Fetal duck eggs served as breakfast at a street restaurant in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Phong Vinh
‘Trung vit lon,’ or duck eggs with embryos inside, has been listed among the 10 “worst rated egg dishes” in the world by international food magazine TasteAtlas.
The food is popular among several Southeast Asian countries including Vietnam, and is often internationally known by its Filipino name “balut.”
In Vietnam, duck egg embryos have become a favorite snack that can be found at street-side stalls or food courts. They can be seasoned with chili, garlic, vinegar, salt, lemon juice, ground pepper, and the pungent Vietnamese coriander rau ram.
While boiled balut is a common choice, Vietnamese street food vendors also offer stir-fried egg embryos with tamarind sauce topped with fried onions and peanuts.
One fetal duck egg provides 182,000 calories, 13.6 grams of protein, 12.4 grams of lipid, 82 milligrams of calcium, 212 grams of phosphor and 600 milligrams of cholesterol, studies have found. It also provides high amounts of beta carotene, vitamins and iron.
Nine other egg dishes in the TasteAtlas list were Smazenice in the Czech Republic, Frittata di pasta in Italy, Eierbal in the Netherlands, Scotch Eggs in England, Denver Omelet in the U.S., Panagyurski Eggs in Bulgaria, Oeufs cocotte in France, century egg in China and steamed egg in South Korea.