If you thought oysters weren’t your thing, we promise these will change your mind. We like to call them the “gateway oysters”.
This is one of our favourite recipes because we get to take an ingredient that’s normally served naked and dress it up in our very own crisp and smoky disguise. Better yet, all the oysters we used are harvested right here in B.C., off the protected, rugged shorelines of Quadra and Cortes Island. They’re sweet, tender and packed with that authentic, straight-from-the-sea flavour you just can’t get any other way. If you’re feeling adventurous, give this one a try at home:
- 12 Cortes Island medium beach oysters (steamed for 4 minutes and removed from shell)
- 4 medium kennebec potatoes (peeled)
- 100 ml each of kosher salt and demerara sugar (to cure)
- Alder wood chips
- Salt and pepper
Blanch oysters in salted water to firm up (about 30 seconds to 1 minute depending on the size of the meat). Sprinkle oysters with cure and let stand for 40 minutes. Rinse and cold smoke with alder for 20 minutes.
Using a Japanese turning slicer (spaghetti cutter), cut the potatoes into long strands.
Quickly blanch (15 seconds) the potatoes in boiling salted water and cool and dry on a towel.
Dust with cornstarch and season oysters and wrap with potato to cover the complete oyster end to end. We leave ‘a tail’ of extra potato on each end so it flares out in the fryer.
Fry the oysters in a 350F fryer until golden brown and crispy, then remove and season immediately.
- We garnish based on the time of year and what’s in season locally. Usually a purée and a drop of truffle oil guild these little gems.
- A few choices of seasonal garnishes:
- Purée of wild leeks or onions, watercress
- Sweet corn purée, corn and poblano peppers, fresh cilantro (as seen in photo)
- Apple purée, ambrosia apples, fresh parsley and lemon
- Tofino chanterelles, roasted onion puree, truffle oil