Sharptown Carnival Oyster Fritter Recipe

Discover the savory secrets of Sharptown Carnival Oyster Fritters, a crispy delight from Maryland's shores. Dive into our irresistible recipe!

Sharptown Carnival Oyster Fritter

    Sharptown Carnival Oyster Fritter

  • Cuisine: American
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Servings: 4
  • Calories: 200 calories

The Sharptown Carnival Oyster Fritter is a beloved and iconic dish that has its roots in the Eastern Shore of Maryland, particularly the small town of Sharptown. It's a staple at local carnivals and festivals, and it has gained a cult following for its deliciously crispy and tender texture. This delicacy revolves around one primary ingredient - fresh oysters from the nearby Chesapeake Bay.

To make these fritters, fresh oysters are carefully chopped and mixed into a flavorful batter made from a combination of flour, cornmeal, milk, and seasonings. The batter is then deep-fried until it achieves a golden brown and crispy exterior while retaining the succulent, briny flavor of the oysters inside. The result is a delightful contrast between the crunchy coating and the tender oysters, often served with condiments like tartar sauce or cocktail sauce for an extra burst of flavor.

Sharptown Carnival Oyster Fritters are not just a culinary treat but also a cultural symbol of the region, embodying the Chesapeake Bay's maritime heritage. They are a must-try for seafood enthusiasts and a nostalgic taste of the Eastern Shore's culinary traditions. These fritters are a testament to the simple yet satisfying pleasures of coastal cuisine and have become a cherished part of Maryland's food culture.


Indulge in the best Sharptown Carnival Oyster Fritter recipe – a Maryland classic. Crispy, tender, and delicious! Your taste buds will thank you.


  • 1 pint of fresh oysters, drained and chopped
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Method Instructions

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, pepper, and paprika.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat the egg and then add the milk. Mix well.
  3. Gradually add the wet mixture to the dry mixture, stirring until you have a thick batter.
  4. Gently fold in the chopped oysters until they are well coated.
  5. Heat about 2 inches of vegetable oil in a deep fryer or large pot to 375°F (190°C).
  6. Using a spoon, carefully drop spoonfuls of the oyster batter into the hot oil. Fry them until they are golden brown, usually 2-3 minutes per side.
  7. Remove the fritters from the oil and drain them on paper towels to remove excess oil.
  8. Serve your Sharptown Carnival-style oyster fritters with tartar sauce or cocktail sauce and enjoy!

Recipe Video

Sharptown Carnival Oyster Fritter

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Recipe Tags: Sharptown Carnival Oyster Fritter, Sharptown Carnival Oyster Fritter Recipe, Recipe


Serving Sharptown Carnival Oyster Fritters is a simple and delicious affair. Here's how to do it:

  1. Plate Preparation: Start by placing a few paper towels on a serving plate. This will help absorb any excess oil when you transfer the hot fritters.
  2. Arrange the Fritters: Carefully transfer the hot, golden-brown fritters from the fryer or pan onto the paper towels. Arrange them in a single layer to prevent them from getting soggy.
  3. Condiments: Serve the oyster fritters with your choice of condiments. Traditional options include tartar sauce, cocktail sauce, or even a squeeze of lemon for a zesty kick.
  4. Garnish (optional): You can garnish the fritters with some fresh parsley or chives for a touch of color and freshness.
  5. Serve Hot: Oyster fritters are best enjoyed hot and fresh out of the fryer. They have a wonderful contrast of crispy exterior and tender oysters inside, so make sure to serve them immediately.
  6. Side Dishes (optional): You can also serve these fritters with side dishes like coleslaw, French fries, or a simple salad to create a more complete meal.


  1. Use Fresh Oysters: The key to fantastic oyster fritters is using fresh oysters. Look for plump, moist oysters with a fresh, briny smell. If you can, purchase oysters from a local seafood market for the best quality.
  2. Maintain the Right Temperature: When frying, make sure your oil is at the correct temperature (around 375°F or 190°C). If the oil is too hot, the fritters may brown too quickly on the outside while the inside remains undercooked.
  3. Even Sizing: Try to make your fritters as uniform in size as possible. This ensures they cook evenly and are ready to serve at the same time.
  4. Don't Overcrowd the Fryer: When frying, avoid overcrowding the fryer or pan. Fry the fritters in batches to maintain the oil temperature and ensure they have enough space to cook properly.
  5. Drain Excess Oil: After frying, place the fritters on paper towels to drain excess oil. This helps keep them crispy.
  6. Season to Taste: Feel free to adjust the seasonings in the batter to your liking. You can add more or less salt, pepper, or other seasonings to suit your palate.
  7. Serve Promptly: Oyster fritters are best when served immediately, while they're still piping hot and crispy. If you need to hold them for a short while, keep them warm in a low oven.
  8. Dipping Sauces: Experiment with different dipping sauces to find your favorite. While tartar sauce and cocktail sauce are classics, you can also try spicy remoulade, hot sauce, or aioli for a unique twist.

Ingredient Substitutes

  1. Oysters: If you can't find fresh oysters or want a vegetarian version, you can use canned or jarred oysters. Alternatively, you can substitute oysters with other seafood like shrimp or clams.
  2. Flour: If you're looking for a gluten-free option, you can use a gluten-free all-purpose flour or a combination of rice flour and cornstarch.
  3. Cornmeal: Cornmeal can be substituted with breadcrumbs, crushed crackers, or crushed cornflakes for a similar crunchy texture.
  4. Milk: You can use non-dairy milk alternatives like almond milk, soy milk, or oat milk if you have dietary restrictions.
  5. Egg: If you're vegan or have an egg allergy, you can use egg replacers like flax eggs (1 tablespoon ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tablespoons water for each egg), silken tofu, or commercial egg replacers.
  6. Seasonings: Feel free to adjust the seasonings to your taste. You can add garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, or Old Bay seasoning for extra flavor.
  7. Frying Oil: While vegetable oil is commonly used, you can substitute it with canola oil, peanut oil, or another oil with a high smoke point.


Now you have the knowledge to create the ultimate Sharptown Carnival Oyster Fritters. Delight in a taste of Maryland's coastal tradition!

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