I missed mom’s cooking especially her oyster cakes.  Unlike most oyster cakes that taste like omelets, mom’s oyster cakes have no eggs in it.  Mom’s just tastes like oyster and a little bit of scallion and parsley.  It was so simple, and yet sensationally delicious.  I have tried a lot of oyster cakes in my life.  I have never found one that ever came close to mom’s version.  I called her the other day and asked her for her recipe.  I really wanted to make this.  But guess what?  I didn’t have the exact ingredients.  So I substituted some.  She used small oysters.  I used the big oysters and cut them in pieces.  She used potato starch.  I used a combo of cornstarch and all purpose flour.  My version turned out OK and edible.  But of course, it was nothing like mom’s specialty oyster cakes.  Maybe some recipe like this was not meant to be altered, or it won’t be special recipe no more. LOL. I think the big oysters I used were not a problem.  The key was probably the potato starch.  Mom’s version got a crispy edge and mine was not crispy at all.  I think it was because regular all purpose flour did not give a crispy texture compare to the potato starch.  I’ll remember to get potato starch from a Chinese grocery store next time.  I would certainly make this dish again. YUM.

Oysters sold in a glass jar

Clean oysters a few times
Clean oysters a few times

Add flour, parsley, scallion, fish sauce and pepper
Add flour, parsley, scallion, fish sauce and pepper

Lay oysters flat on the pan

My Oyster Cake

Mom's oyster cakes

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • Oyster, 1 pound (prefer small oysters for this.  Big oysters are ok, you have cut them into pieces after you cleaned them)
  • Scallion, 2 stalks
  • Parsley, a small bunch
  • Potato starch, 2 – 3 Tbsp
  • Fish sauce, 1 tsp
  • White pepper, a dash
  • Chinese cooking wine, 1 tsp

 Steps:

  1. MUST CLEAN oysters first.  This is important.  Put the oysters in a large container.  Fill it with water to cover the oysters.  Add a pinch of salt.  Rub the oysters gently.  The water would look cloudy. Discard the water.  Rinse the oyster for 5 or 6 times until the slimy stuff is gone.  Put the oyster in a colander, and let it drain.  There may be some moisture in the oysters, that’s ok. It does not need to be completely dry.  Put oyster in a mixing bowl.  If you are using big oysters like me, cut the oysters into smaller pieces.  I cut each oyster into 3 or 4 pieces.   
  2. Cut scallion into dices, add it to the oysters.
  3. Cut parsley into small pieces, add it to the oysters.
  4. Add two tablespoon of flour first and see if it covers the oysters.  Gradually add a little bit more flour if needed.
  5. Add fish sauce, scallion, parsley, Chinese cooking wine, a dash of pepper to the mixture. Mix it well.
  6. Use a non-stick frying pan.  Spray oil.  Use high heat.  Add oyster mixture to the pan.  Make it flat like a thin layer.  Let it cook untouched for 5 minutes or so.
  7. Spray some oil on the top side of the oyster cake before flipping it over.  Cook the other side for another 5 mins or so.  Serve hot.  Taste it. If you need it more salty, drizzle a few drops of fish sauce on top.

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