Single Fried Oysters

single fried oysters recipe
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Single fried oysters are one of the true delicacies of the Eastern Shore!. These classic fried oysters are great as appetizers, or entrees. They are a staple at many Thanksgiving dinner tables throughout the Delmarva region.

single fried oysters also known as pan fried oysters

Cooking single fried oysters don’t take long at all, but the better the quality of oysters you get, the better they are. If you’re able to purchase Chincoteague oysters, they are highly recommended.

You used to have to wait months with an “R” in them to enjoy this Chesapeake favorite, but now that more Maryland oyster farmers are working the bay, panned fried oysters are a dish that can be enjoyed all year!

Let’s get started!

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to prepare Classic Single Fried Oysters

Fresh Chesapeake Bay oysters are famous on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, and this crispy Deep Fried Oysters dish is the perfect way to serve them! The shellfish has a gorgeous golden brown texture with just the right amount of crunch thanks to a simple cornmeal coating. Serve with a creamy dipping sauce, in a po’ boy sandwich, or simply garnished with lemon wedges. They’re the quintessential Southern delicacy!

Peanut oil

peanut oil is great for frying at high temperature



Garlic Powder

garlic powder


paprika - By Marcosgarrido88 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Hot sauce


Indian Head cornmeal


baking flour

Salt and Pepper

Shucked oysters

shucked oysters - chincoteague island va


  • Peanut oil, for frying
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Dash hot sauce, such as Tabasco
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 36 shucked oysters


Special equipment: deep fryer, but a skillet will do just fine

Heat oil in a deep fryer to 350 degrees F.

Whisk together the buttermilk, garlic powder, paprika, and hot sauce in a casserole dish.

Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, salt, and pepper together in a separate casserole dish.

Add the oysters to the buttermilk and let soak.

Then remove, letting the excess drip off, and dredge through the cornmeal mixture, tapping off the excess.

Fry in the hot oil in batches, until golden and crisp, about 2 minutes.

Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

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