Cooks in: 15 minutes
12 rock oysters
130g panko breadcrumbs
15g plain flour
750ml grapeseed oil
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsp lemon juice
At the fishmonger or fish counter ask for 12 rock oysters – our favourite for this recipe is a Maldon oyster; balanced flavour and not too briny! Ask your fishmonger to pop open the oysters and leave them on the half shell, but also have a go at opening them yourself if you’re feeling confident.
Once back in the kitchen, onto making the basil mayo. For this start with picking the basil andgetting a pan of salted water on the boil. Blanch the basil for 30 seconds then into iced water torefresh it and lock in the vibrant green colour. Squeeze the water out of the basil between acloth then add it to a blender with the 250ml of the oil and blitz at high speed for 2 minutes. Pass through a fine sieve and refrigerate. In a bowl add 2 of the egg yolks and the dijon mustard then slowly trickle in the basil oil whisking continuously till thick and glossy. Season with salt and the lemon juice.
To the oysters. In 3 separate bowls add the flour, egg and in the last mix together the panko and polenta. The polenta will add a great crunch and subtle flavour. Put the oysters in the flour and lightly dust them. Then into the egg and drain. Finally into the crumb mix. Once they’re all breaded, heat the remaining oil in a heavy based pan to 180 degrees. Fry the oysters till golden brown and drain on a tea towel and season lightly with sea salt.
Put them back into their shells and top with a teaspoon of the basil mayo. These are an impressive canape for any party and are a fantastic route into the world of oysters for the uninitiated. They also make for a great appearance in a crusty roll with beer!