The Fuzhou (or Foochow) Oyster Cake is a sort of deep-fried oyster fritter that originally hails from Fuzhou, the capital of the Fujian province in Southern China. As you can watch in the above video, rice flour batter is stuffed with cilantro, ground pork, and oysters. A few peanuts are pressed onto the top of the cake to provide a contrast in texture, and then the whole thing is submerged in bubbling oil.
They remind me of eating fried oysters on the Eastern Shore of Maryland with my family, although these have a lot more batter (and other ingredients). So at first, I wasn’t such a fan – I wanted more oysters and less batter. But given the fact that they only cost $1 Singaporean dollar (US$0.70), it’s amazing you get any oysters.
I enjoyed them more the second time for two reasons: 1) I had one fresh out of the fryer, as opposed to one that had been sitting for awhile; and 2) I had it after interviewing the stall owner, Madam Hoon.
While Madam Hoon was born in Singapore, her parents are from Fuzhou, and their stall is one of the few in Singapore where you can buy a Foochow Oyster Cake. Madam Hoon used to work in cosmetics, but entered the hawker business about twenty years ago to help her elderly mother, who still occasionally makes appearances at the stall. I didn’t think to ask what sort of hours Madam Hoon used to have in the cosmetics industry, but these days she’s at the stall at 5 am to prep her ingredients. Thankfully, you don’t have to get up that early to get a fresh one – just head to Maxwell Stall Number 5 around 9:30 or 10am. And tell Madam Hoon the red-haired girl sent you.