Oyster Po’ Boy with Zesty Rémoulade and a Side of The World’s Best Bar Snack

 

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The Carolinas meet California in a Po’ Boy that combines a favorite from each coast. Served up with our home-brewed hefeweizen. 

True, po’ boys originated in Louisiana, but the fried oyster sandwiches of my youth were served up in family-run seafood shacks on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. You had to remember to ask for unsweetened iced tea in those Southern establishments, shoes were optional – even the waitresses often went barefooted -, and a proudly displayed Department of Health rating of “C” was a guarantee that the seafood would be fresh, authentic and delicious.

A warm, soft bun slathered with tartar sauce or rémoulade, a wedge of lemon, and sides of fries and ‘slaw are traditional and tough to improve on. Some folks add lettuce, tomatoes, or pickles (or even the ‘slaw) for a little crunch, but when we chomp down on an oyster po’ boy, all we want is soft bun and even softer, deep-fried, juicy oysters. The crispy coating on the oysters is crunch enough. But how about a few slices of creamy avocado?

Oh, The World’s Best Bar Snack? That’s what Bill Briwa, Chef-Instructor at the Culinary Institute of America, calls deep-friend parsnips. These are a cinch to make, and, yeah, they just might be the World’s Best Bar Snack. Get the recipe here.

Rémoulade

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Mix the above ingredients together.
  2. Allow to sit for a few minutes so flavors come together.

Deep Fried Oysters

Ingredients

  • a dedicated deep-frying pot or a good stainless steel pot. For safety, the pot should be large enough so that the oil (see below) does not fill it more than half full.
  • cooking thermometer that attaches to the pot so you can monitor oil temperature
  • a slotted steel spoon or wire mesh (spider) for removing the oysters from the oil
  • cutting board or platter on which to rest oysters after they’ve been rolled in crackers
  • tongs
  • platter with paper towel to rest and drain fried oysters
  • a gallon-sized sealable plastic bag
  • 1 pint fresh oysters (The only way we can have fresh oysters in Bush Alaska is to freeze them. Happily, they freeze well.)
  • approximately 50 ounces cooking oil that withstands high heat Canola or peanut oil are good choices.
  • 3 eggs, well beaten in a bowl with fairly steep sides
  • 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp Cholula or similar hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tbsp chili powder mixture, preferably one with chipotle, divided into two equal portions
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • cracked pepper
  • 2 cups crushed saltine crackers (we use salted saltines)

Directions

  1. Drain oysters and set aside. You might want to gently roll them in paper towels to remove excess moisture.
  2. Add canola oil to a large pot and heat over high heat to 360° F (180° C). Keep an eye on the temperature, lowering burner heat as necessary. You can test the oil’s readiness for cooking by dropping in a pinch of crushed saltines. They should immediately sizzle.
  3. Meanwhile, add soy sauce, Cholula, and half of the powdered chili mix to the beaten eggs and whisk together.
  4. Add the flour, half the powdered chili mix, salt and pepper to the gallon-sized plastic bag, seal and shake well to mix. Pour the mixture into a shallow bowl or onto a plate.
  5. Place the crushed saltines in a shallow bowl or on a plate. A good way to crush them is to put them in a gallon-sized sealable plastic bag. Seal the bag, but leave a small opening so air can escape. Use a rolling pin to crush the crackers in the bag.
  6. Arrange items on your counter in the following order, leading toward the frying pot: oysters, flour mixture, egg mixture, crushed crackers, board/platter for resting oysters.
  7. Using tongs: Place an oyster into the flour mixture and thoroughly coat but give it a shake to let excess flour fall off. Then place the oyster in the egg mixture, thoroughly coat it, but hold it above the bowl for a moment to let excess egg drip off. Next, roll it in the crushed crackers, making sure it’s completely covered. Finally, set it on the board/platter to rest. Repeat till all oysters are ready to be fried.
  8. Hopefully you or your sous chef have been keeping an eye on the temperature of the cooking oil. 360° F is about right. Use tongs to carefully add oysters one at a time – no splattering. Keep adding oysters, but don’t overcrowd the pot. Try to keep them from touching each other – better too few oysters at a time than too many. Using tongs, gently turn the oysters to ensure that all side are evenly cooked to a golden brown. This will take 1 to 3 minutes. Don’t overcook them.
  9. Use a steel slotted spoon or a spider to remove fried oysters. Place on platter with paper towel to drain. You can keep them warm and crisp on the center rack of a warm oven, or loosely cover them with a towel.

The Po’ Boy

  1. It can be nice to toast the sandwich roll.
  2. Spread both sides with rémoulade. Arrange the fried oysters and give them a squirt of lemon juice from a lemon wedge. Top with slices of avocado. Drop the lemon wedge into your hefeweizen and dig in.

2 thoughts on “Oyster Po’ Boy with Zesty Rémoulade and a Side of The World’s Best Bar Snack

    • Hi Mary, Through Fred Meyer’s excellent Bush service. We put in an order including some fresh fruits and vegetables almost every Monday morning and usually receive our packages by Thursday. We usually order avocados, and they’ve consistently been excellent.

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