Hangtown Fry

Eggs, Bacon, Oysters
According to legend, during the California Gold Rush in the mid-1800’s, one fortunate prospector struck gold near a settlement called Hangtown, now the thriving city of Placerville. He was RICH! After subsisting on nothing more than beans since he reached California, he requested that the innkeepers at the El Dorado Hotel prepare him the most extravagant meal available. It consisted of eggs, bacon, and fresh oysters. Exactly how they prepared it is anyone’s guess, but here, I present you with our version of the legendary Hangtown Fry.

Bacon is sliced and sautéed. The fat is reserved for cooking the oysters.

Imagine the process of getting fresh oysters to Hangtown (about 130 miles) from San Francisco Bay in 1849…
Pacific coast oysters are dusted in flour, dipped in egg, coated with panko breadcrumbs then sautéed in the bacon fat with vegetable oil.

Eggs are scrambled in a non-stick skillet, whisking constantly to create a small creamy curd. Bacon is added near the end of cooking.
Original California Cuisine – The Hangtown Fry
Other oyster recipes you might enjoy:

With what meal would you celebrate your good fortune?
Mine would definitely involve Champagne…

15 thoughts on “Hangtown Fry”

  1. Hi Laurie – Well, we ate it for brunch and it was RICH. I guess that is the point. haha
    I’m with you on the oysters, in fact, I love them any which way: fried, fresh shucked, in soup, shooter, barbecued, you name it…

  2. Bittman had a blurb about Hangtown fry a while ago and I was definitely intrigued. You’ve hooked me with pictures. These look like perfect brunch fare. Okay, for me, maybe after an hour on the treadmill. . .

  3. my hubby loves oysters!!! he will surely adore this fried version!! i never tried cooking one..thanks for the idea!!

  4. Yum! I’ve never had this combination — the oyster part. I’d really love to try it. Sounds so delicious. Your photos are making me hungry. I guess I’ll have to go look for some oysters. Thanks for stopping by my blog.


  5. Hi ECV – I just looked up Bittman’s blurb. Yep, that is the story, he adds shiitakes too. Treadmill would be a good thing here.

    Hi Dhanggit – oh you must make fried oysters for your hubby. They are an aphrodisiac you know.

    Hi Paz – I was happy to read about Simona’s chicken. This recipe is over 150 years old, I’ve seen it on quite a few California restaurant menus for brunch.

    Hi Merisi – sorry for that I love hearing what you have to say.

    Hi Ann – not short on flavor or richness…

  6. Wow! Now thats what I’d call a decadent brunch! Just curious, what would you drink with that? Champagne?

  7. So far the only way I can stomach oysters is fried, and that dish looks pretty darn good (as always!!).

    By the way, I tagged you on my blog- just check the latest post for details… I felt like I would be cursed if I broke the “chain”

  8. Hi Nicole and Susan- Fried oysters just might make you a convert!

    Marie – How about a spicy Bloody Mary?

    Hi Heather – well thank you, and I don’t think you would be cursed…

    Lore – here’s to your good fortune!

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