Carlingford oysters with pickled rhubarb and red shiso

  • Starter
  • medium
  • Makes 12 oysters
  • 30 minutes, plus 2 weeks pickling time

PT30M

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Sam says: 'We frequently have these oysters on at the restaurant. These chubby little lobes are fruity and sweet; a stark difference to the salty hit of those from Colchester or Falmouth. We dress them according to the weather and this particular preparation was brought about by rummaging through the pickles in our fridge and the herbs on The Landing (our rooftop kitchen garden).

Red shiso is a seed we get from Korea. It grows so well on The Landing and has a complex flavour palette which includes liquorice, mint and cumin. It’s herbs like this that add a unique DNA to our repertoire – where else could we find these plants except growing on our own rooftop garden?

I suggest sourcing the seeds from somewhere and trying to grow it. After germination it will want to stay in the greenhouse until it is a strong plant. After that it will do very well amongst outdoor tomatoes in a sunny spot in July.'

Ingredients

Metric

Imperial

Pickled rhuabrb

  • 100g of apple cider vinegar
  • 200g of caster sugar
  • 300g of water
  • 200g of rhubarb
  • table salt

Oyster emulsion

Oysters

  • 12 oysters, ideally Carlingford oysters
  • red shiso cress, to garnish
1

Begin by pickling the rhubarb, as it needs at least 2 weeks in order for the maceration to truly take hold. Finely slice the rhubarb, sprinkle it with salt and leave for 1 hour. This draws out excess moisture and opens the pores of the vegetable to maximise penetration of the pickle. Rinse off the salt then pat dry and place in a clean jar

2

Place the vinegar, sugar and water in a pan with a pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Stir to dissolve the sugar, leave to cool slightly then pour over the rhubarb. Close the lid and store in a cool dark place. Leave to pickle for at least 2 weeks

  • 100g of apple cider vinegar
  • 200g of caster sugar
  • 300g of water
3

To make the oyster cream, place the shucked oysters into a jug with the egg white and use a stick blender to blend into a smooth paste. With the hand blender still running, slowly add the oil in a thin stream to produce a glossy emulsion. If the mixture begins to split, add a splash of cold water to bring it back again. Taste and season with salt and lemon juice (if you want a little acidity)

4

Steam the whole oysters in their shells for around 7 minutes and immediately plunge into ice-cold water to halt the cooking process. Shuck, move gently from the shell and place in the fridge. Keep the curved side of the shells

  • 12 oysters, ideally Carlingford oysters
5

To serve, spoon some of the emulsion into the base of each oyster shell and top with a steamed oyster. Decorate with pickled rhubarb slices and red shiso cress

  • red shiso cress, to garnish
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