English Name: Dried Oysters
Chinese Name: 蠔豉 (háo shì/hou4si6)
What are dried oysters?
- This delicacy is popular during Chinese New Year for Cantonese because its name, 蠔豉 (hou4si6), sounds like 好事 (hou2si6), which means good deeds, good fortune, or prosperity.
- They can be added to soups, stir fried, or braised in a casserole.
How do I select dried oysters?
- The best dried oysters are plump ones from Japan and Korea.
- Medium sized ones should be oval shaped, brownish color, plump and still moist.
- Smaller sized ones are usually drier and varies in color either reddish-brown or brown (due to origin). Add these in soup for extra flavor.
- Dried oysters should have a strong seafood smell.
How do I prepare it?
- Rinse to remove excess salt and grit.
- Before cooking, soak in water for at least half an hour or until soft (2-4 hours depending on size and quality).
- You can reserve the soaking liquid for cooking, but make sure to strain the grit sediment.
How do I store it?
- Keep refrigerated to maintain freshness and prevent molding.