Kaladkarin Diaries

Ramblings about food, cooking, recipes, travels, history and walking around Manila.

Oyster Cake- 蚵仔煎 (O ah jian)

I have been writing recipes for some time now. As much as I love food, I also love heritage. Being a Chinese-Filipino, I get to enjoy both worlds. When I was a little girl, all I knew was to eat. My ahma told me if I like eating, I should know how to cook. At 6 years old, I didn’t really care about what she was rambling about. I was sitting on a wooden stool near the sink, my eyes watching her flip a special omelette.

As I grew up, oyster cake or omelette is a staple at home. Now it makes me smirk that younger generations have to go to some restaurants to get a taste of this. It’s a Hokkien recipe, actually very easy to make. Maybe that’s why most people take it for granted.

I’ve eaten different kinds of oyster cake/omelettes growing up. One ahma claiming her own recipe as the best from the rest. There are two kinds of versions- those with the gooey sticky base and those which are crispy on the outside. Although the chosen ingredients for both versions are essentially the same, the big difference comes in the batter texture and frying technique.

For me, I prefer combining the crispy and creamy soft textures which I grew up with. Crispy outside and creamy soft inside. Remember, we’re using eggs in this recipe. For me, textures play a very important part in this simple dish. As for the oysters, make sure it’s fresh and alive just before consumption. A simple rule: oysters must be tightly closed; oysters that are already open are dead and must be discarded. To confirm if an open oyster is dead, tap the shell. A live oyster will close and is safe to eat. Dead oysters can also be closed, but will make a distinct noise when tapped.


250g shucked Chinese oysters
( Small Chinese oysters can be found in Divisoria or Pasay wet market- thats where I get mine)

1/4 cup sweet potato (Camote) starch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup water mixed with oyster liquid
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper

1 teaspoon fried shallots
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 egg, beaten
1/4 tsp sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon chopped garlic chives (kuchay)
1 tablespoon chopped scallions
2 sprigs cilantro, for garnishing


1) Heat pan over high heat, add the oil and quickly saute oysters. Add the soy sauce. Remove the oysters abd drain the liquid and mix with water to make 1/4 cup.

2) Combine the batter ingredients and mix thoroughly. Add the remaining ingredients except the egg and sauteed oysters.

3) Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add the vegetable oil and spread evenly around the pan. Pour the starch mixture into the pan, then the oysters and swirl the pan to spread the batter into a pancake.

4) Cook the pancake for about two minutes then flip it. Pour the beaten egg in a swirl over the pancake. Sprinkle the chopped garlic chive and scallion over the top of the pancake. Then flip the pancake over and cook for another minute or so.

5) Remove the pancake-like omelet from the pan and serve it on a plate with cilantro sprigs. Offer chili sauce as condiment on the side… but I’m also guilty of using ketchup for it.

This is one heck of a dish to die for. Hope you enjoy the mix of savoury, creamy, chewy and crispy oyster cake!



8 comments on “Oyster Cake- 蚵仔煎 (O ah jian)

  1. Rico Carballo
    April 20, 2018

    Hello. I found your recipe and would like to try it out. What attracted me was your description of the “crisp outside but creamy inside” of the omelette. I do have a few questions though:

    1. Your recipe didn’t mention the soy sauce type (ordinary, light or dark?) and the amount to be used.

    2. Where can Kamote starch be found? I don’t think I’ve ever seen it on grocery shelves.

    3. What is baking powder, and is it easily available? I’ve only heard of baking soda.

    4. I hope you can add more details as to how to make the “oyster liquid”. How to get the oyster liquid extract, its proportion with water, etc.

    Thanks in advance for your help and I hope to hear from you soon.




    • Rache
      April 20, 2018

      Hi, Rico!
      1. ordinary soy sauce will be fine.

      2. kamote starch can be found in supermarkets or asian grocery stores. I think some wet markets sell them too.

      3.Baking powder is a common baking ingredient. Its a leavening agent. Go to the supermarket and look for the flour section you should ge able to see baking powder.

      4. Oyster liquid is the juice or water from the shucked oysters. There’s no ratio for it. Its just to add a little flavor of the oysters thats why it’s added to the 1/4 cup water on the recipe. 🙂

      5. for it to be crispy on the outside, your pan needs to be hot before you pour room temperature oil. It will take a bit of timing. 🙂


  2. Rico Carballo
    April 20, 2018

    Thank you very much, and wish me luck cooking this!


  3. Rico Carballo
    April 27, 2018

    Hi again. Where do you buy your kamote starch? I’ve been to 3 major supermarkets and have not found it. That said, I will use cassava starch in the meantime (maybe the closest to kamote starch) as a substitute.




    • Rache
      April 27, 2018

      I buy mine in a chinese grocery store in Binondo.


      • Rico Carballo
        April 27, 2018

        Thank you. Bee Tin must have it also.


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