MY JAPANESE GARDEN
250g Raw oysters (opened)
10 cc light olive oil (Filippo Berio)
1 1/2 Tbsp Soy sauce (Kikkoman)
1/2 Tbsp Sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp Sake (Ozeki)
1/2 tsp Black pepper (coarsely ground)
20 Slices of eggplant (1 1/2 cm thick)
salt & black pepper (to taste)
2 Tbsp Light olive oil
100g mozzarella cheese
20 spicy potato chips
In a hot pan saute the oysters with the black pepper for 10 seconds. Add the soy, sugar, oyster juices and the sake. Simmer for 30 seconds. Remove the oysters from the pan but leave the sauce in the pan to reduce. Cook until only 1/4 of the sauce remains. Add the oysters back to the sauce and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the oysters and the sauce to a bowl and leave to cool.
Marinate the sliced eggplant with oil, salt and pepper.
Cook the eggplant slices over a charcoal BBQ. When the eggplant is ready top each slice with a good pinch of cheese and move them to the edge of the grill and allow the cheese to melt. Warm up the oysters on the BBQ. Place one warmed oyster on top of each cheesy eggplant slice.
To finish place each eggplant slice on top of chili flavored potato chips and eat straight away.
Its very important that you do not throw away the oyster juice. This is all the liquid that comes from inside the oysters when they are opened. This will add a lot of oyster flavor to the sauce.
HOW TO SERVE
I suggest to serve as a canape wilt cold beer or white wine at the beginning of a BBQ party...kinda like a BBQ amuse bouche. or if it suits you then just as a beer snack!!
I do realize that many oyster aficionados will cringe at the idea of implementing such a complex preparation on a delicious oyster. Myself too... I am a great lover of the practice of eating them raw straight off the half shell. All said I confess that when me and my Japanese buddy Tetsu ate these little cheesy eggplant numbers we were both amazed at how flavorful and scrumptious they were. absolutely amazing with a cold beer. Another option I'm quite fond of is to put oysters (in the shell) straight onto the BBQ as soon as they open they are ready. Eat em just like that.
ABOUT THIS RECIPE
Just a little note on how this recipe came to be. At my house in Gifu I invited my good buddy Tetsu over. The idea was to sit out on the veranda, put back a few cold beers and enjoy the view of my Japanese garden and pond and nibble on a few crispy tit bits (ie. nuts, potato chips, dry squid etc).
We had a major BBQ 2 days before, so today I was not really planning to spark up. (I have a reputation for being a bit spontaneous) and when I saw the eggplant on the kitchen table I thought they would go along well with the nuts and stuff. So I sliced em up and sparked up the mini Japanese Hibachi (shichirin). Tetsu showed up with the oysters. He picked up the recipe for black pepper oysters on TV the same day. So he decided to give it a go. The rest is history!!