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Colchester native oysters with ginger, mirin and soya sauce

Serves 4

Colchester native oysters are a lovely oyster from the mouth of the Colchester estuary, small and round and at times difficult to prise open. They have a delicious saltiness to them and are lovely eaten plain, but this is a very nice alternative. The slight acidity of the mirin – a Japanese rice wine similar to sake, but with a lower alcohol content that is available from Asian food shops and specialty sections in most major supermarkets – provides balance and contrast.

50ml/2fl oz mirin
40ml/11/2fl oz of tamari or other good-quality soy sauce
11/2 tsp sesame oil
1 inch of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into the finest julienne
1tsp of freshly squeezed lime juice
The zest of one lime
6 oysters per person

Place the mirin, tamari and sesame oil together in a bowl. Stir together to combine, and add the finely sliced ginger, lime juice and zest, then stir again.

Use an oyster chucker to prise open the oysters, then place them on top of a bowl of shaved ice. Oysters are delicious served this way – it keeps them nice and cold, like the winter sea, which is important.

Serve with the sauce alongside in a small bowl for people to help themselves.