Kaki Futomaki (Oyster Roll)
Since oysters can be eaten raw or cooked, it would seem only natural that they would be incorporated into sushi. But oysters are rarely used in sushi applications. You may find the occasional oyster gunkan maki (raw oyster perched on top of a nori bound “battleship”) or even a snazzy “sashimi” with Japanese inspired condiments, though this is not the norm. It seemed quite reasonable to me that fried oysters coated in crunchy panko would translate well into a futomaki style sushi roll, much like a crispy soft shell crab. Also, I just couldn’t resist the idea of saying kaki futomaki, as kaki is the Japanese word for oyster. The result was tasty and had almost an oyster poboy feel. For best results, work with the oysters while they are still warm.
Oyster Futomaki (Kaki Futomaki)
For each sushi roll (5 pieces)
1 4in x 7in piece nori
pinch of matchstick sized cucumbers
2 thin strips of red bell pepper
piece of romaine lettuce, about 1/2 in x 4in
1/2 tsp finely chopped scallions
Panko Coating (Enough for about 1 dozen oysters)
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup potato starch
1 tsp shichimi togarashi, Japanese 7 flavored pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup flour
1 cup panko
oil for frying
To prepare the oysters, heat 1 inch of oil in a heavy bottom skillet to 350 degrees F. Place beaten egg in a small bowl. Place potato starch on a plate or in a small bowl. In another small bowl, mix flour, shichimi togarashi, salt and panko. Dip oysters lightly in potato starch, shaking away excess starch. Next, dip oysters into beaten egg and allow excess egg to drip back into bowl. Finally, place oysters into flour mix and shake to coat. Fry breaded oysters in oil until golden. Allow to drain on paper towels or a clean kitchen towel.
Working quickly, while oysters are still warm, place nori vertically, rough side facing upwards on a bamboo rolling mat. Spread prepared sushi rice across the surface of the nori, leaving the top 1/3 uncovered. Place cucumbers horizontally in the middle of the rice, making sure they extend to both edges of the nori. Place red bell peppers and romaine horizontally in the middle of the rice. Sprinkle scallions horizontally across the center of the rice. Top with 3-4 warm oysters.
Roll according to the method for rolling thick sushi rolls. Cut into 5 pieces and serve immediately. Serve with pickled ginger, wasabi, and soy sauce for dipping if desired.
“He was a bold man who first eat an oyster.” Jonathan Swift