Crispy Fried Oysters with a Chili-Corn Sauce

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 50 min
  • Prep: 25 min
  • Cook: 25 min
  • Yield: 2 appetizer servings
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1 1/2 teaspoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup corn kernels

2 teaspoons minced shallots

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

1 1/2 teaspoons Steen's 100 percent Pure Cane Syrup

1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

2 tablespoons chicken stock

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 pinch freshly ground white pepper

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Vegetable oil, for frying

1/2 cup masa harina

1/2 cup yellow cornmeal

1 1/2 teaspoon Essence, recipe follows

12 oysters, freshly shucked, drained

2 ounces fresh mache or other baby lettuce, washed and dried

1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):

2 1/2 tablespoons paprika

2 tablespoons salt

2 tablespoons garlic powder

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon dried thyme


  1. Heat the butter in a small saute pan over high heat. Add the corn and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is deep golden brown and beginning to pop, 4 to 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium high and add the shallots and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the syrup, lime juice, and chili powder and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock, salt and pepper and cook until most of the stock has evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the heavy cream and cook until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the cilantro, and stir well. Cover and keep warm while you prepare the oysters.
  2. Put the oil in a medium heavy pot or deep-fryer and heat to 360 degrees F.
  3. Combine the masa harina, cornmeal, and 1 teaspoon of the Essence in a medium bowl. Add the oysters, a few at a time, and toss to coat. Shake to remove any excess breading.
  4. Add the oysters to the hot oil, in batches, and cook until golden, stirring so that they cook evenly, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove oysters and drain on paper towels. Season with the remaining Essence.
  5. Divide the Chili-Corn Sauce between 2 plates and, using a spoon, spread the sauce slightly towards the edges of the plate so that you now have a shallow pool of sauce in which to lay the oysters. Divide the oysters among the plates, arranging around the outer edge. Toss the mache with the lemon juice and olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide the mache between the plates, placing a small bunch in the center of the oysters. Serve immediately.

Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):

  1. Combine all ingredients thoroughly.
  2. Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch, published by William Morrow, 1993.