Basic Kitchen, Charleston, SC | The Fat Radish, Savannah, GA
Nick’s favorite dish in the whole world is his mother Mary-Ellen’s cucumber salad. He brought this dish to The Fat Radish in NYC many years ago where it has had many different lives and it even made the pages of The Fat Radish cookbook. This version, with crunchy fried oysters, is the latest and quite possibly the best. Look out for it on the menu at their new spot in Savannah this summer!
Mom’s Cucumber Salad with Fried Oysters
- 1 1/2 English cucumber ends trimmed off and discarded, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup Champagne or white wine vinegar
- Coarse salt
- 1/4 cup fresh dill roughly chopped
- 1/2 red onion thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup puffed rice cereal
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons nori seaweed flakes
- 1 dozen shucked oysters
- Peanut oil for frying or whatever oil you like to use
- 3 tablespoons creme fraiche or sour cream
- In a large bowl, stir together cucumber, vinegar, a pinch of salt, 3 tablespoons of dill, and onion. Let the salad sit while you prepare oysters.
- Place the cereal, sesame seeds, and seaweed flakes in a food processor and pulse until the mixture is finely ground (but not dust). Transfer mixture to a bowl. Dredge the oysters in the mixture, shaking off any excess, and discard whatever you don’t use.
- Heat an inch of oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Carefully place the oysters in the oil and fry, turning once, until crisp, about 3 minutes. Be very cautious when frying oysters as they tend to splatter. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the oysters to a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle each with a pinch of salt.
- Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cucumber salad to a large platter, reserving the leftover liquid. Place the oysters on the salad. Whisk the creme fraiche or sour cream into whatever liquid is left in the bowl and drizzle over the entire dish. Garnish with dill and serve immediately.