Do you love fried oysters? One of our favorites is Japanese Kaki Furai which are oysters rolled in panko bread crumbs then served with katsu sauce and karashi (hot mustard). In our version we served the po' boy sandwhich with shredded cabbage, tomatoes and a sweet chili vinaigrette. This was combinedwith katsu sauce, kewpie mayonnaise, karashi mustard. On the side we served sliced takuwan (Japanese pickled daikon radish).
If you have even been to Louisiana, then you might have tried a traditional shrimp, crawfish, oyster or sausage po’ boy sandwich. If not, that’s okay. The first time I had one was at Lucille’s Creole Cafe. It is an iconic breakfast and lunch spot in Boulder, Colorado that features southern cooking. They are know for their great food in a cozy restaurant built inside an old house on the outskirts of downtown Boulder. On any given Sunday, be prepared for a 2-3 hour wait with a line of people down the street. Be sure to order the beignets with their housemade strawberry jelly.
KAKI FURAI (カキフライ)
Fried oysters are a common ingredient in a po’ boy sandwich. My favorite type of fried oysters is Japanese kaki furai (カキフライ). They are battered in panko bread crumbs and served with karashi (からし) mustard and katsu sauce. Karashi mustard or hot mustard comes in a dry yellow powder that you mix with water. Katsu sauce is that amazing brown dipping sauce served with chicken katsu, ebi furai (shrimp), salmon katsu or tonkatsu (fried pork). However, on that note tartare sauce is popular with fried seafood. The best ebi furai I ever tasted was at a restaurant near the ocean in Fukuoka. Japanese fried dishes are often served with finely shredded cabbage that can be eaten to offset the greasiness in fried foods.
Prepping the Vegetables
Starting with the green cabbage, cut in half.
Using a sharp knife make a “V” shaped cut and remove the core.
Cut each side of cabbage in half again so you have 4 quarters. For the sandwiches, we only needed less than 1/4 of a small cabbage.
Stack the cabbage evenly and slice thinly.
Soak cabbage in cold water for 10 minutes.
Drain well. Line a bowl with a towel to absorb the excess water. Add the cabbage and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Slice the tomatoes into rounds and set aside.
*Crosseat Tip: Use the cabbage core and tomato scraps for compost.
Sweet Chili Vinaigrette
I started with an apple mustard vinaigrette because the the sweetness of apples and the spicy mustard or natural combinations with Japanese katsu dishes. It was good, but didn’t quite do it for me. So, I settled on a sweet chili vinaigrette that we used to use in the restaurants with panko fried soft shell crabs. It came out perfect. My kids actually liked the apple mustard better and it would work as a versatile salad dressing. I will add this in as a separate post.
Combine sugar and vinegar, then whisk till the sugar is dissolved. It helps to put the bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds to fully dissolve the sugar.
Add the sambal, garlic and green onions.
Mix well and refrigerate until ready to use.
Prepping and Cooking the Oysters
For this recipe, we used fresh shucked oysters from a jar. It is important that you purchase oysters from a reputable seafood market, online supplier or grocery store. If you live in the Bay Area and are looking for fresh oysters, try Truefish. They have a great variety of shelled oysters like Kumamoto’s, Fanny Bay, and Kusshi to name a few. These are fresh oysters from Point Reyes to British Columbia. If you plan to shuck your own, make sure that you rinse them to remove any sand or bits of shell.
Place the oysters on a dry towel to absorb excess moisture.
Fill a pot with at least 1-1/2″ deep frying oil. Heat over medium high until 370F. Ideal deep frying temperature is right around 350F. Once you start adding the oysters, then the temperature will drop.
Set up three medium sized bowls for the flour, egg wash and panko. Egg wash is just beaten egg and water. I usually measure 2 tablespoons of water per egg.
Lightly dredge the oysters in the flour first shaking off any excess flour. Dip in the egg wash. Finish with a coating of panko bread crumbs.
Deep fry till golden brown. For oysters I usually only cook for 3-4 minutes.
Remove then place on a plate lined with a paper towel to drain any excess oil.
Building the Po’ boy
For the bread, French bread or a sour dough hoagie would work nicely. We lightly toasted the bread at 350F for 3 minutes.
On the bottom or you could do both sides, spread a layer of mayonnaise, mustard and katsu sauce. It’s nice to also have a small bowl of katsu sauce on the the side for dipping.
Layer evenly with the tomato slices.
Pack as many fried oysters that you can fit.
Top with the shredded cabbage and drizzle the sweet chili vinaigrette over the cabbage.
The choice of toppings depends on what you like.
My kids made their own. Instead of the chili vinaigrette they preferred the apple mustard vinaigrette. They added sliced green onions, furikake and lemon juice (see below).
Serve immediately. So yum! Enjoy!