Fried Gulf Oysters with Oyster Gravy


Fried oysters add a richness and depth of flavor to the gravy balanced by a touch of acidity from the lemon vinaigrette. Recipe adapted, with permission, from Nina Compton.

Fried Gulf Oysters with Oyster Gravy
Serves: 6 to 8
  • 3 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium mirliton, seeded and grated
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • ¾ cup plain yellow cornmeal
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon Jerk Spice (recipe follows)
  • 24 fresh oysters, shucked and drained
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • Lemon Vinaigrette Rice (recipe follows)
  • Lemon wedges, to serve
  • Garnish: chopped fresh chives
  1. In a medium cast-iron skillet, whisk together whole wheat flour and oil over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until a dark roux forms, about 20 minutes. Add mirliton; cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat; let cool for 10 minutes.
  2. In a large deep cast-iron skillet, pour oil to a depth of 2 inches, and heat over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350°.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together cornmeal, all-purpose flour, and Jerk Spice. Working in batches, dredge oysters in cornmeal mixture until well coated, shaking off excess. Place oysters in hot oil, and fry until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Let drain on paper towels; keep warm.
  4. In the container of a blender, pulse together mirliton mixture, 6 fried oysters, cream, lemon juice, salt, and Worcestershire until puréed. Return mixture to medium skillet; heat until warmed and thickened.
  5. To serve, place Lemon Vinaigrette Rice on serving plates. Top with oyster gravy and fried oysters. Serve with lemon wedges, and garnish with chives, if desired.
Mirliton is also known as chayote squash.

Jerk Spice
  • 1½ tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1½ teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1½ teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1½ teaspoons ground red pepper
  1. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 weeks.

Lemon Vinaigrette Rice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1½ teaspoons sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups jasmine rice, cooked according to package directions
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together oils, lemon juice, sugar, 1½ teaspoons water, and salt. Stir in cooked rice. Serve immediately.



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