Jul 12

Kaki Zosui—Oyster and Rice Soup

in Japanese, Main Course, Recipes By Region, Recipes by Type, Seafood, Side Dish

I’m a huge fan of oysters.  Not only are they delicious, but I think they are a whole lot of fun to shuck, once you get the hang of it.

Fresh Point Reyes and Kusshi Oysters

Oysters are also a highly sustainable seafood choice, and the next stop on our Sustainable Seafood Tour!

Sustainable Seafood Tour

Martin Reed explains that oysters “are one of the best types of seafood in terms of sustainability.  As filter feeders, not  only do they not require feed added to the water, they actually clean their surrounding habitat by converting nutrients and organic matter into consumable biomass.  Doesn’t get any better than that!  Oysters consume nitrates and ammonia, removing them from the water, which they then expel as solid waste pellets, which decompose into the atmosphere as nitrogen. One oyster alone is able to filter between 30-50 gallons a day.”  These little guys are powerhouse cleaners!  Not only are they good for the ocean, but they are good for your health as well.  Oysters are an excellent source of several minerals, including iron, zinc and selenium, as well as an excellent source of Vitamin B12.    Martin also explained that “[l]ike wine and cheese, oysters derive much of their flavor from their terroir, the specific environment in which they grow.  There are a million ways to prepare oysters, but sometimes just cracking them open and eating them raw is my favorite.”  i love blue sea offers many varieties of oysters.  I got to try some of the Kusshi Oysters and some the Point Reyes Oysters.

Kaki 1

Kusshi means “ultimate” in Japanese.  The name fits, as these little beauties are absolutely delicious with a sweet clean taste.  They are grown off the East Coast of Vancouver Island and are becoming one of the more popular oysters.  Point Reyes Oysters are equally fabulous.  Martin writes, “The liquid in its shell contains a lot of salt but its body is sweet with a crunchy texture like a clam. It passes over the tongue, you get a taste of salt, then a taste of sweet, then a coppery finish.  These are a really pretty oyster and especially suited to enjoying on the half-shell.  I like to pair with a glass of cold, dry white wine.”

Kaki 2

Although I love raw oysters, I decided to share a different method of preparing them with you, since there are already many recipes out there for raw oysters.  Kaki zosui is a Japanese oyster and rice soup.  I’ve written about zosui before.  This is a quicker zosui, and is thinner than the tori zosui (rice and chicken porridge) than I wrote about in January because you only simmer it for a couple of minutes.  Just enough time for the oysters to cook through and for the rice to soak up a bit of the flavor.

Kaki Zosui ready for dinner

Kaki zosui is really delicious because it celebrates the flavor of the oysters.  It uses both the meat of the oyster and the liquor (the liquid inside of the shell that the oyster is living in ) and very few other ingredients so that the oysters can take center stage.  If you have kids that turn their noses up at oysters, you may be able to get them to eat them in kaki zosui as the oysters don’t look as intimidating as little bits of meat in soup.

Squirrel loves kaki zosui

Shucking the oysters takes the most time.  Once they are shucked, the dish only takes a few minutes to prepare.

Kaki Zosui cooking in a pot

You briefly simmer the rice and oysters in a dashi broth with the oyster liquor added, and then add a bit of soy sauce and simmer for a couple of more minutes and then the soup is done!

Bowl of Kaki Zosui

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Kaki Zosui—Oyster and Rice Soup

Adapted from Kaki Zosui recipe in An American Taste of Japan, by Elizabeth Andoh, p.63

Makes 4 servings

1 1/2 cups steamed Japanese rice
1 dozen freshly shucked oysters, reserve their liquor
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups dashi
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

1. Place the cooked rice in a strainer and rinse under cold water to separate the grains and remove any excess starch.  Drain the rice thoroughly until no water drips from the strainer.

2. Pour off and reserve any liquor from the oysters (the liquid inside of the shell).  Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of salt on the oysters and toss gently, making sure they are thoroughly coated.  Rinse the oysters under cold running water to remove any grit.  Pat dry on paper towels.  If the oysters are larger than 1 1/2 inches, cut them in half so that they cook quickly.

3. Pour the dashi and reserved oyster liquor into a wide-mouthed pot and bring to a boil rapidly over high heat.  Reduce the heat to maintain a steady simmer and skim off any foam that may have accumulated on the surface of the dashi.  Add the rice and gently stir to separate any lumps.

4. Add the oysters and cook for 1 minute.  Add the soy sauce, stir to distribute well, and cook for 2 more minutes.  Sprinkle with chives and serve immediately.

