With warm weather ahead, and the pandemic nearly behind us (ain't it though?!?!), we are excited for the prospect of barbecues in the sun with our friends and family. After a year of being cooped up at home with no end in sight, I'd say an oyster grillout with our loved ones is in tall order, accompanied by a few crisp spring release namazakes.
Inspired by the handful of sakura trees in my neighborhood, I put together this very simple recipe featuring our popular Haku Sakura Cherry Blossom Shoyu. The hardest part would be shucking the oysters, which is easy once you get the hang of it. The sakura shoyu is salty (as it is a soy sauce) but with a tart, fruity undertone, much like ume. The shoyu definitely comes through in the marinade, and highlights the oysters brilliantly.
1-2 dozen raw oysters
1 tbsp Sakura Shoyu
1 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp sake
1. Mix together the shoyu, mirin, and sake.
2. Shuck oysters. Since these will shrink in the grill, get plump, larger oysters. I like Hog Island Earthquakes or Marin Miyagis, if you're in the Bay Area.
Use Yoko's guide, How to Shuck a Raw Oyster for pointers.
Save shells for later!
3. Put oysters in liquid.
4. Marinate for at least an hour in the fridge.
5. Put oysters back into its shells.
6. Spoon over a bit of the marinade onto the oysters.
7. Place on grill, off heat. We used a Weber grill. Close lid for about 20 minutes.
8. These babies are ready when they look like they've just come out of a tanning salon – taut, slightly pink, and a bit dried out. Garnish with lemons.
9. Pop open some of your favorite namas! Kanpai!
10. Don't waste the grill fire. Skewer some vegetables and throw them on, along with Yoko's famous Grilled Oriental Chicken (my personal fave).