The ultimate burger - a fried oyster burger is a decadent treat. Even if you're not an oyster lover, you might be blown over by the flavour of this sensational burger. Slather a bun with the zesty horseradish sauce that's quickly stirred together. Then top that with lettuce, sweet onion rings, and a slice of a crisp tart apple. The crowning glory is a couple of fried oysters, breaded & crunchy on the outside and tender, mild & silky on the inside. Oh. My. An amazing taste sensation inspired by our trip to the island - a few photos included.
Ever since the first time I tasted fresh fried oysters, I was smitten. It was years ago, when my parents moved to Vancouver Island. We had just helped them move, and my uncle Helmut who lived on the island, took us out to the beach with pails to collect fresh oysters at low tide. It was evening and we wandered the beach, finding the oysters stuck to the rocks and knocking them off with a little hammer. I remember shuddering as I watched him eat one raw right there on the beach. (I have since learned to love eating raw oysters.) We took home our pailful of ocean treasure and my uncle showed us how to shuck them. My Aunt Lydia immediately breaded those fresh, fresh oysters and fried them in butter. We feasted on rich creamy oysters in a a crispy coating. It was one of those food memories you never forget.
Every time I get the chance to eat a fried oyster, I am transported back to that beach at sunset.
A few weeks ago we flew to Vancouver Island for a quick trip to visit my sister and husband, and to find spring. We found it!
We went for a long walk along the beach. The weather was cloudy and misty, but those sea breezes blew away the cobwebs and renewed our soul.
We also found fresh oysters on our drive up island, near Nanoose Bay. We stopped off to walk on the beach and have a look at the empty oyster beds, then we picked up a bucket of fresh oysters which we took home and breaded and fried as part of a seafood feast one evening.
We went for several amazing walks exploring the rainforest right behind my sister's house. This ancient forest of mighty moss-laden trees and vast expanses of ferns is an amazing, mystical place. We wandered past huge cedars, Douglas firs, and the third largest Sitka spruce tree in the world. Nooks and crannies hide forest flowers as you meander through a maze of trails and eventually come down the steep wooded banks to the river gurgling serenely in the valley below their yard. As you get closer to the river, the moss that blankets every surface turns the place into a magical wonderland. This truly is forest bathing in the most glorious sense of the word. Being in the presence of these centuries-old trees and breathing that clean forest air is a grounding and transformative experience.
Here's a 'Where's
Waldo Rosalinda?' question for you. Do you see her?
Our short trip to Vancouver Island was a much needed reprieve - a chance to recharge and refill. A chance to escape the winter still hanging on here into spring, and feel the excitement and anticipation for the new season ahead.
And it was a time to get reacquainted with those delicous fried oysters again. I bought a bucket of fresh Vancouver Island oysters in our local grocery store when we got home and we feasted. We ate them breaded and fried with the tangy horseradish sauce (below), and we inhaled these absolutely delicious fried oyster burgers several meals. Raymond has declared them his 'favourite burgers ever', so I think I'll be watching for fresh oysters in our stores again. They're only flown in fresh to our prairie locations periodically, but I'll be snapping them up for sure!
Easy Oyster Burgers - A New Favourite Burger
You'll need a couple big, plump oysters for each burger, plus some buns (gluten free or regular), lettuce, sweet onion slices, and crisp sweet apple slices. You'll whip up a zesty horseradish mayonnaise, too.
Plump fresh oysters smell of the ocean - briny and salty.
Lay out those gorgeous fresh oysters on paper towel and blot them dry. Then sprinkle them liberally with salt and pepper.
Now set up a breading station: dip the oysters first in flour, then in beaten egg, then in fine dry breadcrumbs.
Now quickly stir together a few spoonfuls of mayonnaise with some zesty prepared horseradish, lots of cracked black pepper, and a handful of chopped parsley. Slather that on a toasted bun. Add a slice of crinkly lettuce, a few rings of sweet onion, and a thick slice of a crisp, sweet apple. Top with the crowning glory of a couple of those crunchy-creamy fried oysters, slather on some more sauce and cap it off with the top bun.
And if you don't want to fuss with a bun, just fry up a plate of oysters, make the horseradish mayo, and eat those together for an oyster feast you won't forget.
Grab lots of napkins and enjoy the fantastic harmony of flavours and textures in these pretty special Oyster Burgers. Those two plump oysters are crunchy and golden on the outside, moist and silky inside - buttery, mild, and rich - tasting of the windswept ocean itself. The sharp, peppery tang of the easy horseradish sauce perfectly counterpoints the richness of the oysters. The sweet onions add a mild bite, and the crisp apple provides just the juicy hint of sweetness to take your tastebuds on the most delightful journey. Add a glass of champagne to turn your oyster burgers into a meal to remember.
If the only oysters you've ever tasted are those little smoked morsels packed in oil in flat cans - you've got a whole wonderful taste experience awaiting you.
* * * * *
for the oysters:
- 8 large fresh shucked oysters (~400gms/14 oz total)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons flour use sweet rice flour for gluten free
- 1 large egg beaten
- ½ cup fine dry breadcrumbs or panko crumbs gluten free, if necessary
- 1-2 tablespoons avocado or olive oil
- 1-2 tablespoons butter
for the horseradish sauce:
- ⅓ cup good quality mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish*
- 1 teaspoon coarsely ground or cracked black pepper
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsely
for the burgers:
- 4 hamburger buns gluten free, if necessary
- 4 curly lettuce leaves
- 2 slices of sweet onion separated into rings
- 4 apple slices, ¼-inch/.5cm thick, cut from the center of a large crisp apple (like Cosmic Crisp)
Make the sauce first:
- Stir together the mayonnaise, horseradish*, pepper, and parsley. Set aside.
Then prepare the oysters:
- Lay the oysters on a double thickness of paper towel to drain, and dab the tops dry with more paper towel. Sprinkle the top sides of the oysters generously with salt and pepper.
Make a breading train:
- Set out 3 shallow bowls. Put the flour in one bowl, the beaten egg in another, and the breadcrumbs in the third.
- Dip each oyster in the flour and turn it to coat all sides. Shake off the excess. Repeat with all the oysters and lay them on a dinner plate, not touching. Then dip each floured oyster in the egg to coat, and then dip it in the breadcrumbs. Make sure it is completely covered in bread crumbs. Lay the crumbed oysters back on the plate, not touching.
- In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium heat until bubbling. Fry half of the oysters in the skillet for 2 to 3 minutes per side, until golden brown. Remove them to a plate, add more butter and oil if needed, and fry the second batch.
- While the oysters are fying, lightly toast the hamburger buns and butter them. Slice the onions and apples (cut the core out of the center of the apple slices with the tip of a sharp knife) and tear the lettuce into smaller pieces.
To assemble the oyster burgers:
- Spread some of the horseradish sauce on the bottom half of each hamburger bun. Top with lettuce slices, then a few onion rings and one slice of apple. Lay 2 of the warm fried oysters on top, drizzle with a bit more horseradish sauce, if desired, and add the top half of the hamburger bun.
- Serve immediately.
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