We are well into native oyster season and I've consumed a fair few down at the Wright Brothers new oyster bar in Borough Market since it opened a few months ago. I know oysters are supposed to be an aphrodisiac, probably to do with the fact that they're a bit of a luxury nowadays, although I'm glad to see that they're becoming more accessible as more people get to try them.
Raw oysters aren't everyone's cup of tea, but deep fried with this hot Japanese horseradish they're an impressive treat. It goes slightly against my purist instincts to cook them, but this recipe is just the ticket for getting the juices going for a torrid night in. The wasabi and dried seaweed (a mix of different colours sold in little packets) can be bought in well-stocked supermarkets or Chinese or Japanese stores. If you can't find the seaweed then some finely shredded cucumber would be a good replacement. I would recommend rock oysters for this as it's a bit of a waste cooking natives.
12 rock oysters shucked and loosened from the shell
100g tempura batter mix
10g dried seaweed salad mix, soaked in cold water for 1 hour
2 spring onions, shredded
Half tbsp soy sauce
Half tbsp mirin
Half tsp wasabi paste
Half tbsp good quality mayonnaise
Vegetable oil for deep frying
Mix the tempura flour with enough iced water to form a thickish batter. Pre-heat about 8cm of oil to 160-180C in a large thick bottomed saucepan or electric deep fat fryer. Squeeze the water from the seaweed and mix with the spring onion, soy and mirin then divide into the cupped oyster shells on a serving dish. Mix as much wasabi with the mayonnaise as you wish and transferto a small serving dish.
Dip the oysters in the batter and fry six at a time for a couple of minutes until crisp but not browned. Tempura should stay transparent and light, not like conventional batter. Place the oysters on top of the seaweed and serve with the mayonnaise.
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