|DEEP-FRIED OYSTERS WITH SEAWEED MAYONNAISE. 30/08/13|
Makes a dozen oysters
2 egg yolks
Juice of ½ lemon
Approx 150ml/5fl oz vegetable oil
Approx 150ml/5fl oz olive oil
1-3 sheets of Japanese nori seaweed, ground to a powder in a pestle and mortar
A dozen oysters, shucked from their shells, shells retained
Vegetable oil, for frying
100g/4oz plain flour
Approx 150ml/5fl oz sparkling water
Make the mayonnaise first in either a food processor or in a large, clean bowl with an electric or manual whisk. Beat the yolks with a small squeeze of lemon, then very slowly start adding drops of oil (either one first), whisking constantly, waiting for the previous drop to be incorporated before adding the next. It is very important that you work patiently and slowly at this stage, as you don’t want it to split. You will begin to see the mixture thicken, and at this point you can start adding the oil in a thin stream.
Once all the oil is beaten in, add another squeeze of lemon and a dash of water to loosen it a bit. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the nori powder a teaspoon at a time, until it tastes subtly of seaweed but not overpowering. Place the mayonnaise in a bowl in the fridge while you prepare the oysters.
Drain the oysters on kitchen paper and clean the shells thoroughly in hot water.
In a deep, heavy-bottomed pan, add the vegetable oil to a depth of about six centimetres (2½in) and heat it to about 180C/350F – you can test the temperature by dropping in a bit of bread; if it turns golden in about 30 seconds, then the oil is the right temperature.
Make a batter by putting the flour in a large bowl and slowly whisking in approximately 150 millilitres of sparkling water. You want it to be the consistency of double cream – add extra water or flour until it’s right. Dip the oysters in the batter, shaking off any excess, and place very carefully in the hot oil. You may want to do this in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan. Cook for two to three minutes, until they are golden and crisp, then remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
Place each fried oyster in a clean shell, sprinkle over a little salt and serve with a lemon wedge and the seaweed mayonnaise.
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