Whether you are creating a special meal for two or hosting a dinner party for friends this Japanese oysters recipe is certain to win over your guests. Each mouthful of these tempura oysters are a delight. With a sweet crisp fried oyster, the sharpness of the wasabi mayonnaise and the refreshing cucumber salsa. And plated beautiful, making it delicious, to both the palate and eye.
Let us show you how to recreate the dish and wow your guests.
A luxurious appetizer / entrée that's a delight to the taste buds. Does anything say special occasion better than oysters?! These Japanese inspired fried oysters, aren't as complicated as they look and many elements can be prepped ahead. Follow Chef Shane's top tips and easy to follow steps and you will be whipping up these tasty morsels in no time.
- Oysters - we used half shell pacific oysters, but choose what's available and sustainable in your region. If you need to shuck your oysters see our notes below.
- Oil - For deep frying
- Spring onion / scallions - option garnish
For the tempura batter:
- Plain flour
- Soda water - keep it cold. You can use sparkling water as well.
- Ice cubes.
- Japanese mayonnaise - we love the kewpie brand.
- Wasabi paste
- Lemon - zest only
Cucumber sesame salsa:
- Telegraph cucumber
- Sesame seeds
- Spring onion / scallion
How to Make Tempura Batter
Our 4 pro tips to perfecting tempura batter!
Tip 1 - The secret to a crisp tempura batter is to keep it really cold. We use cold soda water and ice cubes. Keeping the batter cold, allows less oil to absorb into the batter during the cooking process.
Tip 2 - You can use sparkling water as well but we prefer soda water for the extra aeration it provides to the batter.
Tip 3 - Keep the batter thin, about the same consistency as crepe batter. And don't over mix once the flour has been added, as you don't want to develop the gluten.
Tip 4 - My final tip for making great tempura batter, is to keep the oil consistently at the right temperature of 180 deg C / 356 F.
A great, versatile batter to get confident cooking in the kitchen. Enjoy!
How To Shuck An Oyster
To open or shuck an oyster might seem a challenge but it is really quite easy with a bit of practice.
You will need an oyster knife and a cloth. Hold the oyster firmly in a cloth.
At the back end of the oyster where the shells join, firmly ease the knife between the two shells. Once the oyster knife slides in, give it a twist to pop the shells apart.
Slide the knife on the underside of the flat shell to slice through the muscle, this will remove the top shell.
Check for any shell that may have come off in the opening process. Try and keep all the natural oyster juice in the shell, this will keep the oyster moist.
Practice makes perfect, so keep trying and you will find the sweet spot of the oyster. Or you can always cheat by asking your fish monger to open them or buying them already in the half shell.
Tempura Fried oysters
Frying oysters in a tempura batter creates light, sweet, crisp oysters that are completely moreish.
You can use a wok, deep sided pot or a deep fryer to fry oysters. The key is to bring the oil up to 180 C / 356 F and then keep it at that temperature. For a deep fryer you can set the temperature, for a wok or pot use a food thermometer.
Place the oysters into the batter and then carefully drop them into the hot oil. Fry until golden and crisp. Remove and drain the oysters on absorbent paper.
Work in small batches to avoid over crowding the pot.
A great dish for serving as a shared platter or as individual dishes. We used a mix of oyster shells and Asian soup spoons to plate this dish but you could use either.
To plate the individual portions start with a layer of the cucumber salsa, add a crispy fried oyster, top with a little wasabi mayonnaise and garnish with spring onions.
These Japanese inspired tempura oysters are a delicious dish to perfect and certain to be loved by your guest... enjoy!
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Our goal is to share simple, tasty dishes created by Chef Shane and partner, Sara. Using Shane's understanding of flavours and knowledge of food, to teach and inspire you to create delicious food everyday and gain a new level of confidence in the kitchen. Sara understands what it's like preparing weekly dinners for a busy family of five and likes to create dishes that are easy, full of flavour, that the whole family will enjoy.
First published 7th Sept 2021
Tempura Fried Oysters
- 2 Doz Fresh oysters See note 1
- 1 ltr Canola oil (4 cups) for deep frying
- ½ Spring Onion / scallions sliced thinly, optional garnish
- 70 g Cornflour (2.4 oz)
- 40 g Plain flour (1.4 oz)
- 100 ml Soda water (3.3 fl oz) Keep it cold
- Pinch of salt
- 3 Ice cubes
- 100 g Japanese mayonnaise (3.5 oz) (Kewpie)
- 20 g Wasabi paste (0.7 oz)
- ½ Lemon (Zest only)
Cucumber Sesame Salsa
- ½ Cucumber (peeled and cut into small dice)
- 2 teaspoon Sesame seeds (toasted)
- ½ Spring onion / scallions (sliced thinly)
- To prepare half shell oysters, remove from the shells by cutting the muscle under the oyster. Check for any shell, clean and place into a bowl. Keep the oyster shells for plating. ( To shuck an oyster see note 2 below)
Making tempura batter
- Prepare the batter by adding corn flour, flour, cold soda water and salt into a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Add the ice cubes then place into the fridge to keep cool.
For the wasabi mayonnaise
- Add the mayonnaise, wasabi and lemon zest into a bowl and mix well, until smooth. Cover and place in fridge until required.
Cucumber Sesame Salsa
- To prepare the cucumber salsa add all the ingredients into a small bowl and mix. Place covered in the fridge until required.
To cook the oysters
- Heat the oil in a wok or deep sided pot, using a thermometer until the oil reaches 180 °C / 356 °F . If you have a deep fryer, set the temperature to 180 °C / 356 °F.
- Place the oysters into the batter mix and then carefully drop them into the heated oil. Fry until golden and crisp and then drain on absorbent paper. Work in small batches.
- Add a little of the cucumber salsa to the shell or spoon. Top with a crispy oysters and a little wasabi mayonnaise.
- Garnish with freshly sliced spring onion. Serve and enjoy!
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