Regular demo chef Tim Maddams shares a starter idea to entice the most oyster-shy of eaters
I love raw oysters, they are one of my all-time favourite things. Though some are not at their peak condition this time of year, there are plenty of options available from around the country that are good to eat right now. These include the non-native rock or Pacific oyster, which is healthy, tasty, sustainable and totally delicious.
Lots of people do not like raw oysters, they seem to present a little too much of a challenge, which is why I often cook them. Here I have steamed them with a little cider, soy, ginger and chilli to make a light but enjoyable broth—the perfect way to get even the most oyster-shy of folk to give them a go. Simplicity itself, this recipe is a one-pan wonder and can easily be made into more of a meal by the simple addition of a few noodles to the broth.
8 princess rock oysters
½ pint sweet cider
1 whole star anise
1 tbsp tamari soy sauce
1 garlic clove, peeled and sliced
1½cm ginger root, peeled and shredded
2 spring onions, washed and sliced
1 fresh red chilli
A few drops of rapeseed oil
Stack the oysters in a pan with a tight-fitting lid and add the cider, lemongrass, and star anise. Put the lid on the pan and place on a high heat. Bring to a rapid simmer and cook for about 5 mins. The oyster shells may not pop open like clams, but trust that they will be ready after this time.
Remove the oysters and their shells from the broth and leave them on a plate or dish nearby to cool just a little. Pass the broth through a fine sieve to remove the lemongrass, shell shards and star anise. Put the broth into a clean, small saucepan and simmer to reduce slightly. Add some soy to taste, along with the garlic and ginger.
Meanwhile, gently open the oysters, reserving any juices inside, and place the cooked meat on a small plate. Add any liquid to the broth, making sure it is not too salty. Now, turn off the broth and divide the cooked oysters between serving dishes. Garnish the oysters with chopped spring onion, sliced red chilli and a little rapeseed oil. Pour the hot broth over each dish and serve immediately.
Recipe: Tim Maddams