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.

Ingredients:

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

Batter:
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

Procedure:

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!

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