Perfection is not found in great wealth or an impressive social media following. You will find it, however, when you finally nail the perfect pairing for your fried oysters.
Yes, perfection is found in nature. It’s found in the first oyster you fry up and serve with a cold beer on a hot summer day.
Okay, it’s not that deep. But sometimes, perfection is in the seemingly inconsequential things like finding side dishes that can withstand the heat and acidity of the dish while still providing a complementary flavor.
In today’s blog, I’ve compiled a list of my top ten favorites. Each one brings something special to the table.
So, without further ado, here are 10 perfect side dishes to serve with fried oysters:
Side Dishes for Fried Oysters
- Garlic Rice
- Mayo Dipping Sauce
- Radish and Cucumber Salad
- Mignonette Sauce
- Pickled Red Cabbage
- Cajun Dipping Sauce
- Cheesy Grits
- Asian Dipping Sauce
- Sauteed Zucchini and Corn
There’s nothing quite like a bowl of garlic rice to soak up all the deliciousness that is fried oysters.
The secret to making sure this dish doesn’t become too greasy is to use just enough oil to coat the pan. Then, add your garlic and cook until it’s fragrant before adding your rice.
I like to use basmati rice for this dish because it has a nice, fluffy texture that can stand up to the other ingredients. Once the rice is in, make sure to give it a good stir so that the garlic is evenly distributed.
One thing to keep in mind when cooking garlic rice is that you don’t want to overcook the garlic. If it gets too dark, it will become bitter and ruin the dish.
Mayo Dipping Sauce
This is a classic dipping sauce for fried oysters that is super simple to make. All you need is mayonnaise, lemon juice, and hot sauce.
Start by mixing together equal parts mayonnaise and lemon juice. Then, add hot sauce to taste. I like to use Louisiana-style hot sauce, but you can use whatever you prefer.
The beauty of this dipping sauce is that it’s versatile and can be used for other dishes as well. If you want a little more of a kick, try adding some diced jalapenos.
Radish and Cucumber Salad
This is a great side dish if you’re looking for something refreshing and crunchy. The key to this salad is to use fresh radishes and cucumbers.
If you can’t find fresh radishes, you can substitute them with pickled ones. Just make sure to drain them well before adding them to the salad.
For the dressing, I like to use a simple vinaigrette made with olive oil, red wine vinegar, and dijon mustard.
One special thing about this salad is that it can be made ahead of time. In fact, I think it tastes even better when it’s had a chance to sit for a bit and the flavors have had a chance to meld together.
This sauce is traditionally served with raw oysters, but it goes just as well with fried ones. It’s a simple sauce made with shallots, vinegar, and pepper.
The beauty of having the mignonette sauce next to your fried oysters is that it provides a nice contrast in flavors. The acidity of the vinegar cuts through the richness of the oysters, while the shallots add a touch of sweetness.
You can make this sauce ahead of time, but I like to make it right before serving so that the shallots are still nice and crunchy.
Pickled Red Cabbage
This is a great side dish if you want something a little different. There is a bit of prep work involved, but it’s worth it.
Every bite of pickled red cabbage is a little bit sweet, a little bit sour, and a little bit spicy. It’s the perfect accompaniment to fried oysters.
To make it, you’ll need red cabbage, white vinegar, sugar, salt, and chili peppers. Start by slicing the cabbage thinly. Then, mix together the vinegar, sugar, and salt.
Pour the mixture over the cabbage and let it sit for at least an hour. The longer it sits, the more flavorful it will be. Just before serving, add some thinly sliced chili peppers.
Cajun Dipping Sauce
This dipping sauce is a great way to add a little bit of spice to your fried oysters. It’s made with mayonnaise, Creole mustard, and hot sauce.
To make it, simply mix together all of the ingredients. I like to use Louisiana-style hot sauce, but you can use whatever you prefer.
This sauce is also great on sandwiches or as a dip for vegetables. If you want a little more of a kick, try adding some diced jalapenos.
A while ago, I would have never thought to put coleslaw on this list. But, after having it with fried oysters, I was hooked.
I like to use a mix of green and red cabbage, as well as carrots. For the dressing, I prefer to use a simple vinaigrette made with olive oil, red wine vinegar, and dijon mustard.
This coleslaw is also great as a sandwich filler or as a side dish for grilled chicken or fish.
There isn’t much that can beat a bowl of cheesy grits. It’s the perfect comfort food.
This dish has a heartier flavor and texture than regular grits. Also, the cheese adds a nice creaminess that pairs well with the fried oysters.
To make them, simply cook the grits according to the package directions. Then, stir in some shredded cheddar cheese and serve.
If you want a little bit of a crunch, you can top them with some chopped bacon or scallions.
Asian Dipping Sauce
If I didn’t tell you that I would include a dipping sauce for those who like things on the spicy side, I’m telling you now.
This Asian-inspired sauce is a dream come true for anyone who loves spice. It’s made with Sriracha, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and lime juice.
To make it, simply mix together all of the ingredients. The beauty of this sauce is that it can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge.
When you’re ready to use it, simply give it a good stir and enjoy.
Sauteed Zucchini and Corn
Life is too short to only eat fried oysters. Sometimes, you need a little bit of vegetables to balance things out.
This dish is the perfect way to do that. It’s light, healthy, and full of flavor.
I particularly love it because it’s so easy to make. Simply saute some zucchini and corn in a bit of olive oil. Season it with salt, pepper, and a touch of garlic powder.
This dish can be served as is or with a bit of grated Parmesan cheese on top.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best side dish for fried oysters?
There is no one “best” side dish for fried oysters. It depends on your personal preferences. Some people prefer something light and refreshing, while others prefer something heartier.
What is the origin of fried oysters?
Fried oysters have been around for centuries. The first recorded instance of them being served was in 1653.
Are fried oysters healthy?
Fried oysters are not particularly healthy. They are high in fat and calories. However, they can be part of a balanced diet if eaten in moderation.
How do you store fried oysters?
Fried oysters should be stored in an airtight container and kept in the fridge for up to four days.
What is the best way to reheat fried oysters?
The best way to reheat fried oysters is in a 350-degree F oven until they are heated through. This should take about five minutes.
Fried oysters are among the most delicious and versatile food. They can be enjoyed as is or with a variety of different side dishes. What you serve with them is up to you. So, get creative and enjoy!
There is a wide variety of side dishes that go well with fried oysters. The best way to find the perfect one for you is to experiment and find what you like best.