Quail, Duck, Steeped in Tea, Fertilized or a Century Old: How Do You Like Your Eggs?
Hard-boiled chicken eggs are great. But these other egg options will definitely bring you out of your shell.
Mini loco moco and mini deviled eggs, anyone? Via FarmLink, you can find local quail eggs, which are not only cute, but with a higher yolk-to-white ratio and a creamier yolk than chicken eggs, they’re decadence packed into a tiny bite.
$4.20 a dozen, farmlinkhawaii.com
SEE ALSO: Can We Ever Eat All Local in Hawai‘i?
Salted duck egg
Salted egg yolks are like butter in Chinese cooking—they provide a richness and slight salty counterpoint in sweet buns and mooncakes. But they’ve recently moved out of the traditional realm and into the modern: You’ll find everything from french fries to crab coated in a shatteringly crisp crust of salted egg yolk (the latter found at King Restaurant). Some Costco locations in the country even sell salted egg yolk cookies, like Ritz crackers meet shortbread. In Filipino markets, the salted duck eggs are dyed pink to avoid being mixed up with regular eggs, while in Chinese markets, they’re individually shrink-wrapped.
$6.99 for four, Seafood City, 94-050 Farrington Highway, Waipahu, (808) 675-2350
Pi dan or century egg
These days, pi dan are often duck eggs soaked in salt and lye (the latter also a common ingredient in making pretzels and hominy). The result: The egg white turns a beautiful translucent amber-black, with the texture of gelatin, and the yolk a creamy gray, with a consistency and flavor reminiscent of brie or Camembert. Add it to congee or slice it over silken tofu drizzled with soy sauce and sesame oil.
$3.25 for six, Bo Wah Trading, Chinatown store (look for the brands from Taiwan), 1037 Maunakea St., (808) 537-2017
A favorite snack in China and Taiwan (where it’s found at 7-Eleven), tea eggs are usually steeped in soy sauce, tea, star anise and cinnamon, all of which lend the white and yolk a fragrant and savory flavor.
$1.75 each, Shaka Shaka Tea Express, multiple locations, shakashakateaexpress.com
Are you a Monday balut or Friday balut type? At Asagi Hatchery, some Filipino regulars prefer the younger and smaller fertilized chicken eggs, while others prefer the older, larger eggs later in the week, which offer more texture. Boil them for about 30 minutes (or to your preference), crack and peel off the top, add a bit of salt or vinegar, and slurp them from the shell—like a tiny bowl of chicken soup with a custardy mouthfeel.
About $12 for six, Asagi Hatchery, 1830 Kanakanui St., (808) 845-4522, asagihatchery.com