Out of your shell for an oyster odyssey with Hardeep Singh Kohli

PUBLISHED: 17:00 12 September 2017

Oysters. Photo: Daniel Karmann

Oysters. Photo: Daniel Karmann

DPA/PA Images

It was almost 35 years ago yet I still can’t believe my dad let me do it. I can’t have been much more than 14 years old.

I was desperate to visit my favourite cousins in Dublin and I think my parents had probably jumped at the chance to get rid of me over that Easter in 1983. And while parents today worry about teenager crossing main roads in Hampstead, Didsbury or Marchmont, that was a different age. It was less a journey and more an adventure; an Odyssey.

The easiest way to get to Dublin, the most straightforward was to travel south west from Glasgow to the beautiful Dumfries and Galloway and across to an isthmus where the town of Stranraer is to be found. From here a ferry was boarded across the Irish Sea to Larne, onward to Belfast by bus before taking a train south to Dublin.

I’ve always found a more pronounced romance about ferry ports; the sea excites with an immediacy somehow lacking from coach or train stations. Growing up in Glasgow the mere mention of Stranraer would conjure Emerald Isle images and excitement.

But alas some years ago the service stopped from Stranraer, moving a few miles up the coast. As is so often the case, small towns become so heavily reliant on such a constant, crucial and defining industry; there were worries that the town would struggle to find life after the ferry. Dumfries and Galloway, despite its beauty and amazing local produce is oft overlooked as a tourist destination. It’s secluded beauty means that one is unlikely to discover the area unless you go there. Luckily I had been there. Quite a few times.

Instead of doom and gloom the good folk of Stranraer got their heads together and came up with the notion of the Stranraer Oyster Festival. Yum. Believed to be Scotland’s first oyster festival, it marks the start of the eight-month long oyster season. This year the festival runs from Friday September 15 to 17.

Stranraer has Scotland’s only native oyster fishery and as a port town a rich tradition in all types of seafood.

I realise that unlike me, not everyone has a deep and delicious love for the oyster. While it is much vaunted as an aphrodisiac, I’ve seldom found a greater love than that I have for the oyster itself. I know some folk struggle with the uncooked texture but I always suggest they try, as an entry level, the cooked oyster. The classic cooked version, The Rockerfeller smooths the way for the less adventurous eater. Ondine in Edinburgh serve a delicious tempura Oyster and it is that dish that has inspired my Oyster Pakora.

Ingredients

A dozen fat oysters

100g gram flour, sieved

1 tsp of salt

2 tsp of garam masala

1 tsp of turmeric

2 chillies, finely chopped

Handful of coriander staks , chopped

1 tsp of cumin seeds

½ tsp of red chilli powder

Tonic water

Oil for deep frying

Method

Blend all the dry ingredients using the tonic water to create a tempura-style batter. This should have a dropping consistency. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for an hour. Heat the oil and test its readiness by dropping in a cube of bread, The bread should fry immediately thus showing the readiness of the oil.

Work the batter just to loosen it up and carefully dip each oyster in, covering completely while shaking off any lumps of batter. Deep fry no more than a few at a time, allowing the oil to come back up to heat between batches.

Support The New European's vital role as a voice for the 48%

The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.

  • Become a friend of The New European for a contribution of £48. You will qualify for a mention in our newspaper (should you wish)
  • Become a partner of The New European for a contribution of £240. You will qualify for a mention in our newspaper (should you wish) and receive a New European Branded Pen and Notebook
  • Become a patron of The New European for a contribution of £480. You will qualify for a mention in our newspaper (should you wish) and receive a New European Branded Pen and Notebook and an A3 print of The New European front cover of your choice, signed by Editor Matt Kelly

By proceeding, you agree to the New Europeans supporters club Terms & Conditions which can be found here.



Supporter Options

Mention Me in The New European



If Yes, Name to appear in The New European



Latest Articles

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

We have a number of set phrases in English which we use in a rather automatic and semi-obligatory way at particular times and in specific social situations – such as ‘good morning’ and ‘good evening’, ‘happy birthday’ and ‘happy new year’.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Scotland's three biggest parties have all experienced sudden jolts in recent weeks. MAURICE SMITH reports on the tectonic plates shifting once again north of the border

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

A fitting 48 times the hapless foreign secretary, currently backtracking from his bungled attempt to topple Theresa May, outraged with his thoughtless comments and ill-judged actions

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Lib Dems have stepped back from the Brexit cliff-edge.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Despite its devastating impact, Hurricane Irma passed with only a handful of deaths yet received wall-to-wall media coverage. On the other side of the world, floods have left a far higher death toll, yet reporting has been sparse. LIZ GERARD asks what is behind this apparent hypocrisy and what it says about us

Monday, September 18, 2017

Sir Vince Cable is to set out his bid to scupper Brexit by declaring “I am a proud saboteur”.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Imagine a town studded with watchtowers like San Gimignano in Tuscany, but set high on a plateau, 100 miles from the nearest centre of population.

