As autumn gets into full swing, so does British native oyster season. They’re ready to harvest from the start of September.
We’re celebrating with three tasty ways to serve the super seafood – whether you like them fresh and raw or crunchy and battered.
Oysters in the shell, topped with fresh bread crumbs, grated Gruyère and chopped parsley, then cooked under a hot grill.
You will need:
3 slices white bread, crusts removed
75g/3oz Gruyère cheese, grated
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A few drops of Tabasco Pepper Sauce
* Shuck the oysters. With your hand protected by a thick cloth, hold the oyster flat shell up. Insert the point of an oyster knife, or other sturdy thick bladed knife into the hinge of the oyster – this is the thin, pointed end of the shell. Move the knife backwards and forward until the hinge breaks. Slide the knife under the shell to sever the ligament. Lift off the top shell, being careful not to lose any of the oyster liquor.
*Whizz bread in a processor to make fine crumbs.Transfer to a bowl with grated cheese and parsley, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir well .
*Arrange oysters in a shallow baking tin. Shake 2 drops of Tabasco Pepper Sauce into each one – or to taste. Spoon around 2 tsp of crumb mix over each oyster to cover the oyster completely.
*Place under a hot grill for 4 minutes, or until crumbs are crispy.
Freshly shucked oysters cooked in a thin, crisp, light tempura batter and served with a dipping sauce.
To make the sauce
You will need:
50g/2oz caster sugar
100ml/4fl oz water
2 salad onions, trimmed and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2.5cm/1in rootginger, peeled and finely chopped
Sprigs of coriander, chopped
6 drops Tabasco Pepper Sauce
* Pour sugar into water and dissolve over low heat. Bring to
bubbling for about 2 minutes until just coloured and slightly syrupy.
* Cool slightly then stir in spring onions, garlic, ginger, coriander and Tabasco Pepper Sauce.
To batter the oysters
You will need:
100g/4oz plain flour
100ml/1/4pt chilled fizzy water
sunflower oil for frying
12 oysters, freshly shucked, deep shells reserved (Follow shucking instructions in the recipe above)
* Sift flour into a bowl and add egg. Beat, slowly adding the water to make a batter (the consistency of single cream).
* Heat oil in a deep saucepan until a cube of bread browns quickly.
* Dip oysters into batter, one by one, and deep fry until crisp and golden. Blot on kitchen paper.
* To serve, return crisply battered oysters to reserved, washed deep shells and serve with sauce on the side, or drizzled over.
Chilli and ginger oysters recipe
Finely grate ½ a thumb-sized piece of peeled ginger and mix with 6 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar, 1 finely chopped and deseeded red chilli and a little finely sliced fresh coriander. Stir in a teaspoon of sugar until dissolved. Serve in a dish with the oysters.