Top | The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen

Fried Salsify “Oysters”

(recipe, Matt Lee & Ted Lee)


  1. 1 lemon wedge
  2. 1 lb. salsify
  3. ½ cup half-and-half
  4. Kosher salt
  5. Freshly ground black pepper
  6. 3 Tbsp. finely chopped scallions (white and green parts)
  7. 1 large egg, beaten
  8. 3 Tbsp. bread crumbs
  9. 4 to 5 cups peanut or canola oil


  1. Fill a medium bowl half full with water and squeeze the wedge of lemon into it. Peel the salsify, and put it in the bowl of water to keep it from browning. When all the salsify is peeled, cut the salsify into small dice, returning the dice to the lemon water.
  2. Pour the half-and-half and ½ cup water into a 2-quart saucepan over high heat, add 1 teaspoon salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, strain the salsify, and add it to the pan. Simmer until very tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. Strain the salsify and transfer it to a large bowl. Mash to a purée with a fork, potato masher, or whisk, and then fold in the scallions. Let cool slightly so as not to cook the egg, and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Add the egg and the bread crumbs, and mix thoroughly to combine.
  4. Pour the peanut oil into a deep skillet or 4-quart Dutch oven to a depth of about 2 inches, and heat to 350 degrees. Form the salsify mixture into heaping tablespoon-size football shapes by rolling it between two teaspoons, then dropping them into the oil, taking care not to crowd the pan. Turn them in the oil as they brown, about 2 minutes per side. Reserve fried salsify “oysters” on a plate lined with a paper towel.
  5. When all the “oysters” are fried, serve immediately. Alternatively, transfer to a low oven to keep warm until serving time.