Western Living Magazine
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Foodies of the Year winner chef Warren Barr shares his recipe for a dish that makes the most of our West Coast bounty.
Read Pluvio owners Warren Barr and Lily Verney-Downey’s Foodies of the Year 2020 profile here!
Corning spice1 tbsp plus 1 tsp coriander seed, toasted1 tbsp plus 1 tsp mustard seed, toasted4 bay leaves½ tsp chili flakes½ tsp peppercorns, toasted1 tsp allspice
Oysters8 large beach oysters2 tbsp kosher or sea salt2 tbsp brown sugarZest of 1 lemon1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
Grind all spices into a powder and set aside. (This will give you more spice than you need for this recipe, but it will keep for another use.)
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Wash and scrub oysters under cold running water, then check that they are in good shape. (They should all be closed firmly and smell of the ocean, not low tide.)
Place oysters on a tray and bake for 5 to 10 minutes: a couple of them should pop open at this point. Let oysters cool down for a couple of minutes, then shuck them into some cold, lightly salted water. (If you like, save the bottom, cup-shaped shell for serving, but make sure to scrub inside and out, boil for 30 minutes with baking soda, and wash again.) Give oysters a rinse in the salted water to remove any bits of debris, sand or shell. Remove from water and dry on some paper towel.
Combine salt, brown sugar, lemon zest and ginger by rubbing them all together (this is the cure for your oysters). Sprinkle some of the cure onto a plate, lay oysters on top and cover with the remaining cure. Leave oysters to cure in fridge for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, rinse oysters thoroughly under cold running water. Dry on some paper towel.
Prepare your smoker. Crust oysters on one side with corning spice, then lay oysters on a bit of oiled parchment paper on your smoking tray. Smoke for 1 hour at a low heat (they should be firm when they come out of the smoker). Grill before serving. Oysters will keep in the fridge for up to three days. Serves 4.