Friday, March 14, 2014

My impromptu recipe for pasta with oysters from Hiroshima



The other day, in Tokyo living a Travelife, I was at the supermarket and I saw very fresh oysters from Hiroshima on sale.

Hiroshima oysters are simply fantastic. They would be more famous worldwide if only more people got to eat them. Unfortunately, virtually no Hiroshima oysters make it out of Japan for sale abroad.

In fact, not many make it out of Hiroshima.

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OYSTERS BY EXPRESS DELIVERY

There was a time when I had to get someone in Hiroshima to send me a chilled box of Hiroshima oysters by express delivery.

This was before the time of online shopping.

But nowadays, it's easier to order these oysters with a click of a mouse. However, it's still not very usual to find Hiroshima oysters in your everyday supermarket.



CREATING A NEED OUT OF NOTHING

I had no particular need for oysters, but I just couldn't resist these. I decided I would create a need if I had to, but I simply had to get these oysters.

Fortunately, I had a couple of people coming over for drinks before dinner out that same day. But when I saw the oysters and heard them calling my name, I decided to just invite everyone for dinner at my house.



AN IMPROMPTU DISH

I had no recipe in mind for the oysters, so right there and then, I just made up one in my head. And when I got home, I decided to make a pasta dish with the oysters.

These oysters were made for eating fresh, with just a dash of lemon. So in a way, it was a shame to make these into a pasta instead.


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But as I was walking through the supermarket, all I could think of was a very delicious and rather decadent spaghetti with oysters.

I sauteed some spices in olive oil to make a tasty but mild pepperoncini sauce. Then I put the juicy oysters in -- just like that.



Finally, I added a bag of ready-to-eat salad vegetables into the sauce -- with just enough to cook it ever so slightly, and without having the vegetables lose their crunch.

Then I added some very al dente noodles in and allowed everything to cook for a few more minutes, tossing the noodles so that it would absorb more sauce and cook to the perfect firmness.

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Lately I discovered these artisan noodles from Italy, that are incredibly chewy and just different from quality commercial brands from Italy like De Cecco and Barilla.

THE PERFECT ENDING



When I served it that night, I confessed to my friends that I'd made up a recipe based on seeing these Hiroshima oysters for sale. I had no idea how the pasta would taste -- but, frankly, so few things do badly with a pepperoncini sauce.

But the secret here is to make the pepperoncini sauce on the mild side, so that it doesn't compete with the delicate taste of the oysters.

Everyone loved my impromptu pasta with oysters creation. And how perfectly the salad vegetables went with it. If I had used any other kind of vegetable, it would not have turned out as good.



Then one of the guys said: "I really don't know how she does it, considering she doesn't have a recipe for anything. But I've seen her whip up pastas from leftovers in the fridge, and every single dish has been different and delicious."

And that's my story for tonight, about just another wonderful evening in my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.


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