This week's recipe is Japanese inspired Miso Baked Oysters also known as Oysters Motoyaki. My version is a bright and unctuous riff on Oysters Rockefeller inspired by one of my favourite though now closed Japanese restaurants.
What Inspired This Recipe
I love Asian flavors with seafood. Living on the Pacific ocean, we are just a (very long) boat ride away from Japan. There are many Japanese, Chinese, Thai and Korean restaurants here and I take inspiration from all of them as well as my previous travels.
In this recipe, oysters are baked over spinach with a rich and zippy sauce and topped with a touch of cheese to seal in the creamy goodness. But guess what? The sauce is dairy free so if you have dietary restrictions, just skip the cheesy topping and you'll still have a delicious and impressive appetizer.
If you love easy Asian flavored seafood recipes, I bet you'll also love my Scallop Curry, Chirashi Sushi Bowl (aka Chirashizushi) and Scallop Fried Rice too! Or for another baked in the shell appetizer, try Broiled Scallops In Shell with a cheesy creamy sauce.
What is Motoyaki?
Motoyaki is simply a Japanese recipe preparation that uses mayonnaise as the main ingredient in a baked dish, usually using oysters or other seafood. (See my Miso Baked Salmon recipe.) It is easy and it is really delicious. Here on the West Coast, our neighbors across the ocean are the Japanese (and other Asian countries) and as such, we have a lot of Asian influences in our cooking.
Dinner for your Valentine
I love cooking up delicious and romantic recipes and oysters are a classic aphrodisiac. These little bites are perfect as a Valentines day appetizer or add in some crusty bread and a crispy salad and make it your dinner. But don't just wait for Valentine's, I love to eat these year round!
Oysters are a Superfood
Not only delicious, sustainable and easily accessible on the west coast of North America, these little beauties are soooo good for you! Very high in protein while low in fat, these pack high levels of Vitamin B12, Iron and zinc and a substantial amount of vitamin C. If you avoid red meat, these can be an important (and tasty) source for B vitamins and iron which is not frequently found and not as easily absorbed through plant based foods.
Do you love oysters on the half shell too? Our shop carries a few different vintage oyster plates. We have French glass oyster plates, a white ceramic oyster platter and are always bringing in new finds. Check out our shop for linen, recycled Moroccan glasses and tons of other ecofriendly and unique home and kitchen ware too!
Cheers and happy oyster eating! Sabrina
Miso Baked Oysters (Oysters Motoyaki)
- 12 Oysters, shucked, shells reserved if using to bake oysters in
- ¾ c Japanese Mayonnaise If you substitute regular mayo, you may want to use a little more lemon juice in the recipe
- 2 tablespoon Miso paste I use light miso but any miso will work well
- 1 tablespoon Mirin
- 5 dashes Hot Sauce (I use Tobasco)
- 2 tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
- 1 ½ c Fresh Spinach, shredded or chiffonade
- ½ c Cheddar or Mozzarella cheese, shredded (2 oz)
- *Optional* Garnish with extra wedges of lemon, sprinkling of parsley and/or paprika
- Preheat broiler or bbq to high.
- Set out oyster shells or ramekins (6-12 depending on size of oysters and the size of serving you would like) on a baking sheet. TIP- If using oyster shells, help them stay upright and stable by placing them on a bed of rock salt or kosher salt.
- Mix mayonnaise into miso paste, then add mirin, hot sauce and lemon juice and stir until well mixed.
- Divide spinach equally between shells or ramekins. Top with oysters. If you are using large oysters, I like to cut them in 2-4 pieces each so they are easier to eat.
- Spoon approximately 1 tablespoon miso mayo sauce over each one and then sprinkle with cheese.
- Slide under broiler and broil until bubbling and brown and oysters are cooked, approx 5-8 minutes depending on height of oven rack and temperature of your broiler. (You can also cook these in your gas grill or bbq on high heat.)
- Remove from oven. Note: broiled cheesy dishes get HOT and can burn so let these cool 5 minutes before eating.
- *Optional* Garnish with chopped parsley or paprika if you like.