Five Recommended Oyster Dishes – A Hiroshima Specialty to Enjoy During Winter!
The oysters that Hiroshima Prefecture is famous for are in season between January and February every year. It is a popular ingredient that can be cooked and enjoyed in a variety of ways. Below are five highly recommended oyster dishes.
1. Raw Oysters
If you want to enjoy the freshness of oysters, raw oysters are the way to go. Hiroshima oysters have small shells, but their meat is large, plump, and rich in flavor. Hiroshima Bay is the perfect place for oysters to grow. It has gentle terrain and currents, as well as an abundance of plankton for the oysters to eat. Thanks to the river that flows into it, the bay also has the perfect concentration of salt water. The oysters are juicy and creamy as they are, with no seasonings. They are available to enjoy at specialty restaurants and izakaya (Japanese taverns) throughout the prefecture.
Recommended restaurant: MOMIJI
Sample menu: Plate of five Wakahime oysters matured in the saltpans of Osaki-Kamijima in Hiroshima Prefecture (1,500 JPY (excl. tax))
2. Yakigaki (Grilled Oysters)
Next up is yakigaki (grilled oysters) – a standard way of eating oysters. The oysters become sweeter and more aromatic when grilled with the shell on top of charcoal or other types of fires. Enjoy their juiciness, rich flavors, and their sea scent. Yakigaki are available at various restaurants in the prefecture.
Recommended restaurant: Toyomarusuisan Hiroshima Hon-dori Branch
Sample menu: Two Yakigaki (590 JPY (excl. tax))
3. Kaki Fry (Deep-fried Oysters)
Next is kaki fry (deep-fried oysters), which are recommended for those who do not like raw seafood. They are made by frying the oysters with batter and breadcrumbs. Kaki fry are light and crunchy on the surface, and hot and juicy inside! The flavors are deeper than raw oysters, and there’s less fishiness. You can find them at oyster shops and restaurants throughout the prefecture, as well as at restaurants specializing in deep-fried dishes, like tonkatsu (deep-fried pork cutlet) shops.
Recommended restaurant: Kakihiyokkosyouten
Sample menu: Hiroshima Specialty Kaki Fry (with homemade tartar sauce) (600 JPY (excl. tax))
4. Kaki-meshi (Oyster Bowls)
Next on the list is Kaki-meshi, which combines rice with oysters. The recipe varies depending on the restaurant, but generally, rice flavored with seasonings (e.g. sake, soy sauce) is cooked, and then oysters are added just before the end so they can steam. Sometimes, the oysters are added from the beginning and cooked together with the rice. As a result, the oysters become a bit harder, but their juices seep into the rice, adding to the overall flavor. This is a dish that is often offered at restaurants specializing in oyster dishes.
Recommended restaurant: Ren
Sample menu: Kaki Kamameshi (1,500 JPY (incl. tax))
*Available only between November and March
Last on the list is a nabe (hot pot) dish that’s perfect for the winter. The seasoning differs depending on the restaurant, but the most common type is Dote-nabe, which is seasoned with miso. Miso mixed with dashi stock and other seasonings is pasted onto the inside of the pot. It gradually melts into the soup while the vegetables and oysters are being cooked. The aromatic flavor of the miso goes perfectly with oysters. It is so good that you may get hooked!
Recommended restaurant: Kanawa
Sample menu: Dote-nabe Gozen (3,240 JPY (incl. tax))
Hiroshima oysters are fabulous both raw and cooked. Be sure to try them!
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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