Crispy Porthilly oysters by Paul Ainsworth

Paul Ainsworth

Paul Ainsworth

4th January 2014
Paul Ainsworth

Crispy Porthilly oysters by Paul Ainsworth

Crispy Porthilly oysters by Paul Ainsworth (photography by David Griffen)


  • Serves 4
  • Ingredients
  • 12 large oysters
  • 12 slices of salami Milano 1/2mm thin
  • 2 egg whites let down with a splash of water
  • 200g panko bread crumbs
  • Apple and fennel salad
  • 2 granny smith apples
  • 2 medium heads of fennel
  • 4 stems of bright green chervil
  • Lime reduction
  • 2 lime zest
  • 3 lime juice
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • Sea shells and driftwood
  • Sand or pebbles


Shuck the oysters and gently wash in cold water. Pass the oyster juices into a container with the oysters, cling film and keep in the fridge until required. Scrub the shells clean and sterilise them in boiling water ready to use later for serving.
Lime reduction
Place all the ingredients into a pan and put over a medium heat. Reduce it down until it creates a light syrup and cool.
Apple and fennel salad
Trim the fennel tops off and peel the layers apart. Discarding the outside layer, trim off any chunky areas and slice into large neat rectangles. Then, finely julienne to 3mm slices and coat with a tablespoon of lime reduction. Julienne the apple to it matches the fennel. Mix together with the fennel and ensure the salad is coated well with the reduction so it cannot discolour. Finely shred the chervil leaves and add a large pinch of the chervil to the salad. Taste the mixture and add some more of the reduction if required.
Decorate three plates with sand or pebbles, sea shells and driftwood. Then divide the oyster shells onto the plates and fill each shell with the apple and fennel salad.
Pane in the egg white, then the panko breadcrumbs. Deep fry at 190c until golden and crisp, while still being careful not to go too far. The oyster should be just cooked in the center. Place plump side up on top of the salad, then sprinkle with a little rock sea salt. To finish, drape a slice of salami over each at the last second and serve.

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