Butter-Fried Oysters

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There are definitely easier and faster ways to fry oysters, but we think that if you’ve bothered to make them at home, you may as well do it the best way. Definitely a little bit of a project, there’s no lying about that. Bread crumbs need to be made from a day-old French loaf. These are easy to make if a food processor or blender is at hand – simply remove crusts & pulse the cubes until you have fluffy crumbs. Clarified butter is also called for in this recipe. This can be made in advance, can be kept in the refrigerator, and makes a real difference.


  • 1 pound butter (unsalted)
  • 1 large, day-old French loaf (other hearth-style white loaf will also work)
  • 1 cup flour (all-purpose)
  • Salt
  • pepper
  • 24 shucked oysters (drained)
  • 3 eggs (beaten lightly)
  • Red-pepper mayonnaise, optional
  • Lemon wedges, optional
  • Watercress or arugula, optional


  1. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt your butter – then raise the heat slightly and cook at a bare simmer for roughly 10 minutes. Allow to slightly cool before pouring through a fine-meshed strainer. (Any solids, foam or milky juices that remain can be saved to add to vegetables or rice). Place the clarified butter in a covered jar, and it will keep refrigerated for several weeks.
  2. Bread crumbs: Remove crusts from your French loaf (or other hearth-style loaf). Tear bread into chunks, pulse in blender or food processor, and you should have roughly 4 cups of crumbs. In the refrigerator, loosely covered, the crumbs will keep for several days – can be kept even longer tightly wrapped in the freezer.
  3. Generously season your flour with salt & pepper. Dip oysters into flour, then into the beaten eggs. Onto a baking sheet, spread an even layer of bread crumbs. Place oysters onto the sheet before sprinkling more crumbs over the top. Ensure the oysters are well coated by rolling them in the crumbs – add more if required.
  4. Over a med-high flame, heat a wide cast-iron skillet, and add ½ inch depth of clarified butter. Test by throwing in a bread crumb – if it quickly browns, your butter is hot enough. In a single layer, carefully slip in the breaded oysters – best to fry in batches to avoid crowding. Adjust heat to keep oysters gently bubbling in the butter. To get a golden, crisp coating, it should take approximately 2 minutes. Make sure to turn the oysters to ensure they brown on both sides, and drown on a kitchen towel when done. Serve hot alongside red-pepper mayonnaise, arugula or watercress, and lemon wedges as desired.