While oysters, mussels and scallops receive their fair share of attention, there's a bevy of other shellfish, too, such as pippies, cockles and clams, which promise plenty of pleasure on the plate. These daintier varieties, along with mussels, should be purchased alive. You can check their condition by tapping any open shells - they should close immediately. They're sometimes sold sandless (that is, purged of sand), but if they're not, you'll need to purge them. Do this by soaking in salted cold water for about an hour. Discard any shells that don't open during cooking. While fresh scallops are available to restaurants, they're harder for home cooks to lay their hands on. Look for examples with plump flesh and always buy them fresh rather than frozen. If you can't find shellfish at your local market or fishmonger, give your local Chinatown a go.
Oyster Po Boy
- 24 Pacific oysters, shucked
- 3 eggs, lightly whisked
- 85 gm fine yellow cornmeal (½ cup)
- 85 gm coarse yellow cornmeal (½ cup)
- For deep frying: peanut oil
- 4 long bread rolls
- 8 leaves of butter lettuce
- 2 vine-ripened tomatoes, thinly sliced
- To serve: lemon wedges
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 250 ml sunflower oil (1 cup)
- 2 tbsp small salted capers, rinsed
- 5 cornichons, finely chopped
- ½ red onion, finely chopped
- ¼ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1For tartare sauce, whisk together egg yolk and lemon juice until frothy. Whisking continuously, add oil in a thin, steady stream until emulsified, then season to taste with
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir through remaining ingredients and
refrigerate until required.
- 2Remove oysters from shell and pat dry with absorbent paper. Season whisked eggs with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Combine cornmeals on a plate and season to taste. Dip oysters in egg, then coat with cornmeal. Heat oil in a large deep saucepan or deep fryer to 180C. Fry oysters in batches for 3-4 minutes or until golden, then drain on an absorbent paper-lined plate.
- 3Halve bread rolls and spread with tartare sauce. Top with lettuce, tomatoes, fried oysters and enclose. Serve with lemon wedges.
Drink Suggestion: Pale ale. Drink suggestion by Max Allen