First prepare the ginger dressing, cut the ginger into fine julienne strips and mix with the rice vinegar and a pinch of salt. Cover and leave to marinate for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the beer batter, sieve the flour, salt, sugar and baking powder into a bowl. Using a whisk as you pour, mix in the beer in a steady stream. If you keep mixing, you should get no lumps. Cover and put to one side.
Sauté the mushrooms in
Slice the beef fillet against the grain into round slices about
Cut the leek lengthways in half, then lay each half on a chopping board, cut side down, and cut into long thin strips.
Take the oysters out of their shells, or get them shucked by your fishmonger and lay on kitchen paper to remove excess moisture.
Heat the oil for deep-frying to 160°C. Add half the leek and cook, gently stirring to keep it cooking evenly, until it becomes golden. Should it go as far as dark brown, it will become bitter, while not cooked enough and it will be limp and tasteless. Remove the leek with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Cook the remaining leek in the same way.
Increase the temperature of the oil to 180°C. Place 4 of the oysters in the batter and very gently coat them in it, then lower them into the oil. Cook until golden all over (if your oil is shallow, you’ll need to turn them over after a minute), then remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper while you cook the rest. Keep the cooked ones warm in a low oven with the door ajar. The oysters will spit a little as they cook – they are juicy creatures after all, so please do be careful as you cook them.
Place a mound of Greek cress in the centre of the beef slices and scatter the shiitake and ginger, with the marinating vinegar, around it. Tuck 3 oysters into the cress and then lay the leeks on top. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil and serve.
© 2005 Peter Gordon. All rights reserved.