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Cantonese-Style Steamed Oysters
starter | serves 4
“For Chinese New Year, my family often had a dried oyster dish with sea moss,” recalls Ken. “However, in recent times, we Chinese now enjoy fresh oysters, steamed. The word ‘oyster’ in Cantonese sounds like ‘good things’, so they are often on the New Year menu. Watch the oysters carefully to prevent overcooking.”
1. Scrub the oysters clean, then divide between 2 heatproof plates; you will have to steam them in 2 batches. Set up a steamer, or put a rack in a lidded wok or deep pan and fill with 5cm water. Bring to the boil over a high heat. Put 1 plate of oysters in the steamer or on the rack and cover with the lid. Turn the heat to low and gently steam the oysters for 5 minutes or until they begin to open.
2. Meanwhile, combine all the sauce ingredients except the oil in a heatproof bowl. Heat a wok or large frying pan over a high heat until hot. Heat the oil until slightly smoking, then pour it over the sauce.
3. Remove the first batch of oysters from the steamer. Give the sauce several good stirs. Carefully remove the top shells of the oysters and drizzle a bit of sauce over each one. Garnish with coriander and serve at once. Meanwhile, repeat the cooking procedure with the second batch.
Recipe Ken Hom
Photo Brett Stevens
from Issue 35
ingredients• 16 large oysters, shells intact
• Coriander sprigs, to garnish
Ginger & spring onion sauce
• 3 tbsp finely shredded spring onion
• 1 tbsp shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
• 1 tbsp light soy sauce
• 1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
• 2 tsp finely chopped garlic
• 2 tsp dark soy sauce
• 1 tsp chilli bean sauce (see note)
• 2 red chillies, deseeded and chopped
• 3 tbsp groundnut or peanut oil