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
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.
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.
Add about 1⁄4 cup grated mountain potato to each oyster, steam for 2 more minutes. Top each oyster with 3-4 tbsp. sauce.