Having spent most of my street food career in central China cheap, good seafood has been a bit of rarity for me, so discovering Cambodian raw oysters and how cheap they are was a real touch.
And why do I say Cambodian raw oysters? Well partly because I get them from Cambodia and they are Cambodian, but more so because eating raw oysters in Cambodia has a real unique process.
In the west I have always been a traditionalist when it comes top oysters, generally only adding a tiny bit of Tabasco before I neck it. I have also, which I am very proud of added it to a hit of Absolute Pepper, with Tabasco – again another stroke of genius.
How do you eat Cambodian Raw oysters?
So, having established how we eat a raw oyster in the west, how do they do it in Cambodia? First you are given the oysters, which are damned cheap. Today I got 10 nice big oysters for $5, you really cannot beat prices like that.
You then as normal take a fork or whatever and separate the oyster from the shell, but you leave it in the shell. You then add as you see fir from the choices of fried garlic, which I added, shallots, which I added and amazing Khmer hot sauce, which I added in abundance.
And the taste? Oh my days this was an absolute taste sensation. I have since carried on eating said dish, which on occasion has offered some really cool regional variations, such as seaweed, which when combined with the other combinations added fishy tang that just worked.
Do I like it as much as baby bee? Probably not, but I now always order it when I am out for dinner.
How do Cambodian raw oysters compare with western raw oysters?
Some might call it same same, but different, but in fact the two are really really different, with the option of western style oysters not only being available in Cambodia, but coming very much at a premium.
They are to be fair imported and a little bigger, but for sheer value I truly think you cannot beat raw Cambodian oysters for value and taste.
You can try this on our Dark Cambodia Tour.