Last Saturday, as usual, I went to Binjai Souq looking for something traditional. I was up to my nose with meat, chicken and common commercial fish species like the sardines, Indian mackerel, snapper, garupa, yellow-striped trevally, etc etc
Fish stalls were full of fish, squids and prawns. On the last stall on my left, I saw three plastic bags full of something very familiar.
At first I thought that they were lokan. The minute I touched the bags, the owner explained that they were teritip, not lokan.
For you city folks out there, teritip is a wild version of oyster. They normally grow on rocks in brackish water.
Collecting them is both laborious and risky. Their sharp shells could easily cut your fingers if you were not careful.
But the fruit of your labour is something very good and delicious.
When I was small I used to look for teritip when the Kemaman river was at its lowest tide. At this time the rocks would be easily accessible and out of water. All you had to do then was to pry open the shells with a knife, cleaver or something sharp and hard.
As far as consuming it, unlike farmed oysters, I don't have the gut to eat them raw. I do not know what residue or bacteria they harbour.
Yesterday my wife lightly cooked them mixed with chilly, garlic and soy sauce. They were just wonderful.