Eastern Easter Eggs

By Sheere Ng - Thursday, Mar 28, 2013

Are you fascinated by those kaleidoscopic and intricately designed Easter eggs? Street food hawkers in Asia have equally colourful, if not better stuff to offer too! They transform ordinary eggs into an astounding myriad of shapes, colours and textures, and the best part is, they become snacks! We include the good, the odd and the weird…
Burmese Mont Lin Ma Yar
Mont Lin Ma Yar literally translates to “husband and wife snack” as it is eaten in pairs. This semispherical snack is made of a batter of rice flour and yellow pea, topped with a quail egg done sunny-side-up. When the bottom of the batter is browned and crisp, the hawker would turn it over and place it on top of another. The Burmese foodies usually devour this with sesame seeds.
Filipino Balut
Balut is a nearly developed duck embryo that is boiled and eaten in-shell. The shape of the foetus is already obvious, with veins, bones (which give it a crunchy texture) and sometimes feathers in sight. The Pinoys love it with beer whereas in places like Vietnam, Cambodia and China, people eat it with strong flavoured herbs and spices like garlic and mint leaves. Like all odd food, balut draws mixed reviews. Those who enjoy it praise its profound mix of textures and flavours. The rest think it is no better than a boiled rotten egg.


Balut (image courtesy of JMParrone via Flickr)

Hong Kong Gai Daan Jai
Gai Daan Jai or eggette is a Cantonese waffle that looks like a bubble wrap. Each “bubble” is shaped like a chicken egg. The batter is made of egg, flour and evaporated milk, cooked in an iron mold skillet. Besides eating it plain, the Hong Konger also eat it with chocolate, strawberry sauce or fruits, not too different from an English waffle which it is said to have inspired it.
Eggette (image courtesy of rick via Flickr)

Chinese Century egg
It tickles us that many westerners are fearful of century egg and even made it a challenge in western bizzare and weird television programmes like the Fear Factor. We get it, it is black and could taste like a combination of sulphur and ammonia, but discerning gourmands know that the better grades, indicated with a naturally formed snowflake-like patterns on the surface of the “white”, has less of that pong and is perfect with plain porridge or tofu. The yolk should also be creamy. In case you are still wondering, no, it is not made using horse urine, but saline solution where it is soaked in for a couple of weeks (not a century). It is best eaten with pickled ginger.
Century egg (image courtesy of pinguino via Flickr)

Korean GaeranBbang
Gaeran Bbang or Egg Bread is an essential street food for the South Koreans during winter times. Egg cooked in a bread that is shaped like a lunch box. The surface of the bread is crispy while the yolk inside is warm and soft.