Mini Brioche Chickpea-crusted Oyster Po’ Boy with red curry aioli, celery ribbons and micro mustard. Recipe courtesy of Chad Martin, chef/owner of Circa 1918

Yield: 4 servings


1/2 cups buttermilk
1 tbsp favorite red hot sauce
2 tbsp favorite spice seasoning
1 dozen oysters, shucked and drained
1 1/2 cups chickpea flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
6 cups vegetable oil, for frying
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 po’ boy sandwich loaves, each 4 inches long, split lengthwise (we use brioche; French or Italian loaves work fine, too)
1 tbsp olive oil or melted butter
1 cup celery ribbons, shaved with a peeler and stored in cold water
2 tbsp diced bell peppers

Red Curry Aioli

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp red curry paste
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice


Whisk Red Curry Aioli ingredients together. Cover and refrigerate.

Combine the buttermilk, hot sauce, and 1 tbsp spice in a medium mixing bowl. Add the oysters and marinate, refrigerated, for up to 30 minutes.

In a separate medium bowl, combine the chickpea flour, all-purpose flour and remaining 1 tbsp spice mix, and stir to blend.

Combine celery ribbons and diced peppers in a bowl and toss with 2 tbsp of the Red Curry Aioli.

Heat vegetable oil in a heavy pot or deep fryer until the temperature reaches 360 F. Working in batches, remove the oysters from the buttermilk marinade and transfer them to the chickpea flour mixture. Dredge to coat, shaking to remove any excess breading. Cook the oysters in small batches in the hot oil until golden brown and crispy, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to paper towels to drain. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside.

Using a sharp knife, cut a “V” notch out of the bread, not cutting all the way through, and pull the top piece of bread out. Brush the bread with olive oil or melted butter. Lightly grill, then spread remaining aioli on each piece. Sandwich oysters between bread, pressing gently. Place celery ribbon mixture on top. Enjoy.

Circa 1918 is located at 10367 Warwick Blvd., Newport News. 757-599-1918.

By Angela Blue

Written By

Angela Blue