Japanese Deep Fried Oysters
Two of my favorites things together: breaded dish + oysters = “kaki furai”. Deep fried oysters!
I really love oysters.
Although I prefer having oysters fresh and raw, kaki fry is another indulging favorite dish that, steamed on their own juices with that extra crispy coating, is simply unbeatable. Feels like palatable sea sealed by a crunchy crust. It’s a weird description but suits it perfectly – kaki fry is a simple dish, but it is also an explosion of flavors and textures!
Today’s recipe (カキフライ – “kaki furai”) has a very simple name: “Kaki” is simply “oyster” and “furai” is just “fry” – that’s it, deep fried oysters.
However, its origins are a bit obscure (I’ve noticed that happens with many other dishes with simple names…) – deep fried oysters probably a recipe the late decades of Meiji period, known as the time when Japan developed a lot of its yōshoku (Japanese Western-style) cuisine. It is also often mentioned in books/websites that kaki fry is a dish that appeared for the first time on Rengatei‘s menu, an old yōshoku restaurant in Ginza (running since 1895, still open!) known for experimenting and serving different kind of cutlets – tonkatsu, menchikatsu, ebi fry… Then one day, kaki fry.
The secret for making this dish is reducing as much moisture from the meat surface as possible before breading. Why? Because excess moisture makes it harder for the breadcrumb to cling on the meat, leading to an uneven coating.
Also, this recipe calls for higher oil temperatures, as we want to make the crust as fast as we can and without cooking too much the oysters. That’s why today we’ll use oil in a 190°C temperature!
- 200g of fresh oysters
- Beaten eggs for coating
- Shredded cabbage (side dish)
- Use single fry.
- First fry oil temperature: 190°C (374° F).
- Cooking time for first fry: 90 seconds.
- In order to remove the dirt, put the oysters in salted water and leave them resting for around one minute.
- Rinse the oysters in clean water. Then dry the oysters well using paper towel.
- Prepare the ingredients for deep frying (egg, panko and flour).
- Lightly dust the oysters with cornstarch.
- Single deep fry, following the instructions above.
- Serve the kaki fry with shredded cabbage, tartar sauce and lemon.
The best kaki fry is, basically, what I’d call an “almost-raw oyster with a crispy crust”. Oysters overcook quite easily, ending with a quite bad texture. Keep attention to not overcook them!
Like any oyster recipe, get fresh oysters that can be eaten raw. Non fresh oysters can be quite dangerous for your health.