Fried clams and oysters

Giada's simple starter served with tomato sauce is a dinner party favourite.
  • Olive oil, for frying
  • 450ml buttermilk
  • 120g Italian-style breadcrumbs
  • 225g, small, shucked clams, about 20 to 25
  • 225g, small, shucked oysters, about 8 to 10
  • 1 lemon, cut in half
  • Salt
  • 300ml marinara or arrabiata sauce (store bought or homemade), warmed
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, optional, if using marinara (not arrabiata) sauce
1) Pour enough olive oil into a large, deep, heavy frying pan to reach a depth of 7cm. Heat the oil over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 180 to 186C.

2) While the oil is heating, put the buttermilk and the bread crumbs in separate shallow bowls. Working in batches, dip clams and oysters in buttermilk to coat completely. Allow the excess buttermilk to drip back in to the bowl. Dredge clams and oysters in the bread crumbs. Place the clams and oysters on a baking sheet, and continue.

3) When the oil is hot, fry the clams and oysters in batches, about 3 mins per batch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fried seafood to paper towels to drain.

4) Immediately sprinkle the fried seafood with freshly squeezed lemon and sea salt. Serve with a bowl of warmed spicy marinara or arrabiata sauce for dipping.

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