Saturday, October 17, 2009

Kaki Gohan - Oyster Rice

I love oysters but some oyster dishes don't love me back.
But the only way you are going to know is to try. Part of my frustration with Japanese cooking is finding many of the specialty items that even the local Japanese market may not have. If you live where there are no Japanese markets than you know this frustration. This dish on the otherhand should be no problem regardless where you live.

All you need is:
2+cups of short grained rice
2+cups of water - note this takes some eyeballing!
1pint of oysters- without shell
3T of Soy Sauce
1T of Sake
1 Lemon for rinds
1 sheet of Nori

Most American markets in particularly in major cities have a small Asian section where you can find Nori. Or look wherever you can find sushi sold.

Of course if you are in Japan or near a Nihonmachi then this will be no problem.

So going back to Nori - You'll want to cut that in tiny strips for use later.

Next you'll want to wash and drain your rice and have it ready.
Now I have looked at the KakiGohan recipes from NHK World and Yukiko Moriyama's Japanese Cuisine books. In either recipes there is some amibiguity as to the part that follows next. Perhaps that's a language barrier or that's an asumption as to how to proceed next.

So unless you grew up with Japanese cooking or have your own Oba-Chan to answer your questions - the art of trial and error may apply. When in doubt experiment!
So here's what we did.
We went ahead and washed our oysters with running water and salt. This helps remove some of the muck you may encounter especially if you bought your oysters from a pre-packaged jar.
Next you'll want to mix that sake and soy sauce in a good skillet or wok and bring to a boil.
Once that's boiling throw in your oysters and simmer for a minute or two. Keep a good eye on them for depending on your oysters you may need to add some water and simmering time.
Once you are ready drain the oysters and throw them into the rice along with 2 1/2 cups of water and cover.
Cook on low heat for 15-20 minutes. Again, keep an eye on them. If your rice is ready in ten minutes don't wait until they are burning to turn off the heat. Reasonable so far? Wakarimasu ka?
As soon as your rice is ready gently stir and let stand for another few minutes.
If you are sensitive to oyster smell open those windows!

Now while that's standing you'll want to break out that lemon.
Thinly slice the rind. You can make them as small as you like.
When you are ready to serve you will garnish with the lemon rinds and the sliced nori.
When it's all done serve and enjoy!

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