Oysters with Cucumbers and Osetra Caviar
- 3 tablespoon peppercorns
- 10 dry bay leaves
- 3 tablespoons star anise
- 3 tablespoons coriander seeds
- 2 tablespoons dried Thai chili peppers
- rock salt
- 12 Kumamoto oysters
- 1 cucumber
- 4 tablespoons Japanese rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
- 2 ounces Russian Osetra caviar (optional)
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
These oysters may be presented on a deep platter by making a rock salt bed that also will fill the air with a wonderful aroma. Mix enough rock salt to cover bottom of serving platter with the remaining ingredients.
- Peel 1 cucumber and leave whole.
- Using a mandolin set with the finest shredding blade, shred cucumber in long, thin strips (cucumber should resemble angel hair pasta). Keep turning cucumber to avoid shredding seeds.
- In a bowl, mix cucumber with rice wine vinegar, salt, pepper and chives, set aside.
- Shuck oysters 1/2 hour before guests arrive. Remove oysters from shell and place a bowl.
- Place oyster shells on rock salt bed. Using a small cocktail fork, fill each oyster shell with shredded cucumber. Top with an oyster and a dollop of caviar. Refrigerate until ready to serve.