Monday, September 18, 2017

A top Brexit Whitehall official has been moved out of the Department for Exiting the EU amid rumours of a rift with David Davis.

Monday, September 18, 2017

The venerable Dr Johnson described patriotism as “the last refuge of the scoundrel”.

Monday, September 18, 2017

It might not have grabbed the world's attention yet but, says AURORA TORRES, the over-exploitation of sand is a looming crisis for the globe, causing environmental destruction, putting communities at risk and sparking illegal black markets

Monday, September 18, 2017

The lights are going out in comments sections all over the world.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Home Secretary Amber Rudd today accused her Cabinet colleague Boris Johnson of "back-seat driving" as the row over his Brexit intervention deepened.

Monday, September 18, 2017

I couldn’t make it to the March For Europe last Saturday; perhaps this dereliction of duty means my Remoaner licence has now been revoked and I must now be demoted to Regrumbler or Rewhiner.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Angela Merkel may be on course for victory but her campaign for the German chancellorship is not the stately procession it might seem from afar. TONY PATERSON joins her on a decidedly bumpy election trail

Monday, September 18, 2017

Thousands of anti-Donald Trump posters inspired by Second World War public information designs have been plastered across Washington DC.

Friday, September 15, 2017

“Trees are sanctuaries,” wrote the German author and poet Hermann Hesse. “Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth.”

Friday, September 15, 2017

BONNIE GREER on the conviction that you can have your cake and eat it

Thursday, September 14, 2017

A legitimisation of radical right-wing ideology is taking place around the world. The world was shocked by the events in Charlottesville, America, and by Donald Trump’s failure to condemn racist violence.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

RICHARD PORRITT with the week's big stories

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Mancunian musician Mark Reeder arrived in Berlin in 1979 and never looked back.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Britain will "soon regret" leaving the EU, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has warned in his annual state of the union speech.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Right, so where are we now then?

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un are playing a very dangerous game of nuclear poker, argues Paul Connew. But does either leader have the cards that could avoid destruction?

Monday, September 11, 2017

When Muslim feminist SEYRAN ATES opened a liberal mosque in Berlin this summer she was met with a barrage of death threats and fatwas. But she says she is undeterred in her campaign to use enlightenment values to defeat extremism – in all forms

Monday, September 11, 2017

Many of the materials we use derive their names from the towns they were first made in. PETER TRUDGILL explores the stories behind some of the best-known

Monday, September 11, 2017

Theresa May’s insistence that she is sticking around as PM may have been met with scepticism and incredulity, but PR agent MARK BORKOWSKI argues her reboot may yet work

Monday, September 11, 2017

His stricken condition fuels macabre speculation, but Michael Schumacher’s real legacy is the remarkable run of Grand Prix dominance which began 25 years ago. ROB BURNETT reports

Friday, September 8, 2017

Writer, April 17, 1885 - September 7, 1962

Friday, September 8, 2017

For comedian MITCH BENN, Theresa May’s attempts to extend her political life put him in mind of his favourite film, Blade Runner. Here, he goes on the trail of Downing Street’s replicant

Sunday, September 10, 2017

An estimated 50,000 passionate Remainers marched on Parliament yesterday demanding the Government reverse its Brexit strategy.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Tony Blair today made an explosive intervention in the Brexit debate, calling for tough new immigration rules which would allow Britain to stay in the EU.

Monday, September 11, 2017

British identity is fragmented like never before, with the rise of pop-up populism dividing people into “them” and “us”. Author PETER POMERANTSEV takes a deeply personal journey through Britain to find out what it means for the country

Friday, September 8, 2017

A refusal to confront its past leaves France facing an uncertain future, argues MARTIN EVANS

Friday, September 8, 2017

Al Jazeera may have its flaws, but its persecution is seriously bad news for the world, says PAUL KNOTT

Friday, September 8, 2017

If you’re looking for a phrase to describe the change in newspaper print circulations this year, it might well be “the bigger they are, the harder they fall”. The latest figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) demonstrate that only the Metro managed to increase its print circulation year-on-year, with every single other national title recording a fall.

Friday, September 8, 2017

It’s not just back to school for the nation’s children, this week, but also for politicians and British business.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Modern Germany has a very different political and media culture to our own, and some of that was on display in Sunday’s ‘TV-Duell’ between Chancellor Angela Merkel and her SDP challenger Martin Schulz.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

STEVE ANGLESEY picks out the worst Brexiteers of the week

Thursday, September 7, 2017

RICHARD PORRITT on the week's big stories

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Britain's chances of being ready to begin EU trade negotiations by the next round of trade talks in October are "in the neighbourhood of zero", former European Council president Herman van Rompuy warned today.

Podcast

Trending

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter