1 cup real mayonnaise
2 heaping tablespoons finely diced salty gherkins
1 tightly packed tablespoon finely chopped capers
Zest of 1 lemon plus juice of 1/2 lemon
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon sriracha chili sauce (more if you're feeling feisty!)
12 jumbo oysters, shucked (8 if they are huge beach oysters)
Vegetable oil, for frying
2 cups all-purpose flour, for dredging
4 sesame-seed hamburger buns
Pinch kosher salt
2 cups finely sliced (chiffonade) romaine lettuce
For the tartar sauce: Combine the mayonnaise, gherkins, capers, lemon zest and lemon juice and mix well. Refrigerate until needed. The sauce is best when made the day before use.
For the fried oyster sandwich: Combine the buttermilk and sriracha chili sauce and mix well. Soak the shucked oysters in the mixture and refrigerate, overnight if you can.
Preheat the vegetable oil to 350 degrees F. Pour the flour out onto a plate. Gently remove the oysters one by one from the buttermilk, being careful not to tear them, and lay them quickly in the flour. The excess buttermilk will help for the delicious crunchy bits so don't worry about making a mess. Cover the oysters completely with flour, using clean hands, and gently press them down to make sure they are completely coated. Remove from the flour, shaking off the excess, and place them in the fryer. Cook until nicely browned, just past golden (think of your favorite fried chicken).
While the oysters are cooking, toast the insides of the buns and set aside. Transfer the oysters to a paper towel-lined plate to drain, and season with the salt. Spread the tartar sauce on both sides of the buns. Place the oysters on the bottom half then top with the shredded romaine. Close them up, roll up your sleeves, crack your favorite brew and dig in!
You can shuck your own oysters or ask your fishmonger for pre-shucked oyster meat. The bigger the better!!
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