Oyster Rice (Kaki Meshi)

Oyster Rice (Kaki Meshi)

Because the waters around Japan become warm in summer, oysters are typically only eaten in months that include an “r” (September through april). With the end of oyster season rapidly approaching, I found a half pound bag of shucked oysters at my local supermarket on sale for about $7 and couldn’t resist.

While pre-shucked oysters are convenient, bivalves tend to lose their freshness much faster than other seafood, which is why I’d never eat a pre-shucked oyster raw. Still, oysters can be just as tasty when lightly cooked and can make an incredibly flavorful broth, which is why I decided to make this Kaki Meshi (牡蠣飯).

Kaki Meshi

With crunchy bamboo shoots, savory abura-age and creamy morsels of oyster hidden amongst mouth-wateringly savory grains of rice, this Japanese classic is a one-bowl meal that tastes even better than it looks. Abura-age (pronounced ah-boo-rah-ah-geh), which literally means “fried in oil” is a tofu product that’s been thinly sliced and deep fried. It has a meat-like texture that absorbs flavors like a sponge, making it a bit like oyster flavored ham, when mixed in with the rice.

Abura-age

Although some people like to cook the oysters together with the rice, I prefer cooking them separately and mixing them together at the end. To get oyster flavor into the rice, I quickly blanch the oysters in boiling water to make a stock. Then I cook them with soy sauce sake and sugar. The rice gets cooked with the stock and extra liquid from the seasoned oysters, ensuring the rice is full-flavored, while preventing the oysters from becoming overcooked.

Oyster Rice (Kaki Meshi)
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Oyster Rice (Kaki Meshi)
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Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Servings Prep Time
people 10minutes
Cook Time
30minutes
Servings Prep Time
people 10minutes
Cook Time
30minutes
Ingredients
  • 325 grams Japanese short-grain rice (2 rice cooker cups)
  • 2 cups water
  • 6 centimeters dashi kombu
  • 270 grams oysters - shucked
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 8 grams ginger julienned (4 paper thin slices) julienned
  • 100 grams prepared bamboo shoots cut into bite-size pieces
  • 50 grams abura-age
  • 1 tablespoon sugar - evaporated cane juice
  • 1 tablespoon sake
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Units:
Instructions
    Preparation
    1. Wash the rice and add to a rice cooker or heavy bottomed pot.
    2. Prepare a strainer and bowl so you don't overcook the oysters. Put two cups of water and the dashi kombu in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil over high heat.
    3. Add the oysters and cook for exactly 1 minute and drain the oyster stock into a bowl and set both aside.
    4. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium high heat and saute the ginger until fragrant (but not browned). Add the bamboo, fried tofu and sugar and saute until the sugar just starts to caramelize.
    5. Add the sake, soy sauce, salt and drained oysters and stir-fry until the oysters are cooked through.
    Rice Cooker Directions
    1. If you are cooking the rice in a rice cooker, strain the remaining liquid from the stir-fry into the rice cooker bowl with the rice.
    2. Add the oyster stock until you reach the bottom of the 2 cup mark on the rice cooker bowl and then add the dashi kombu you used to make the oyster stock.
    3. Cook the rice in the rice cooker.
    Stovetop Directions
    1. If you are cooking the rice on the stovetop, strain the liquid into a 2 cup (US) liquid measuring cup.
    2. Add the oyster stock to the measuring cup until you have a total of 1 3/4 cup (415 milliliters) of liquid. Pour this over the rice and add the kombu you used to make the oyster stock. B
    3. Bring the pot to a boil over high heat. Cover and reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes.
    4. Turn off the heat and let the rice steam for 10 more minutes.
    Finish the Rice
    1. When the rice is done, add the oysters and bamboo and mix everything together. Garnish with chopped mitsuba or scallions and serve.
    Categories
    • KD

      Hi Marc! With the prepared bamboo, I ask a silly question: is there a particular type/brand I should look for? My mom always used canned shoots & when I’m at Rancho 99 or Nijiya, there’s a whole lot more beyond canned to choose from! I assume the abura-age is not canned either. I have found a packaged one that I like for cone sushi (inari sushi), no msg, but already seasoned. However, it seems to me that it would be too sweet for this recipe & I should be using the simple fried unseasoned one? Okay, I asked 2 silly questions…. :-)

      • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

        Hi KD, not silly at all, I should have been more specific. For the bamboo, you can use canned if that’s all you can find, but the kind that’s whole and vacuum sealed in water tastes better ( http://www.the-seiyu.com/front/img/commodity/shop/00000000/commodity/1353848808_common.jpg ).

        As for the abura-age, the unseasoned ones are usually sold frozen in asian markets in the US. You could probably get away with the canned seasoned variety, but just wash and squeeze them before you use them.

        • KD

          Many thanks! You teach better than mom did (sorry mom); it went like this: mom, what do i use? Well, whatevah you can find. Right, mom. But what brand? Whatevah you can find. How much? Oh so & so, whatevah, Now keep making that wonton (I got the task of folding wonton.) Hate it to this day. I also got to wash ALL THOSE dishes….
          So thank you for your teaching & clarification. ;-)

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