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Make Justin Large's Oyster Taco From Mercadito

By Amy Cavanaugh in Food on Apr 28, 2012 4:00PM

Photo credit: Amy Cavanaugh
Each month Mercadito offers Tacos for Strength, a tasty promotion that features a special taco created by a guest chef. May's taco is from Big Star's Justin Large, whose oyster taco is available at Mercadito locations in Chicago, New York, and Miami through May 31. We went to a tasting earlier this week and loved the sweet and briny flavor of the fried oysters.

Mercadito donates a percentage of the proceeds to Share Our Strength, which fights childhood hunger. We previously featured Michael Kornick's chicken and cactus taco recipe and David Blonsky's smoked pork cheek taco recipe.

Recipe for Taco de Ostiones
Makes 4 tacos


4 fresh corn tortillas
8 large or 12 medium oysters shucked for frying
1 C rice flour
1 C cornmeal or masa harina
2 red or breakfast radishes, shaved thinly with mandolin
1/4 head of green cabbage, shaved
1/2 large red onion julienned
2-3 T chopped cilantro
Lime juice
Extra virgin olive oil
5 T chipotle aioli (recipe follows)
Oil for frying
Lime wedges

Chipotle aioli

4 egg yolks
4 C neutral flavored oil
4 cloves roasted garlic
1.5 cans, pureed chipotles en adobo
Lime juice

1. Combine all ingredients except the oil in a food processor or blender and puree.
2. Add the oil in a slow stream and continue to process until the mixture has formed a thick emulsion.

Taco Directions:
1. Heat oil to 350, drain oysters and reserve.
2. Mix together rice flour and cornmeal for dusting. Season with salt.
3. In a separate bowl mix radishes, cabbage, red onion, lime juice, and extra virgin olive oil. Season to taste and reserve.
4. Warm tortillas.
5. Dredge oysters in cornmeal mixture, and fry until golden. Season upon removal from fryer.
6. Spread the bottom of each tortilla with a generous portion of chipotle aioli, top aioli with oysters and slaw. Finish with fresh cilantro and serve with lime wedges.