan-Fried Oysters Ingredients:
12-18 small raw oysters
1/3 cup ultra-fine ground almond meal
1/3 cup tapioca starch
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
Place oysters in a bowl of cold water and gently move around to remove any sand or bits of shell. Place in a strainer to remove water. Place oysters on a paper towel and place another paper towel on top. Dab gently to remove excess water.
In a separate bowl, combine almond meal, tapioca starch, salt and pepper. Blend thoroughly. Place oysters in gluten-free flour mixture and gently cover each oyster completely.
Place olive oil and butter in a saute pan over medium high heat. Place battered oysters in pan and cook approximately three minutes per side or until golden brown. Remove from heat and place oysters on a paper towel to remove excess oils. Plate the oysters and serve warm.