Cambodian raw oysters are one of the best street food delicates you can get in Cambodia.
My initial entry into Cambodia had me sticking to the few tried and tested restaurants I had found, and knew the food was good, but I decided to get a bit more adventurous and go try one of the proper plastic chair street vendor type affairs.
Having spent a lot of my formative street food years in central China, good, and inexpensive seafood is a rarity, so opted for street seafood!
I ordered garlic shrimp and crab before spotting a number of oyster dishes. I like my oysters raw, and with one being called Oysters Ice, I assumed it wasn’t a local variation of Tanduay Ice, and jumped in headfirst.
The dish was $3.50 for the “large” and I assumed I’d get 2-4 at best. What I was hit with was a huge plate of oysters, literally covered in ice. Get it? Oysters ice, but the weird and whacky adventure was not to stop here.
On the side, I was given eucalyptus shoots, small bits of fried onion (a big part of Khmer street food), a bowl, and some Khmer hot sauce. I then followed the instructions willingly, I was not to eat from the shell, but to place the oyster in the bowl, break up the eucalyptus shoots, drop in the small bits of fried onion, and optionally add the hot sauce (obviously I did this).
Oh, my days! I was not expecting what I was going to get, a truly amazing dish, I’ve never been huge on eucalyptus, but I might now be having to rethink a lot of things! All the flavors combined simply went perfectly, and whether I chewed (which I am not used to with oysters), or swallowed whole it was frankly amazing.
I feel like I am now doing the crab, and the shrimp a gross disservice, as they were also top-notch. The crab shell was light enough for us to just chew through, and the shrimp were eaten China-style by ripping off the head and eating the rest, shell and everything. If you have not tried this, you really should.
Drinks-wise I had opted for Cambodia Beer, made by the same people who make Ize Cola, and was treated to a warm can of beer and a big plastic mug full of ice. It might not sound great but learned to love beer and ice on the backstreets of Hanoi.
Another top-notch dish, and another reason why I am starting to truly fall in love with Khmer cuisine.