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Paula - bell'alimento July 12, 2010 at 9:22 am

Okay, it’s final. I’m coming to live with you! Brilliant soup! Lurve us some oysters!


Carol Egbert July 12, 2010 at 9:59 am

Thanks for the great information about oysters being sustainable. I love them raw and also love learning Japanese ways of cooking. Thanks


Jean July 12, 2010 at 11:39 am

I didn’t know all this about oysters–I like simple soups like this, too. Thanks for posting!


Tanantha @ I Just Love My Apron July 12, 2010 at 12:31 pm

i love raw oysters! :) This is a great way to eat it a rice soup!


Phoebe July 12, 2010 at 12:44 pm

This looks so easy and so good I think that I will make it for dinner tonight!!


Martin July 12, 2010 at 12:51 pm

Love it, Rachael! You are a magician in the kitchen! Can’t wait to make this for myself!!


Cassaendra July 12, 2010 at 4:09 pm

I haven’t had zosui since winter, but I used to eat zosui with shichimi togarashi fairly frequently for lunch during some of the warmer days in the summer when I lived in Hawaii to cool off. I’ll try this for sure! It always makes me smile seeing Squirrel happily eating everything!


Magic of Spice July 12, 2010 at 4:41 pm

Great info, and what a delightful soup:)


Eliss July 12, 2010 at 4:58 pm

Hello! This soup looks delicious!
Well, and I plan to make this week..however, i have a question..I live in Japan and I was wondering if you knew..what type of shell is it? that I need? Thank you so much!


notyet100 July 12, 2010 at 8:56 pm

must have tasted great


Robert-Gille Martineau July 12, 2010 at 9:04 pm

Dear Rachael!
You are making me jealous!


Steve July 12, 2010 at 9:23 pm

Another rock star recipe. I’m not a big oyster fan but I’d try this for sure.


the lacquer spoon July 12, 2010 at 9:54 pm

I love zosui soothing our tongue and stomach, and your twist looks so gorgeous with the special depth of flavour from fresh, milky oysters. Utterly delish!!


amy chu July 13, 2010 at 1:29 am

I love freshly shucked oysters. I think I will give this recipe a try it looks delicious. : )


Jayne July 13, 2010 at 9:51 pm

Reminds me of the Chinese porridge we always have but we always use dried oysters and dried scallops as the broth base with a few slices of ginger and scallion. I can imagine this to taste very ocean-y and fresh!


Fuji Papa July 14, 2010 at 4:13 am

Looks fantastic. I like oysters even more know that I know they are sustainable.


Liz - Meal Makeover Mom July 14, 2010 at 4:19 am

So simple and looks delicious. Have you read, The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell? It’s one of my favorite books ever (perhaps b/c I’m from New York). I think you’ll thoroughly enjoy it.


Maria July 14, 2010 at 8:36 am

This soup looks great, even on a hot summer day:)


Tracy July 14, 2010 at 12:11 pm

I can’t say I’m a huge oyster fan, but this soup sure looks delicious!


[email protected] July 14, 2010 at 12:12 pm

This Oyster and Rice Soup looks so delicious and simple. Fantastic ingredients. Good to have you back, Rachael!


Jen @ How To: Simplify July 14, 2010 at 2:55 pm

This soup looks fantastic!


Jenny flake July 14, 2010 at 4:40 pm

Beautiful post girl!! Your daughter is such a cuties her big bite of soup!!


Cookin' Canuck July 14, 2010 at 5:10 pm

What a beautiful, nourishing soup. I adore the picture of Squirrel, obviously eager to take a big bit of oyster.


Marc @ NoRecipes July 14, 2010 at 7:42 pm

Those oysters are gorgeous! I bet the stock that came out of them was fantastic.


Mei Teng July 15, 2010 at 1:39 am

That’s a really yummy looking dish. Something like Chinese porridge where we like to use dried mussels.


Sharlene (Wheels and Lollipops) July 18, 2010 at 3:31 pm

Love, love oysters in any form !!!


Diane {createdbydiane.blogspot.com} July 20, 2010 at 11:16 am

Oh that looks delicious! My kids would love it too :)


Stella July 30, 2010 at 2:40 pm

Hey Fuji Mama, I didn’t know all of the environmental wonderment of oysters, but I’m glad to hear it. I really love them. I clicked over here from F.G. I didn’t even notice which blog it was-my mind just thought ‘OYSTER SOUP’ in robotic fashion (smile). Yummy looking soup-I want a bowl!!


exploded daniel August 28, 2010 at 5:22 pm

this looks like a soon-to-be goto dish for me. Danke!


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