The better oyster burger

Justin Bonello had a bit of an oyster feast while visiting Luderitz with top chef, Bertus Basson. During their five days of gluttony, they found a great place that served up oyster burgers. “That’s right... there are so many oysters that people actually make burgers with them. Imagine!” exclaims Justin. “And while it was great, Bertus announced that he could do it better.” This recipe, from Justin’s beautiful new book, Road Tripping, is the happy result.


½ thinly sliced onion
1 big handful of shredded white cabbage
1 big handful of shredded red cabbage
About 5 thinly sliced radishes
1 chopped tomato
2 chopped and seeded chillies
about 4 oysters per hot dog roll, so count your friends, count the rolls and do the math
½ cup of self-raising flour
1 bottle of beer
Oil for deep-frying
1 x 250 g packet of streaky bacon
Soft, fresh hot dog rolls
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: some lemon juice


Once your slaw is done, get the tedious job of shucking the oysters out of the way. Keep them on ice until you’re going to cook them.

Next, combine the flour and about half of the beer to make a batter – use a wooden spoon and make sure you remove all the lumps.

Heat up a pot of oil over moderate coals, then deep-fry (YES, DEEP-FRY) the bacon until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and put on kitchen paper to drain.

Put the oysters into the bowl of batter then, using that same slotted spoon, add them one at a time to the pot of hot oil. Deep-fry until golden and then just as carefully remove them from the oil and place on kitchen paper to drain.

Build your ‘better oyster burger’ by placing the deep-fried oysters into the sliced buns. Top with strips of crispy bacon and the slaw, season to taste and add a squeeze of lemon juice if you feel like it. Tuck in.

Extracted from Road Tripping by Justin Bonello, written by Helena Lombard (Penguin). Photographs © Cooked in Africa Films.


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