Make a tartar sauce by stirring the mayonnaise, lemon juice, lemon zest, dill pickle, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper together in a small bowl until thoroughly combined; set aside.
Mix the panko crumbs, 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper together in a shallow bowl.
Heat the canola oil in a deep-fryer or saucepan to 360 degrees F (180 degrees C). Measure temperature with a deep frying thermometer for accuracy.
Dip an oyster into the beaten egg, and press into panko crumbs to coat. Gently toss between your hands so any bread crumbs that haven't stuck can fall away. Place the breaded oysters onto a plate while breading the rest; do not stack.
Cook the oysters, two at a time, in the hot oil until the panko is browned, about 1 minute per side. Transfer the fried oysters to a baking sheet lined with paper towels, and place in oven to keep warm while frying remaining oysters. Serve with the tartar sauce for dipping.
If you have a larger deep fryer, you can do more at a time, but make sure loose crumbs in the oil are removed so they don't burn. I do these in a small sauce pan, so the oil is at least an inch deep. It's important to maintain the temperature at 180, so use a thermometer. A larger pan will help, but require more oil. Each oyster you add will lower the temperature a bit. These go great with a dry sake or crisp white wine.
You can also use 8 fresh-shucked oysters if available.
The nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of the breading ingredients and the dipping sauce. The actual amount of the breading consumed will vary. We have determined the nutritional value of oil for frying based on a retention value of 10% after cooking. The exact amount will vary depending on cooking time and temperature, ingredient density, and the specific type of oil used.
Per Serving: 465 calories;42.8 g fat;
19.3 g carbohydrates;
6.8 g protein;
77 mg cholesterol;
487 mg sodium.