All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.


Kaki furai / panko deep-fried oysters

A typical oyster dish in Japan. Juicy panko deep-fried oysters served with julienned cabbage used to be one of Tom’s favorites at a neighborhood restaurant near his work in Tokyo.


Handful oysters (8 small oysters in photo)
10cm daikon radish (to clean oysters; not in photo)
4-5 tbsp flour
8-9 tbsp (120-140cc) panko bread crumbs
1 egg
Oil (for deep-frying; not in photo)

4 small cabbage leaves (for serving; not in photo)
1/2 small lemon (for serving; not in photo)
Tonkatsu [pork cutlet] sauce, Worcester sauce or soy sauce (for serving; not in photo)

Start to heat oil to 180-185C/360F.


Clean oysters with grated daikon, rinse, and drain.


Bring 200cc water to boil, put oysters, count to 7, and drain.

Pat dry oysters well.


Julienne cabbage.


Beat egg, and arrange flour, egg and panko.


When oil is ready (fine bubbles vigorously come up from tips of bamboo chopsticks or panko immediately scatters on oil surface), pat dry oysters once again, coat with flour, egg and panko in this order, and gently put in oil.

Immediately raise heat somewhat to maintain the heat level and to go a bit higher.
Flip oysters once.

When brown overall (takes only 1 minute or less from the time you put oysters in oil), lift each oyster with one end still immersed to draw back excess into the pan, remove from oil while quickly shaking, and transfer to a baking sheet or plate lined with paper towels.


Immediately serve with julienned cabbage, lemon and tonkatsu  sauce, Worcester sauce or soy sauce.

  • If daikon is not available, potato starch or corn starch works fine to clean oysters. Cleaning eliminates the smell, which in turn means partially removing the distinct aroma and flavor prized by oyster lovers. If you like oyster shots, for example, cleaning oysters by gently shaking them in cold water with salt is probably preferable.
  • Blanching oysters is optional. It shrinks oysters somewhat, tightening the surface and helping to bring each oyster together, which makes them easier to handle in the breading and deep-frying process. Oysters put in boiling water should be removed quickly (no more than 10 seconds).
  • If panko is not available, make your own by grinding any bread in a food processor or by freezing and grating it. Homemade panko is said to give crispy and lighter results, and is preferred by avid home cooks in Japan.
  • To get a more substantial texture with small oysters, two can be stuck together after dipping in beaten egg. Coat them with bread crumbs as one unit, gently squeeze to ensure they stay together, and then deep-fry.
  • Sprinkling black pepper before breading adds some punch.
  • Tartar sauce (mayonnaise, finely chopped hard-boiled egg, capers, parsley and lemon juice) is also popular to serve with kaki furai.

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