Deep-Fried Oysters with Rocket and Tomato Dressing
I first put these oysters on the menu at Monte's — they were served raw with the tomato dressing. One day we tempuraed them to serve as[ canapes and they went down so well I thought I'd give you the recipe. When picking the kids for the new restaurant I served these to them as a bit of a taste test and asked for their reaction. They're such an experience to eat, as they're crunchy, soft, sour, sweet and salty. You can serve these as a starter or as canapes.]
- 24 native oysters
- 3 1/2 ounces (100 grams) all-purpose flour
- 6 ounces (170 milliliters) cold water
- 1 egg white, stiffly whisked
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 3/4 pints (1 litre) vegetable oil
- 2 bags arugula
- For the dressing:
- 12 ripe plum tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons horseradish, creamed or freshly grated
- 1/4 clove garlic, peeled
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- Couple drops hot pepper sauce (recommended: Tabasco)
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Open the oysters and clean the shells or ask your fishmonger to do this for you. To make the batter, whisk the flour with the cold water and fold in the stiffly whisked egg white and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. To make the dressing, whiz the tomatoes in a blender with the horseradish, garlic and vinegar. Add the hot pepper sauce and season with salt and pepper. Tweak the amounts of hot pepper sauce and vinegar to tast e you want it to be hot and tangy. Pass the mixture through a fine sieve to remove any chunky bits. This will give you a nice smooth dressing. Check the seasoning.
Heat the vegetable oil in a deep-fat fryer to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and fry the arugula in small batches for about 25 seconds until nice and crisp. Remove and place on some kitchen paper. Drop each oyster into the batter, then remove with a spoon and fry for around 2 minutes until crisp and golden. Serve each oyster in its shell on a little fried rocket, drizzled with the tangy tomato dressing.
Try this: Place the shells on some cracked ice or a bed of coarse sea salt.
(c) Jamie Oliver 2002
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