• Steamed oysters (Adam Liaw)Source: Adam Liaw

"Steamed oysters with butter sauce is something I picked up when cooking at the Square in London years back, the lettuce and chive seasoning is an awesome combo. Ideally the pickle should be made a couple of days in advance but will be tasty as on the day."






Skill level

Average: 5 (2 votes)


  • 12 unshucked oysters, shucked over a bowl, juices reserved
  • rock salt, to serve

Pickled wasabi

  • 2 packets wasabi stems, chopped
  • 1 packet wasabi leaf, finely shredded
  • 60 g sake kasu (optional), see note
  • 80 ml (⅓ cup) mirin or sweet sake
  • 1 wasabi root, lightly scraped, then finely grated
  • 100 ml soy sauce
  • salt, to taste
  • sugar, to taste

Butter sauce

  • 100 ml rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp pouring cream
  • 150 g cold diced butter
  • 1 bunch chives, finely chopped
  • 4 - 5 tbsp finely diced iceberg lettuce (from the centre of the lettuce if possible)

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.


Serves 4 as a starter.

Standing time: 2 hours

  1. For the pickled wasabi, place the chopped wasabi stems and shredded leaves in a bowl with the salt and stir to combine well. Set aside for 1 - 2 hours.
  2. Place the sake kasu and mirin in a bowl and stir to combine well. Add the wasabi stems and leaves and the finely grated root and stir to combine well. Stir in the soy sauce and adjust the salt and sugar to taste.
  3. For the butter sauce, place the reserved oyster juices and the rice wine vinegar in a small saucepan and simmer until 1 – 2 tablespoons remain. Add the cream, reduce the heat to low, then gradually whisk in the cold butter, one piece at a time until well combined. Remove from the heat and keep warm, but not hot so it doesn't split.
  4. Place the oysters in a wide steamer basket over a saucepan of rapidly boiling water, cover and steam for about 1 minute or until just warmed through.
  5. To assemble, stir the chives and finely chopped lettuce into the warm butter sauce.
  6. Spread the rock salt over a serving platter and nestle the oysters on top. Spoon over a little butter sauce and top with a small spoonful of pickled wasabi. Serve immediately.


• Sake kasu is a fermented by-product from the production of sake. It adds a good dose of umami and nutrients to anything from soups and breads to pickles and drinks. Available from specialist Japanese grocers, ferment stores or online.


Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.

Photography by Adam Liaw.