Fried Oysters With Saffron Aioli

January 29, 2010
1 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland. Prop Stylist: Brooke Deonarine. Food Stylist: Samantha Seneviratne.
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 10 minutes
  • Serves 12 oysters
Author Notes

Fried oysters are a real treat. Until recently I thought of them as a food only to bought "out". I discovered the lure of the oyster fried at home and haven't looked back. I have tried both pre-shucked oysters (better than no oyster) and ones shucked to order (by me) for frying. There is no doubt that the home-shucked oyster yields a better result. However, if all you have is oysters by the pint, it's better than going without. I use a 50/50 blend of olive oil and canola to fry these babies. —Savorykitchen

Test Kitchen Notes

This recipe is featured in the A Taste of The Bay cocktail kit shared by us at Food52 in partnership with Chandon.

There are few foods more sumptuous than a well-fried oyster. Add a dab of homemade lemon and saffron-infused mayonnaise, a cold beer and some sunshine, and you've got yourself a party. Savorykitchen's oysters are delicately coated in a fine mix of Wondra and spices, ensuring that the oyster doesn't turn leathery waiting on a thick batter to cook through. The fragrant aioli perks up the flavor so that you get succulence, crunch and creamy tang all in one bite. -A&M —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • For the Saffron Aioli:
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 1 tablespoon boiling water
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Fried Oysters
  • 12 oysters, shucked
  • 1 1/2 cups Wondra flour
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • Oil, for deep-frying
  1. For the Saffron Aioli:
  2. In a medium bowl, steep the saffron in the water for 1 minute. Put the oils in a measuring cup or small pitcher. Add the egg yolk to the bowl and beat with a whisk or electric mixer (handheld mixer). With the mixer running, or while whisking madly, drizzle the oil in slowly until the mixture starts to thicken. Once it's begins to thicken, you can increase the speed at which you add the oil. When all the oil has been added, add lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste.
  1. Fried Oysters
  2. Heat 2 inches of oil in a deep saucepan, wok, or deep skillet to 325°F.
  3. While the oil is heating, combine the flour, cayenne, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Toss the oysters in the flour mixture.
  4. When the oil reaches 325°F, fry half the oysters until golden—about 4 minutes. Remove from oil and place on a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Let the oil return to 325°F and fry the remainder of the oysters.
  5. Sprinkle oysters with salt and a few grinds of pepper. Serve with saffron aioli.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • vwclark
  • lastnightsdinner
  • melissav
  • Jennifer Perillo
    Jennifer Perillo
  • Savorykitchen

14 Reviews

beejay45 December 13, 2015
I've just been thinking about fried oysters, so seeing this recipe was truly serendipitous. My parents loved oysters, but I thought they were disgusting. Now, though, they are on my mind. ;) Tastes changing with age, do you think?

I like your thin coating -- makes it much easier and faster to do. Thanks for the recipe!
Pamela's K. April 24, 2011
Oh wow! I love fried oysters at restaurants, but your saffron aioli has inspired me to try to make them myself at home!
vwclark February 8, 2010
Every time we are at our house in Canada we "fry" oysters in a deep grill pan on the bbq. I like rice flour and a bit of truffle salt to coat the oyster and a little butter and canola oil in the fry pan to sear. Lemon and aioli as a condiment, but the oysters most often speak for themselves!
Savorykitchen February 8, 2010
I love letting oysters speak for themselves (what a nice way to put it!), I have to confess that my most frequently consumed oyster preparation is on the half shell. They downright shout in that setting!
lastnightsdinner February 7, 2010
Mary, these were fabulous. Our oysters were on the small side so I kind of wish we had gotten two dozen, but the spicy coating was light and flavorful, and that aioli is just amazing - silky and so gorgeous! We've got a bunch of it left, and I can't wait to repurpose the leftovers. :D
Savorykitchen February 7, 2010
Glad you liked them! The aioli is nice on sandwiches (not that you would have thought of that of course), as the mayo in deviled eggs or egg salad and pretty snappy dolloped onto some roasted vegetables.
melissav February 5, 2010
I'm definitely going to have to give deep frying at home a try so I can enjoy these. The aioli sounds great.
Savorykitchen February 5, 2010
After you fry and your oil cools down, you can strain it and save it for future frying. I can usually get about 3-4 fryings out a batch of oil (replenishing it as needed). I only use the "oyster oil" for seafood - if you fried cannoli shells in it, you'd notice a taste of the seashore!
boardoe February 4, 2010
Recipe sounds great and I don't want to be too picky here, but unless you accidentally left the garlic out of the aioli recipe it is only saffron mayonnaise. Although one can make variations to just about anything, it still has to have garlic to be called aioli.
Savorykitchen February 4, 2010
Very true. Just like "pesto" has left its basil-based roots in the past, I confess to leaving the garlic out of my aioli and following the menu-writers conceit of gussifying the dish's name. Yeah, it's mayo, so I'll take the knock for it being a very, VERY non-traditional aioli. :-)

There was a head of garlic on the counter while I made the sauce ... doesn't count, I know.
Jennifer P. February 4, 2010
I have a major weakness for fried oysters. Good luck—this looks wonderful.
Savorykitchen February 4, 2010
Thanks Jennifer. Let's spread the message: don't fear frying!

lastnightsdinner January 29, 2010
Awwww, yeah! I love fried oysters, and I love your saffron aioli
Savorykitchen January 30, 2010
Thanks! I think people fear deep frying a bit too much. Once you get past that, things get really exciting don't they?