Besides Tofino’s legendary storm watching season kicking-in big time in November, it’s a month that’s also famous for oysters. The succulent, shuck and slurp kind that the Pacific region is renowned for – over 50,000 gallons of oysters a year – are celebrated at the annual Clayoquot Oyster Festival; Nov. 17 – 19, 2011.
This year marks the 15th year these deliciously slippery bivalves take a bow at this fantastic festival. From restaurant events with oyster masters and wine pairings to oyster farm tours that families love, the whole community comes together to toast and indulge. The Mermaid Ball with an under-the-sea costume theme (Friday, Nov. 18) includes dancing, a BC beer & wine tasting and oyster barbeque. Then the grand finale Oyster Gala (Saturday Nov. 19) will shake up Tofino with 12 local restaurants serving up oyster specialties, refreshing pours from BC beer & wine sponsors and dancing with the funky Brickhouse band.
All events are a guaranteed sell-out so please don’t wait to book tickets – visit the event website for more details and/or call 1.800.863.4664.
Staying with us during the festival? Cook up some oysters in the comfort of your in-suite Pacific Sands kitchen! Check out this easy, yummy and healthy variation on the infamous New Orleans Po'boy Sandwich. (Psst! Healthier as in pan fried vs. deep fried, artisan bread vs. hoagie…but complete with baaaaaacon and all the goodness of the Pacific oysters we’re blessed with here!)
Pan-Fried Oyster & Bacon Sandwich
- 1 quart oysters *
- 3 eggs
- 3 cups cornmeal
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ tsp salt, divided
- 1 tsp black pepper, divided
- 1 Tbsp Cajun style seasoning
- 8 slices artisan bread, toasted **
- 8 tsp mayonnaise, divided
- 12-16 bacon strips, cooked
- 2 cups iceberg lettuce, shredded
- 2 tomatoes, sliced
- Vegetable oil
- In a medium sized bowl, beat the eggs. Stir in the oysters; coating well and let stand for 5 minutes.
- Using a ziplock bag, combine the cornmeal, flour, Cajun seasoning, 1 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of pepper.
- Take one oyster at a time from egg mixture and allow excess egg to drip off; toss into breading mixture. Close bag and shake all oysters until well coated.
- Preheat a frying pan over med-high heat adding enough vegetable oil to coat the bottom of the pan.
- Pan fry the oysters in batches of 3 to 4 for about 3 to 4 minutes per side until golden brown.
- Drain on paper-towel.
- Toast bread and spread one side of each piece of with one teaspoon of mayonnaise.
- Divide the oysters between 4 slices of bread and top with 3 to 4 strips of cooked bacon, ½ cup lettuce and a couple of slices of tomato.
- Season tomatoes with a pinch of salt and pepper then add the final piece of bread.
- Serve warm, cut, grip and enjoy!
* Buy oysters at your seafood merchant or local Tofino merchants including Trilogy Fish Co.