… But will it pass the oyster litmus test?
Firstly, for those who haven’t tried Japanese chili crisp (also known as La-Yu), it’s like a crunchy, savory, mildly spicy oil, which is deeply aromatic and carries a strong umami flavor. The “crunch” is from a handful of dried ingredients like fried garlic, chili pepper flakes, almonds, fried onion, and sesame seeds.
Lately, it’s been popping up in egg recipes, ramen, and many dishes that traditionally involve sriracha.
Nutty, herbal flavors already come natural to an oyster, so will it work? The resounding answer is yes.
Dropping a little dollop on top of your half shell offers enhanced spice, meatiness, and texture. At first, I was afraid that the crunch might put me off, like grit might feel like when slurping. I was wrong! It was more empowering to feel a subtle crunch in the heat, without the fear of breaking a tooth.
We have the Japanese S&B Crunchy Garlic Topping Chili Oil La-Yu, but you can find many varieties.
I dressed up lovely WiAnno Oysters from the Cape for the experiment. It’s therapeutic to me to make them look so lovely.