This recipe for Japanese Oyster Mignonette was created by Chef Paul Niddrie.
Paul recently joined The Essential Ingredient Newcastle as head of wholesale and has been working with food for over 10 years. He trained out of Hamilton TAFE before working eateries in the Hunter Region, such as Muse Kitchen and restaurant Flotilla. His approach to cooking is all about knowing how to create incredibly flavourful food using seasonal, local produce. Without sounding cliché; he very clearly has a deep love affair with food and for bringing people joy through the art of cooking.
Japanese Oyster Mignonette
Paul was coerced into creating this Japanese Oyster Mignonette recipe, and many other recipes, in the lead up to Christmas last year. His ‘Modern Australian Christmas Feast‘ featured many recipes like Kingfish Ceviche, Crispy Glazed Duck, Daikon Fondant and Hasselback Hoisin Squash. To top it all off, he created a recipe for an Upside-down Plum Cake with Plum Caramel and Black Lime.
On his approach to creating his Japanese Oyster Mignonette recipe, Paul stated:
“I love this classic French dressing for oysters. Sharp red wine vinegar with the super savoury flavours of the raw shallots. In this version, I’ve played with the similar idea, with a Japanese influence. I think you will find it to be a lovely fresh version. Cleansing the palate as the flavour of the oyster dissipates, rather than leaving the strong flavour of raw shallot lingering, which isn’t a bad thing, however, this time around I’ve opted for a cleaner approach.”
Mix dressing ingredients in a bowl, then set aside.
Prepare the oysters
First off – do not attempt to shuck an oyster without an oyster knife. If / once you have an oyster knife, start by creating a secure platform for which to shuck your oysters on by placing a damp cloth underneath a chopping board. This will stop the chopping board from moving around your kitchen bench (alternatively, you could also shuck straight onto your kitchen bench!). Once the chopping board is secure, find a clean tea towel (or glove) and place this next to your work area.
Take an oyster and, with the cup of the shell facing down, wrap it in a cloth with the pointed hinge of the oyster facing out. Place the cloth onto your board and hold down firmly. Insert the blade of the knife a into the hinge where the top and bottom shells meet. Moving the knife from side to side, pushing into the hinge until you have some leverage. With the oyster knife firmly wedged between the top and bottom shell, hold the oyster in the cloth firmly. Twist the oyster knife sharply away from you and listen for the pop as the hinge gives way. The hard part of opening the oyster is now complete.
Once the hinge is broke, slide the oyster knife gently along the top lid, open the oyster completely. Remove the top lid and use the blade of the oyster knife to snip the adductor muscle on the bottom shell, to release the oyster. Try to keep as much of the oyster’s natural liquor in the shell as possible.
Spoon as much of the Japanese Mignonette into each oyster as you possibly can, then enjoy!