Oysters in Japan are a cherished taste of the sea in early winter.
2 cups niban-dashi (see Niban-Dashi recipe)
2 tbsp. mirin
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. kuzu (or arrowroot)
4 large shucked oysters
Chopped Japanese chives (or scallion greens)
1 cup grated mountain potato
1. For sauce, bring niban-dashi, mirin, soy sauce, and sugar to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat. Mix kuzu (or arrowroot) with 1 tbsp. water, then stir into dashi mixture. Remove from heat, and stir until thick. If needed, thin sauce with more niban-dashi.
2. Place a steaming rack in a large pot, add just enough water to cover rack, then bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Rinse shucked oysters, then place 1 in each of 4 small heat-proof (ceramic) bowls. Sprinkle Japanese chives on top. Place bowls on rack, cover pot, and steam until oysters are firm, about 2 minutes.
3. Add about 1/4 cup grated mountain potato to each oyster, steam for 2 more minutes. Top each oyster with 3-4 tbsp. sauce.