Prepare the first stage of the batter for the beignets: Whisk together the flour, water, warm beer, olive oil and egg yolk to form a smooth batter. Clean down the sides of the bowl and cover with cling-film to prevent a skin forming. Allow the batter to stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
Shuck the oysters, removing them from their shells and refrigerate until ready to use.
Use a sharp knife to remove the skin and bloodline from the underside of the fish and cut into thin slices. Lay the sliced fish onto a tray and lightly season on both sides with salt and freshly ground pepper. Brush the slices with the Vietnamese dressing.
Heat the oil to 180°C. In a clean bowl whisk the egg whites to soft peaks and fold through the batter mixture. Drain the oysters of their juice and dry on a clean kitchen towel. Lightly season the flour with salt and freshly ground pepper. Dust the oysters with the flour, place them into the batter, and gently work with your fingertips until each oyster is evenly coated. Remove the oysters from the batter and allow the excess to drain off. Place into the oil and cook until the batter puffs up and becomes crisp. Turn the oysters with a fork and continue to cook until golden. Using a slotted spoon remove the oyster beignets from the oil, drain on a clean tea towel and lightly season with salt, freshly ground pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon.
Place an oyster beignet in the centre of the ceviche and spoon a little more Vietnamese dressing over the ceviche. Serve immediately so that the oysters, shallots and chilli all remain crisp.
© 2005 Liam Tomlin. All rights reserved.