A passion for food + fashion

Hog Wash

In Food, Recipes on August 25, 2009 at 8:14 am


Saturday morning following a long run on the beach, I headed over to Santa Monica Seafood to pick up two dozen oysters for dinner. There, I ran into friends Anne and Dudley, who were picking up an insane amount of seafood for a paella dinner party we went to on Sunday night (more on that later this week). Back to the oysters, on offer there were Kumamotos from Hog Island in Northern California. Kumamotos are rich and buttery and just a little bit sweet (if you ever see their sweetwaters available, they’re even better—briny smokey sweet). The Kumamotos are small and a little more manageable when it comes to shucking, though I think a gloveless Mr. Foodinista might beg to differ:


A couple years ago I got him the Rösle shucker as a stocking stuffer, but have never quite had it in me to pull the trigger on this FOUR HUNDRED DOLLAR chain mail oyster glove from Moss in NY:

oystergloveYet gloveless, triumph he did over two dozen of these little guys. We cracked open a bottle of Charles Heidsieck blanc de blancs (crisp, dry with mineral notes—perfect with the oysters!) and served with my favorite mignonette, which has just a little heat from jalapeños—again, a match made in heaven with a crisp, dry Champagne. Here’s the recipe. Also, I used Vietnamese cilantro from our herb garden instead of traditional cilantro—but either way, totally addictive.

Hog Wash
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup natural rice vinegar
1 large shallot, peeled and finely diced
1 large Jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely diced
1/2 bunch of cilantro, finely chopped
juice of 1 lime


  1. Hmm, I am a bit of a novice when it comes to rice vinegar…any seasoned rice vinegars you can recommend? Do you season your own? If so, with what? Any help is much appreciated!

  2. Oh god, these oysters are a mere two or three hour drive from me! It’s so tempting to run to the coast to grab a few dozen. Mr. Foodinista is king. I find shucking scary as all get out. (And I’m not shelling out for a 400 clam glove!)

  3. Gabs: Seasoned rice vinegar simply has sugar in it (I think). I picked up some of this Marukan seasoned rice vinegar (traditionally used to slightly sweeten sushi rice):


    And then I forget what kind of plain old rice vinegar I have. If memory serves, it has a black label. I’ll check tonight.

    Devora: Use a rubber kitchen glove (or better yet – make someone else do – works for me!). And let’s agree that nobody needs to shell out 400 bucks on a freaking oyster glove. I do however highly recommend visiting Hog Island in Tomales Bay. Do you live closer to either San Francisco or Napa Valley? If so, Hog Island has outlets at the Ferry Building in SF and the Oxbow Market in Napa. Go sit at the bar and wash down with a beer!

  4. We stopped by Santa Monica Seafood a few weeks ago and sampled three oysters at the bar. The Kumamotos were my favorite. Nice small delicious bundles of joy, not to slippery. Yummy
    Also, another day we grabbed some of the take away items and a bottle of wine and had a lovely picnic on the beach while we ate our grub and drank the wine-from the bottle-
    One of the best meals we’ve had.

  5. Oh – serious oyster craving has kicked in after reading this. I, too, have the shucking knife but no glove. Unlike your husband, however, I have not yet been brave enough to attempt the task! Bravo to him!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: