During a trip to Amsterdam, I tried the famous steamed oysters at the Dutch Cantonese establishment of Nam Kee restaurant there. This recipe is a variant of their signature dish.
What are the differences?
Well, Nam Kee did what the Cantonese do: using black bean paste in the classic Cantonese fashion. It usually goes extremely well with a sumptuous white flesh fish, like seabass. But I found the contrast too great for my liking, as oysters have a subtle sweetness that have been overpowered by the black bean paste. By using yellow bean paste (or miso, in Japanese), I aim to bring out the sweetness of fresh raw oysters and balance it with a tinge of sake wine. Everything has to be done within the instance, including eating it, so that the flavour, the freshness of the oysters and the aroma can be savoured as soon as the dish is served.
A great Chinese New Year dish!
- 6 raw oysters
- 2 stalks spring onions
- 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 3 tbs vegetable oil
- 2 tps light brown miso paste (yellow bean paste)
- 2 tps sake (or any other white rice wine)
- 3cm long fresh ginger (cut into very fine strips)
- Garnish: 1 small jar of salmon or lumpfish roe (optional)
Serving: 1 to 2 persons as a side dish
- Cut your spring onions into 2: the greener part cut into fine strips while the whiter part into rings. Set aside.
- Open your raw oysters, taking care not to spill the precious juice within. Lay them out on a plate.
- Mix your miso and sake into a paste and pour onto each oyster. Add fresh ginger strips on each.
- Prepare your wok for steaming. Once the water is boiling, place your plate onto the steaming stand and cover for 5 minutes.
- During this time, stir-fry your garlic in vegetable oil until they are golden brown.
- Once the oysters are ready, distribute the crispy garlic and oil onto the oysters. Garnish with spring onion rings and strips, as well as a lump of salmon roe.
- Serve immediately.
*Note: Use the lighter version of miso, if possible.