Kumamoto Oyster Cream & Pearls

Sometimes i find a photo of a dish in a book or magazine that inspires me and i instantly feel the need to make a version of it – which i admit – always end up in my stomach, but it’s almost if i am more interested in the creative process than the act of eating. Almost! What excites me is the search for a combination where aesthetics and harmony show up in perfect measures for the perfect enjoyment. And as my old friend the Dalai Lama would say to confuse us all: “Perfect enjoyment is to be without enjoyment.”

[sound of stomach growling]

Ok fine. I get it! Geez.. i was trying to be Zen for a bit.

I was flipping through the pages of my favorite magazine Art Culinaire when i came across an absolutely stunning photo of a dish by Gary Danko which match oysters with various kinds of roe. I knew i had to make a version of it. The next day, as a reminder,  i was reading an article that talked about one of Thomas Keller’s most celebrated dishes which plays on the ”oysters and pearls” theme — caviar-topped oysters on a bed of tapioca pearls in sabayon with a vermouth sauce. At this point the thought of it was almost unbearable . Within hours i had to make something. Anything. This thing.

Mildly fruity and sweet with a slightly mineral finish and a rich buttery texture, the Kumamoto is the perfect oyster for beginners and adepts alike. While my favorite way to eat oysters is still straight out of the shell with nothing more than a squeeze of lemon or mignonnette sauce this ‘cream’ of oysters happily breaks the rule and will equally impress with its sophistication and simplicity.

Maybe it’s just because of the lettuce cream, the hints of vermouth and the salmon roe and caviar as supporting cast. Maybe.

  • Kumamoto Oysters Cream & Pearls

  • serves 2
    • For the oyster cream:
    • 18 Kumamoto oysters, shucked and juices reserved
    • reserved oyster juice
    • 1/2 cup vermouth
    • 1 cup clam juice
    • 1 shallot, minced
    • 1 sprig tarragon
    • 1/2 cup heavy cream
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • salt and pepper
    • For the lettuce cream:
    • 1/2 head Boston lettuce
    • 3/4 heavy cream
    • 1/4 cup water
    • salt
    • For the garnish:
    • Osetra caviar
    • salmon roe
    • chives
    • celery leaves
    • For the oyster cream:
    • Combine the oyster juice, vermouth, clam juice, shallot, and tarragon sprig in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the liquid by half. Add the cream and bring to a boil. Reduce until you have a light sauce consistency. Whisk in the butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Strain and keep warm.
    • For the lettuce cream:
    • Combine the lettuce, cream and water and bring to a boil. Cook 3 to 4 minutes until the lettuce is tender. Season with salt. Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. Strain.
    • To finish:
    • Add the Kumamoto oyster to the oyster cream and simmer for 20 seconds.
    • Divide the oysters and cream between 2 bowls.
    • Drizzle with the lettuce cream and garnish with the salmon roe, caviar, chives and celery leaves. Serve immediately.
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  • http://www.justgetfloury.com Ginny

    wow! well, now you have me drooling!

  • http://www.lafujimama.com Fuji Mama

    STUNNING! I think I’ve just added a new dish to my “last supper” list.

  • http://amyblogschow.com Amy Blogs Chow

    It looks too beautiful and expensive to eat! You should sell your food to museums, I think.

  • http://rusticgardenbistro.com Kim at Rustic Garden Bistro

    Please come over. And bring this with you. Please. I beg of you.

    Please.

  • http://tenina.com Tenina

    Your pics are absolutely stunning…as always!

  • http://eleanorhoh.blogspot.com Eleanor Hoh (WokStar)

    As usual, you made me laugh out loud esp. about your friend, Dalai Lama’s saying! You have a compulsive disorder. Your dish looks amazing.

  • http://indonesia-eats.blogspot.com Pepy @Indonesia Eats

    Zen, this is so pretty! Just lovely colour combination

  • http://messinthekitchen.blogsite.org Mika

    What a super stunning photo!!
    Wow!
    The colors are amazing…

  • http://trissalicious.com Trissa

    Hi Zenman – you know what – I was browsing through foodgawker and a picture caught my eye – I immediately said – That’s Zenman’s dish! And sure enough I was right – it’s just so amazingly beautiful – I knew it came from you!

