Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Japanese Oyster Stew With Daikon And Enoki Mushrooms

Japanese Oyster Stew with Daikon and Enoki Mushrooms
Laura McCandlish for NPR

For a shortcut (if you don't mind MSG), use instant dashi powder. You can also substitute diluted tsuyu concentrate (used in tempura and soba noodle dipping sauces) for the dashi, mirin and soy sauce.

But it's incredibly easy to make your own dashi. Find most of the following ingredients, including daikon and enoki mushrooms, at any Asian market or, increasingly, your local grocery store. The Book of Miso (Ten Speed Press 2001) is a helpful primer on making dashi, a building block of Japanese cuisine.

Makes 4 servings as a soup course, or 2 as a main dish

2 cups dashi (see below)

1 tablespoon white miso

1 tablespoon tamari soy sauce

2 tablespoons mirin (Japanese rice wine) or sweetened sake

4-ounce piece daikon radish, sliced into 3-4 inch slivers

Half a 3.5-ounce package enoki mushrooms, rinsed, with bottom inch cut off, and separated

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 pint (8 ounces) petite oysters, liquor reserved

Salt, to taste

2 scallions, chopped


2 quarts water

2 strips kombu seaweed, scored with a knife

3 nickel-sized slices fresh ginger

3 cups dried bonito (tuna) flakes

For Dashi

Combine water and kombu, letting it soak for at least 6 hours and preferably overnight. Remove kombu, add ginger to remaining liquid, and bring to a boil. Skim any scum from surface.

Add the bonito flakes to the broth and bring it back to a boil. Turn off heat and let stand for about 3 minutes, or until flakes settle. Push remaining flakes to bottom and skim off foam. Strain broth through cheesecloth-lined strainer over a pot. Press flakes with back of spoon to extract any remaining broth and discard.

For Stew

In a large saucepan or soup pot, stir together dashi, miso, soy sauce and mirin. Add daikon slivers and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add enoki mushrooms.

Melt butter in a separate fry pan and saute strained oysters until they curl. Add about 2 tablespoons oyster liquor to pan and stir into simmering broth. Salt (or add extra soy sauce or mirin) to taste.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with chopped scallions before serving.

*Forgot to bathe your kombu overnight? Just bring it to a boil in the water, turn down heat and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, then turn off heat and remove softened seaweed, skimming scum from the surface. The traditional cold-soak method, however, is said to draw more nutrients and flavor out of the seaweed.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit