“Sushi belts and instant noodles are part of the modern fast food experience, but in Japan there has always been a culture of quick work lunches."






Skill level

Average: 3.7 (9 votes)

In the backstreets of Osaka, I found a long-established izakaya bar, where workers come to eat great food cooked by a master chef in just 15 minutes. (Izakayas are the Japanese equivalent of a pub or a tavern and they date back hundreds of years to a time when sake bars offered affordable food on their menus.) The chef cooked me crumbed and deep-fried oysters served with a drizzle of mayo. The snacks were sublime, but I like a bit of heat, so this is my wasabi-spiced version.” Ainsley Harriott, Ainsley Harriott’s Street Food


  • sunflower oil, for deep-frying
  • 25 g self-raising flour
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 100 g (1⅔ cups) panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 16 large oysters, freshly shucked
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 100 g piece white cabbage, cored and finely shredded


Wasabi mayonnaise

  • 80 ml (⅓ cup) mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp wasabi paste, or to taste
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


To make the wasabi mayonnaise, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl, then refrigerate until needed.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan or deep-fryer to 180°C. Place the flour, egg and panko in separate bowls. Pat dry the oysters on paper towel and season to taste with salt and pepper. Working in small batches, dust the oysters in flour, then dip in the beaten egg and coat with the panko. Deep-fry the oysters for 2 minutes or until golden and crisp. Drain on paper towel, then serve with the shredded cabbage and wasabi mayonnaise.


Ainsley Harriott’s Street Food starts Thursday 6 August 2015 at 8.30pm on SBS and finishes 1 October 2015. Visit the Ainsley Harriott’s Street Food program page to catch-up on episodes online, scroll through recipes and read our interview with Ainsley.