  • http://manggy.blogspot.com Manggy

    I have to admit, my latest dose of oyster was not an entirely pleasant one, but I’ve already forgotten it just looking at this thing of beauty…

  • http://myboyfriendcooksforme.blogspot.com my boyfriend cooks for me

    You know, I don’t even like oysters, but this is so beautiful that I cannot look away!

  • http://on-deconne-pas-avec-la-bouffe.over-blog.com/ stef de fla

    ça fait rêver, comme d’hab

  • http://www.theardentepicure.com/ Magic of Spice

    A truly beautiful dish. A work of art…

  • http://www.pigpigscorner.com pigpigscorner

    Beautiful! The “pearls” are so eye-catching.

  • http://thespinningplate.com Angela

    Stunning. Kumamotos are my favorite oyster–mild, seductive, lush. This looks like a great recipe. I’ve been thinking of making a traditional New England oyster stew for some time, but I might have to change my tack…This looks better.

  • http://confessionsoftart.blogspot.com Irene

    This is visually stunning!!!

  • http://weareneverfull.com Jonny

    If you’ll forgive the expression, but, man-to-man, that dish is extremely arousing. Even more so because we don’t eat white-table-cloth-food often, but we were lucky enough to eat Thomas Keller’s oysters and pearls at the French Laundry, 2 years ago, and it was a revelation that we’re still coming down from, so I can just about taste your version.

  • FerdieR1966

    Lol @ Dalai Lama ref…brilliant!!! Think I just had a culinary boner :)

  • http://foodalogue.com Joan Nova

    I agree with FujiMama. My first thought was this is so beautiful and I bet texturally interesting that it should be reserved for a very special dinner…like a ‘last’ supper!

  • http://www.norecipes.com Marc @ NoRecipes

    OMG… I’m so jealous that you get the budget to do stuff like this. Totally awesome! All my favourite things on one plate. Where do you get such perfect looking salmon roe? I t never looks that good at Mitsuwa.

  • http://bunkycooks.com bunkycooks

    This is really a stunner! I don’t do some of the ingredients (caviar), but might be persuaded to have this after seeing your photos. Beautiful.

  • http://www.zencancook.com zenchef

    Thank you everyone for your comments. Much appreciated!

    Jonny & Ferdie — Duudes! That wasn’t what i was trying to do!!

    Marc — I get it from my fishmongers. They pack it themselves in glass jars. Let me know if you need.

  • http://vanillakitchen.blogspot.com vanillasugar

    so like you and the dali lama just hang and stuff eh? kick back a few beers? LOL
    only in nyc can you find these oyster gems….you have a good fishmonger, i hope you bring him/her treats?

  • http://kitchen-em.blogspot.com/ Kitchen M

    Ah! So beautiful… I do the same thing – getting inspired by looking at photos of food, only in the less fancy magazines… LOL

  • http://www.foodadvokat.blogpot.com Food Advokat

    I think that is one of the most beautiful photos I have seen this past year! I actually got chocked up. Wow!

  • http://www.foodadvokat.blogpot.com Food Advokat

    I think the word I was looking for was choked! Oooops. Either way, the photos are sick! And the food looks amazing!

  • http://freshlocalandbest.blogspot.com/ Christine @ Fresh Local and Best

    This is a stunning dish, as beautiful as its inspiration!

  • http://profiles.google.com/bootcamp247 bootcamp 247

    Great photo of the food…bright colors.

  • Anonymous

    It is a nice recipe of Kumamoto Oyster cream and pearls. Its looks so tasty and delicious. You also arrange it nicely.

    Tablecloth

  • Anonymous

    Wow ! I like this Kumamoto Oyster Cream & Pearls. Its looks so yummy. It is such a tasty dish. I can not control my self. 

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