Babes, What’s for Dinner: Oyster Shooters and Wild Atlantic Salmon Pot Pie

As with most everything we make at home, our meals stem from cravings either of us are having at the moment or simply trying to recreate something we’ve had before.  This meal was a little of both.

Recently, a friend and I revisited a sushi restaurant in San Diego that we hadn’t been to in a few years.  It’s a more than 2-hour drive from Los Angeles and a half-hour drive from where I used to live in San Diego so it’s certainly not convenient.

But the one thing that makes the drive worthwhile is their oyster shooters, especially during Happy Hour when they’re only $1.50 a pop.  I’ve been known to put a few dozen away.  :)

Being that it was 2 hours away and nowhere near Happy Hour at three in the morning, I decided to recreate my own.  After some googling for a ponzu recipe and a quick trip to the 24-hour Ralph’s, we had the most amazing, and possibly even better than the original, oyster shooters.

The ponzu recipe, which I tweaked a little, is simple and tasty:

  • 3 tablespoons of mirin
  • 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of tamari soy sauce
  • 1 rounded teaspoon of dashi
  • ¼ cup of fresh lime juice
I threw everything into a half-pint mason jar and shook until the dashi was dissolved.  This will definitely become a staple condiment in the refrigerator door.
All we had to do next was assemble the shooters:
  • oyster (ours were huge so we cut them into thirds)
  • a pinch of thinly sliced scallions
  • a pinch of sesame seeds
  • a tiny squeeze of Sriracha
  • a tiny dollop of masago
  • a tablespoon or two of the homemade ponzu
  • garnish with pickled burdock
With the $5 jar of oysters at Ralph’s, we were able to make a dozen shooters. Not too shabby…

Whilst googling, I also snagged a seasoned vinegar recipe for seasoned sushi rice for the main course, Wild Atlantic Salmon Pot Pie.

  • 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon of kosher salt

This pot pie is also a take on a dish that I’ve had before in a now-long closed sushi restaurant in San Diego. They made theirs with yellowtail but I’m sure any firm fish would work.

Basically, I cook all grains – be it rice of any kind, quinoa, steel cut oats, etc. – all the same with my tried-and-true 2:3 ratio. Rinse grains feverishly until water runs clear then drain and let dry completely. Bring 2 parts grain and 3 parts liquid to boil, reduce heat, cover and let simmer until all liquid is absorbed.

I cooked one cup of calrose rice, which yielded about two cups of cooked rice and fluffed it with the seasoned vinegar.

As for the topping, the following ingredients are combined according to preference.
  • 8 ounces of wild Atlantic salmon (we get ours from Costco where they’re pre-portioned in handy vacuum packs)
  • a big dollop, or two, or three, of masago
  • 4 tablespoons of Japanese kewpie mayonnaise
  • a big dollop of chili garlic sauce

You really can’t go wrong with putting too much or too little of anything.

Next, fill the pie tin with the seasoned rice, top with fish mixture and pop in broiler until golden crusty goodness appears (about 10ish minutes – check often).

Top with thinly sliced scallions, serve with lemon wedges and tamari soy sauce and savor…