Remember that fertile duck egg with its feathery fetus hard boiled and barely fit for human consumption? Yeah, that’s the one. Sorry to jog your memory, but what if I told you that you can brag to your friends you ate this mess in Vietnam without actually having to consume the offensive crap?
Vegan my friends. We’ve been down this interesting trail before with snails, pork belly, and chicken and here is yet more of this fake foolishness to add to our growing list of oddities. These substitutes formed from konjac powder appear real in a most plastic sort of way when served with copious amounts of imagination. Now the taste is another story though as the flavors come from the sauces rather than the bland “meat.”
Thịt kho hột vịt at District 3’s Au Lac at 237 Xo Viet Nghe Tinh Street is a surprisingly edible affair. A pan fried crispy coating forms the outer shell of this tofu based “egg.” Dig in further and colored mashed tofu mimics an actual orange yolk. This stuff really plays tricks on the mind as it seems real enough at first glance right down to the eggy texture. The only difference here is that lunch didn’t squirt out of some chicken’s lady parts while it pecked around the neighborhood but rather out of some factory test tube.
The fake duck egg is paired with “pork” normally in real life a chunk of several alternating layers starting with skin, then fat, then meat and then some more fat. Imagine a piece of pig tiramisu with vivid layers and colors but a taste and texture anything but delicious as teeth sink into spongy fat and chewy meat. But this vegan version…yes, it slides so nicely down the hatch. Finally, I ate a piece of this striped pork without having to dissect most of it away only to yield a tiny, tiny strip of palatable pig. A great green onion and carrot kim chi marinated in fish free fish sauce pairs so well.
Giving up meat definitely is not on my radar, but having some healthy, palatable alternatives like fake duck eggs and pork adds some angst free escape from a dining scene that can be otherwise quite scary at times.