Fried Oyster Tacos

FRIED OYSTER TACO WITH AVOCADO CREMA AND GREEN APPLE SALSA
PHOTOS BY MICHAEL PIAZZA / STYLED BY CATRINE KELTY

SERVES 4
When I started experimenting with oysters again after years of perceived distaste, it was fried oysters that knocked some sense back into me. And because of their size and shape, oysters have to be one of the easier things to fry at home. Cradled in corn tortillas with a simple avocado crema and the crisp, acidic bite of a green apple salsa, they make a fun appetizer that comes together in under an hour.

For the salsa:
½ red onion, finely diced
¾ green apple, finely diced
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Pinch of sugar
Salt to taste

For the crema:
2 avocados
Juice of 1 lime
½ cup water
Salt to taste

For the oysters:
4 cups canola oil
½ cup flour
1 cup panko
2 eggs, beaten
1 dozen oysters, shucked, removed from shells
and patted dry
Salt to taste
4 (8-inch) corn tortillas (blue corn if possible)
1 lime, quartered, for garnish

Preheat oven to 250°. In a small bowl, combine the onion, apple, vinegar, sugar and salt. Mix well and set aside.

In a blender, combine the avocados, lime juice, water and salt, and purée until smooth. Set aside.

Place 4 corn tortillas in the oven on a rimmed baking sheet to warm. In a small-to-medium pot, heat the canola oil over medium-high heat. The oil should come about a quarter of the way up the side of the pot. While the oil is heating, set up a dredging station for the oysters.

Put the flour and panko each on its own plate, then crack the eggs into a small bowl and beat well. Dredge each oyster in the flour, then cover fully in egg, then dredge thoroughly in panko, and repeat until all oysters are coated.

The oil is ready for frying when a pinch of breadcrumbs thrown in begins to sizzle. Turn the oil to medium heat and carefully drop half of the oysters in, frying until golden brown, about 2–3 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels, sprinkle with salt and repeat with the rest of the oysters.

To assemble the tacos, spoon a generous dollop of the avocado crèma onto each tortilla and spread in a straight line down the middle. Place 3 oysters on top, then top with a spoonful of the salsa and a squeeze of lime.

LUKE PYENSON is a food and travel writer, recipe developer, food stylist and photographer based in New York City. You can see examples of his work at www.lukepyenson.com.