Kaki fry is a Japanese dish of deep-fried breaded oysters that is often found on restaurant menus, but it is also commonly made in kitchens at home.
Although in the United States, and many parts of the world now, oysters are available all year round in various forms such as fresh, frozen, canned, or bottled, they are still considered seasonal in Japan from about mid-fall through winter when you'll often find them popping up on restaurant menus.
Fresh oysters can be purchased in the shell or you can ask your local fishmonger to shuck them for you if you're intimidated to do so on your own.
Regardless of whether you use fresh, frozen, canned, or jarred oysters, this Japanese kaki fry recipe will not disappoint. The oysters are simply seasoned with salt and pepper and then breaded in a traditional Japanese cooking method of flour, egg, and crunchy dry panko breadcrumbs. The breaded oysters are then fried in hot oil until golden and crisp.
Kaki fry is traditionally served with fresh lemon wedges and tonkatsu sauce or tartar sauce. Both of the sauces are available prepared and bottled at Japanese or other grocery stores.
- 16 oysters (fresh or substitute with oysters in the jar)
- 2 large eggs (beaten)
- Dash salt
- Dash black pepper
- Canola oil for deep-frying
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 large beaten eggs
- 1 cup Japanese panko breadcrumbs
- 4 cups cabbage (green, shredded)
- Garnish: 1 lemon (cut into wedges)
- Optional: 1 bottle tonkatsu sauce (or tartar sauce, for dipping the fried oysters)
Gather the ingredients.
Clean the oysters in salted water.
Dry the oysters with paper towels.
Sprinkle salt and pepper over the oysters to season.
Pour 1 to 2 cups canola oil into a medium-size pot over medium-high heat. Watch carefully.
Prepare your work station to bread the oysters. In three separate shallow dishes, add flour in one, beaten eggs in another, and panko in the last dish.
In this order, coat the oysters first in flour, then eggs, and finally in the panko crumbs.
When the oil has reached 350 F, fry the oysters until brown, about 1 to 2 minutes on one side and then turn over. When they float in the oil, they are done. Drain on paper towels and keep warm.
Plate thinly julienned (or shredded) cabbage on individual dishes and serve warm fried oysters alongside the cabbage.
Garnish each plate with 1 to 2 lemon wedges.
Serve fried oysters with choices of either bottled tonkatsu sauce or bottled tartar sauce.