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Oyster Riverbank Stew with Miso

Serves 4-5
Course Main Course
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 4
Author Lucy Seligman


  • 1 ¼ lb. medium sized fresh oysters, washed in salted water, rinsed well, and drained
  • 1 block grilled tofu, drained and cut into large cubes
  • 7-8 oz. daikon radish, peeled and cut into 2 inch squares
  • 7-8 oz. shungiku, (chrysanthemum leaves) and/or mitsuba (trefoil), washed, trimmed, and cut into 2 – inch lengths
  • 7 oz. Japanese leeks, longer and less coarse than regular leeks, washed, trimmed, and cut diagonally into 2-inch lengths
  • Optional vegetables: enokidake or shiitake mushrooms, Chinese cabbage
  • ½ cup red miso such as hatcho miso
  • 2 tablespoons sweet white miso
  • 3 tablespoons sake
  • 3 tablespoons mirin, sweet sake
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 3 cups or more dashi, fish stock (make homemade or combine 1 teaspoon instant dashi granules to every 3 cups hot water)
  • 4-5 very fresh raw eggs, optional, one per person for dipping sauce


  • Prepare the oysters and all the vegetables, and arrange attractively on a large serving plate.
  • In a small bowl, combine the two misos, sake, mirin, and sugar to make a thick, spreadable paste. Adjust to suit your taste (white miso is sweeter and red miso is saltier).
  • Line the whole heat-resistant pot (ceramic, cast-iron, or earthenware) with a layer of miso paste and then press the daikon squares into the miso, using a rubber spatula to coat the daikon with the rest of the paste to hold the squares in place. To increase the flavor, place the nabe over a high heat and slightly scorch the miso mixture for a moment, until its pungent aroma can be smelt.
  • Bring the nabe to the dining table, place over a portable gas or electric ring, and turn the heat on high. Add a selection of ingredients and half the dashi stock. Bring to the boil, then turn heat down to a simmer. Give each guest an egg to beat and use as a dipping sauce if desired.
  • As you eat, scoop the miso into the stock. The oysters are done when they begin to curl around the edges-don’t overcook. Add more oysters, vegetables, tofu and stock as needed. If using, dip cooked ingredients into a beaten raw egg as your dipping sauce.


Provide plenty of drinks and rice for your guests, as the miso may make you thirsty, especially if not using raw egg as your dipping sauce.