Simple Garlicky Kaki Meshi (Oyster Rice) Recipe for Lazy Cooks
Although I am willing to go out of my way to enjoy tasty food, I am much less motivated when it comes to cooking my own. The simpler the recipe, the better. The less effort it takes, the better. I admit that I am a lazy cook, which is why I love this simple Kaki Meshi (Oyster Rice) recipe so much.
What is Kaki Meshi?
Kaki = oyster.
Meshi or Gohan = cooked rice.
Kaki Meshi (or Kaki Gohan) is a simple and satisfying dish featuring seasoned oysters over steamed rice. If you've searched for other kaki meshi recipes online, you already know that there's a great selection of preparations such as:
Oyster Rice / Kaki Gohan Video by Japanese Cooking 101 (using monster oysters!)
Unfortunately, all of them require many ingredients, including several somewhat-hard-to-find Asian products that may not be in your pantry or local grocery store. And they also require a bit more effort than what I really want to exert. Kaki meshi typically calls for seasoned, pre-marinated or cooked oysters. I didn't have the patience or energy to do this step. Whatever. If you do, try one of the recipes as listed above. But if you're feeling just as lazy as I was, my recipe should do the trick!
The Right Oysters for Kaki Meshi
Some kaki meshi recipes use enormous oysters, but I'm not that crazy about it. I used a handful of Village Bay oysters from New Brunswick in my recipe and they worked just fine. A freshly shucked, preferably briny oyster will enhance the flavor of the rice naturally. I've also tried using pre-shucked oysters before, but the kaki meshi ends up tasting a bit too fishy. Shucking the oyster directly into the pot of rice was the easiest approach. Not that familiar with shucking oysters? Then I'd suggest opening them into a bowl first and removing any excess shell or grit with a strainer. Take care to keep the whole oysters intact as this only enhances the final dish's texture and presentation!
Learn how to shuck by watching my How to Shuck video!
Pro Tip: Invest in a Rice Cooker
I'm an avid rice eater (as a Chinese American, you kind of have to be...), and I'm all about well-cooked rice without hassle. If you are the same way, then you should seriously consider buying a rice cooker.
Doing so will make this experience less about making kaki meshi and more like "my rice cooker made kaki meshi for me!" You can literally throw in all of the ingredients, press START and be eating in no time. If you don't have a rice cooker, just follow the recipe with a non-stick pot. Make sure that your pot has a well-fitted, heavy lid to lock in the steam as it cooks.
Side note: not all rice cookers are created equal. A higher-end rice cooker makes a huge difference in the final product. I have a Zojirushi rice cooker and it's one of my best kitchen friends! It pressure cooks the rice (short grain, long grain, brown, etc) beautifully and then it keeps it warm at the perfect temperature. The non-stick pot also makes cleanup a breeze. Zojirushi rice cookers range from $120-$300+ depending on the model. We got ours as a wedding gift a few years ago. Hey you, newly engaged: add it to your registry. You won't regret it!
Garlicky Kaki Meshi for Lazy Cooks
Makes 2 servings Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes
1 cup Jasmine rice or other long grain rice
1.5 cup chicken broth
6-8 medium-sized (2.5-3 inch) fresh oysters, perfectly shucked in liquor
2-3 cloves of garlic, slice into chips
3 dried shiitake mushrooms, sliced (or fresh, sliced)
1/2 inch cube of ginger, grated or finely minced
Shichimi togarashi (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 stem green onion, thinly sliced (optional)
Wash the rice thoroughly in the rice cooker pot.
Add chicken broth to the rice, set aside. If using a rice cooker, fill up to the level of liquid required to cook 1 cup of white rice. I think this should be about 1.5 cups of broth.
Heat olive oil in a small fry pan on medium-high. Place the garlic slices in the oil and fry them until light golden brown on both sides. Remove and place onto paper towel. Don't overcook!
Add the shucked oysters, shiitake mushrooms, fried garlic chips and ginger to the rice cooker pot. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
Close the rice cooker lid, set it to cook White Rice and press Start. If you have a Zojirushi, you can now enjoy Twinkle Twinkle Little Star as it starts to cook. Do not open the rice cooker lid. It will release all of the pressure.
Once the rice finishes cooking, mix the rice and other ingredients around. Add togarashi, salt and pepper to taste.
Sprinkle a little green onion on top for garnish. Enjoy!
Did you try this recipe? If so, what did you think? What would you do differently? Bonus points if you can think of a way to make this recipe even lazier. Haha!