Talaba (Steamed Oysters)

Talaba or Oysters have a soft flesh that can taste sweet, salty or even melon-like, depending on where they are harvested. These expensive treats can be eaten in various ways: raw, boiled, steamed, baked, fried, stewed, pickled, or roasted. Because raw oysters may contain dangerous bacteria, many people opt to boil their oysters to enjoy this seafood delicacy.

How to Steam Oysters in the Shell

Step 1
Purchase oysters with closed shells. If you find an oyster with an open shell, tap on the shell a couple of times to see whether the shell closes. If the shell remains open, the oyster is dead and shouldn’t be consumed. Throw away dead oysters.

Step 2
Fill a small pot with water or broth until it is about two-thirds full. (It is important to use a smaller pot because a larger pot may prevent all the oysters from cooking properly.)

Step 3
Bring the liquid to a rolling boil, and drop the oysters into the pot. Boil for three to five minutes after the oyster shells open.

Step 4
Drain the oysters in a colander and rinse with cool water to prevent more cooking. Throw away any oysters that did not open during cooking.

Step 5
Serve the oysters plain or with (sinamak) vinegar or melted butter or hot sauce.

How to Boil Shucked Oysters

Step 1
Follow Step 1 above to discard dead oysters.

Step 2
Place a fresh oyster in a towel, and grab it with the palm of your hand. With your other hand, pry open the shell with an oyster knife. 

Step 3
Insert the tip of the knife between the shell halves next to the oyster’s hinge. Wiggle and twist the knife until the oyster breaks open.

Step 4
Cut the oyster from the top shell, and place it in a bowl or on a plate. Then repeat with the bottom shell.

Step 5
Fill a small pot with water or broth until it is two-thirds full. Bring the liquid to a rolling boil, and drop the oysters into the pot. Boil for at least three minutes. The ends of the oysters will curl once the oysters are fully cooked.

Step 6
Remove the pot from heat once the oyster edges have curled. Drain the oysters in a colander, and rinse with cool water to prevent further cooking.

Step 7
Serve the boiled oysters plain or with (sinamak) vinegar or melted butter or hot sauce.