Food: Balut and tomato with balsamic blanco

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salted eggs

This post is a belated Easter followup. For those who don’t recall, I went crazy Easter weekend and bought a bajillion eggs at the farmers market. I posted about it here >>>. I then spent so long using all the booty that I completely forgot to put this post up. Sorry about that.

No, these are not colored Easter eggs. These bright magenta darlings are Balut, also known as salted duck eggs and they are moderately popular in Asian communities.

They are quite large, about 3-inches tall, and heavy. Here’s wikipedia‘s notation:

Salted duck egg is a Chinese preserved food product made by soaking duck eggs in brine, or packing each egg in damp salted charcoal. In Asian supermarkets, these eggs are sometimes sold covered in a thick layer of salted charcoal paste. The eggs may also be sold with the salted paste removed, wrapped in plastic, and vacuum packed. From the salt curing process, the salted duck eggs have a briny aroma, a very liquid egg white and a yolk that is bright orange-red in colour, round, and firm in texture.

Salted duck eggs are normally boiled or steamed before being peeled and eaten as a condiment to congee or cooked with other foods as a flavouring. The egg white has a sharp, salty taste. The orange red yolk is rich, fatty, and less salty. The yolk is prized and is used in Chinese mooncakes to symbolize the moon.

Basically, we’ve got pickled egg.

For those familiar with the pickled eggs of the U.S. midwest, normally made with chicken eggs, the Balut is much more dense in texture (think heavy) and the saltiness of the brine is probably twice as strong. In fact, the saltiness is so strong that most people will only eat balut with something else as a counterpoint, like tomatoes.

Here’s one of my favorite ways to eat Balut: simply sliced with ripe tomatoes and a drizzle of balsamic bianco, which is very lightweight and has a touch of sweetess to it. On a lazy weekend, it’s a terrific and very simple afternoon snack.

You can take it one step further and layer it in the mouth of a baguette along with some fresh basil and it’s an outstanding sandwich. Sometimes I’ll substitute the balamasmic for a light layer of mayonaise. Simple and very flavorful. Delicious.

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So next time you see those bright glow-in-the-dark magenta eggs, buy a couple (you can usually buy them singly) and try it. For the cost of $1 you can try something completely new and a little exotic, you won’t have to cook anything and it will only cost you a couple minutes of simple food assembly. How often can you say that?

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