Ingredients (serves 4):
For the Thai-style dipping sauce:
8 tablespoons Thai fish sauce, (nam pla)
3-4 tbsp soft brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, finely crushed
3 small red chilli
2.5 cm finely chopped fresh ginger
50 g green beans, trimmed and finely sliced
2 limes, juice only
For the oysters:
2 tsp black peppercorns
2 tsp pink peppercorns
115 g tempura flour, plus extra for dusting
170ml cold sparkling mineral water, or enough to make a batter
Sunflower oil, for deep frying
12 Oysters, freshly shucked
A handful coriander
1 lime, cut into wedges
For the Thai-style dipping sauce: Warm the fish sauce in a small saucepan with the sugar over a low-medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat, stir in the garlic, chillies and ginger and set aside to infuse for about 5 minutes. Stir in the green beans and lime juice and add a splash of water if it tastes a little strong. Set aside.
For the oysters: Add the black peppercorns, pink peppercorns and salt into a small frying pan and dry-fry over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes, or until fragrant and lightly toasted. Grind to a powder using a pestle and mortar or spice grinder. Set aside.
Preheat the sunflower oil in a deep sauce pan to 180C.
Gently mix the tempura flour with enough cold mineral water to form a batter the consistency of double cream – don’t over-mix the batter and don’t worry if there are a few lumps.
Lightly dust the oysters in tempura flour, shaking off any excess, then dip them into the batter. Drain off any excess batter and carefully lower them into the hot oil. Fry for 2-3 minutes, turning once, or until crisp and golden and cooked through.
Drain on kitchen paper then toss through about three-quarters of the ground peppercorn mix.
Transfer to serving plates and sprinkle with the reserved ground peppercorn mix. Garnish with coriander and lime wedges and serve with the dipping sauce on the side.