I've been really nervous about this week. Oysters. I only started eating them 11 months ago. Until then I'd been afraid of that slimy thing going down my throat (basically afraid I'd gag it all up). Anyway, once I tried them though, I was hooked. Yet I couldn't imagine eating them any other way than raw with a little mignonette sauce, so this became a real challenge for me. Until I looked at the flavors book that is...
You see, a few complementary ingredients that go with oysters jumped out at me... horseradish, caviar, cucumber and vinegar which made me think ... sushi! Okay - I used wasabi but wasabi is horseradish!
I've never made sushi before so this totally intimidated me. Also, I was concerned about the concept of "chewing" the oysters. I mean, I'm fine when they slide down my throat but I was concerned about the chewiness, so I decided to flash fry them (kind of like a shrimp tempura or spider roll).
The only other concern for me was shucking the oysters. Chris is my shucker and he was out of town. Whole Foods though stepped in and shucked them for me and told me to eat them within 90 minutes - no problem!
I may have gotten a bit heavy handed with the rice but this was my first attempt at a roll and overall I'm really proud of how they came out!
- 1/4 cup arborio rice coating (I stole this from Michael Chiarello; it's what we use to coat our fried calamari and you can find the recipe here. We make it in batches and keep it in the freezer.
- 1/4C buttermilk
- 6 oysters (I used Chincoteague because they were small. I originally wanted kumamotos b/c I like them best. The Chicoteague were maybe a little too briny for this)
- small egg caviar
- 1C jasmine rice
- 2T seasoned rice VINEGAR (I didn't have seasoned and used regular but it seemed good)
- 1T wasabi powder (i.e., horseradish)
- 1T water
- 1 cucumber, peeled, cut in half lengthwise and seeded, then cut in long strips the length of the seaweed roll
- nori sheet (seaweed)
- Canola oil for frying
Cook the Jasmine Rice (any short grain rice will do though) according to package directions. When done stir in vinegar, cool to room temperature.
Shuck and drain the oysters. Soak in buttermilk to coat and then drain. Sprinkle with arborio rice coating, shake off excess and fry until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
Spread out Nori, shiny side down (I couldn't tell which side was shiny) on bamboo mat (I didn't have this so used a piece of parchment paper covered with saran wrap). Spread rice on seaweed, leaving 1 inch border with wet hands. Dab some wasabi on center of rice lengthwise (depending how hot you want it). Spread oysters and cucumber slices down the middle. (Note: this time I dolloped the top of the pieces with caviar. Next time I'll put it in the middle with the oysters).
From the long side closest to you, roll Nori over the filling by lifting mat (or parchment paper). Continue to roll away from you until the Nori is under itself (there are good picture directions of this maneuver on the back of the packages of the Nori). Using gentle pressure, shape roll with your hands. Remove mat (or paper and saran) and cut roll into 6 to 8 slices. Dollop with caviar. Serve with some soy sauce and more wasabi.