Don Wickham's Filipino Pepper Oysters
You're Going To Need
2 cups long-gain white rice or Uncle Ben’s Enriched Rice
1 medium size yellow onion—per pint of oysters
I small jar (4-6 oz) Tabasco peppers in vinegar—per pint of oysters
This recipe, using one pint of shucked oysters, is easily expandable.
Prepare the rice—Don uses 3-31/2 cups of water for 2 cups of rice
Peel and thinly slice the onion
Pour the pickling vinegar from the peppers into a stainless steel saucepan.
Chop the tops off the peppers. Discard stems. Cut each pepper into 3-4 pieces
Place oysters and any oyster liquor, onion slices and chopped peppers with the pickling vinegar in the saucepan and gently stir once or twice to mix the ingredients. Let set 10-15 minutes (no longer).
Over medium heat bring the mixture up to a simmer. Cook only long enough for the edges of the oysters to curl.
On each plate, ladle the pepper-oyster mixture over steamed rice.
If you can’t find Tabasco peppers locally, try Amazon.com, or use an alternative, but it may affect flavor and heat. You want a small, hot chili with a clean flavor. Warn anyone eating it for the first time to start with just a few oysters. The liquid contains a lot of heat. (You can moderate the heat with more rice or with soy sauce; but soy modifies the flavor.) Leftovers should be refrigerated and eaten soon. The longer they are left in the cooking liquid the hotter they become!
Don Wickham, a retired NOAA fisheries biologist, plays trumpet for the Hot Society Orchestra of Washington, which performs early-jazz dance music.