Place the live terrapin in a bowl of water sufficiently large for it to swim about with ease. Leave it for approximately 30 minutes then renew the water. Repeat this operation a number of times and then finally wash the terrapin well and plunge it into a pot of boiling water until the fine white skin which covers the head and flippers can be easily rubbed off with a clean cloth.
Place the terrapin to cook in unsalted boiling water or by steaming, the time required for this naturally varies according to the size and quality of the terrapin but in any case it should not exceed 45 minutes. It is possible to judge whether it is cooked by squeezing the legs between the fingers; the flesh should give under pressure.