eating local in vietnam: fertilised duck eggs, crispy skin frogs with a dear friend on the side

Posted by on May 31, 2015 in Elsewhere | 24 Comments

You know you’re in Vietnam when your best friend is sitting across the table from you tucking into a fertilised duck egg with gusto. At least this might be an indicator. Another indicator may be experiencing adrenal fatigue from drinking too many cafe sua da every morning coupled with banh mi. Damn those Vietnamese coffees are good…you know you’re alive! One of my dearest friends (of 25 years) has been living and teaching in Ho Chi Minh city for about a year so Dave and I went over for a catch up. Both gin hags from way back with an appreciation for great food, good times were going to be had. Fun stuff like being on the back of motorbikes and driving through Saigon districts, stopping constantly to eat the best possible local food for what seemed to be an endless and perfect night. It was demanding, stressful even, to eat such copious amounts of delicious food but I took one for the team. Goat, fertilised duck eggs, quail, frogs, every type of seafood imaginable and the list goes on.

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We took a break from eating and attended a Saigon cooking class so we could eat what we cooked afterwards. Cooking classes are a major priority for me when travelling. We created sour soup with prawns, banana blossoms salad with chicken, nuoc mam and Vietnamese pancake. Even though I used to teach people how to make omelettes, my pancake looked dreadful and the chef gave me sympathetic looks. So I discovered I had some underlying, competitive omelette ego issues going on but it tasted good anyway. Aside from that, it doesn’t matter where you are when you’re with your two favourite people. All you need is conversation and YouTube (which was challenging as the internet connection is a bit dodgy over there). Driving away in the cab to the airport, waving goodbye to my friend in the distance with both of us crying meant that I was going to have to miss her all over again. I was also going to miss drinking cafe sua da’s and eating croissants everyday. These are life’s emotional moments :: Jem x

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24 Comments

  1. Nicole - Champagne and Chips
    May 31, 2015

    Oh my- what on earth is a fertilised duck egg? Does it have a crunchy bony little cooked duck in the middle? Do I want to know?
    It sounds like a glorious, fun holiday.

    Reply
    • lostinutensils
      May 31, 2015

      Yep Nicole…it’s a duck egg cooked with the duck fetus still inside and fully formed with a little beak and everything. Very popular over there. Probably not for everyone (I was unsure at first) but delicious all the same!

      Reply
  2. Lorraine @Not Quite Nigella
    May 31, 2015

    I’ve never eaten a fertilised duck egg – i’ve eaten a lot but that might be my limit (but hey you never know, I might change my mind if there!) 🙂 Great pics-you look so happy! 🙂

    Reply
    • lostinutensils
      May 31, 2015

      I’m surprised you haven’t had this before Lorraine, you’ve eaten everything weird and wonderful! I think you would eat it 🙂

      Reply
  3. emma
    June 1, 2015

    Sounds such a brilliant holiday and you’ve described it so colourfully 😀 The cooking class sounds amazing! I keep meaning to do a class for some Asian inspired cuisine but never seem to get to it because it seems so intimidating (I should really man up!).

    Lovely photos too 🙂 🙂

    Reply
    • lostinutensils
      June 1, 2015

      Thanks Emma…I wouldn’t think you’d be intimidated by that at all, you seem like a natural with anything food to me 🙂

      Reply
  4. Function 9
    June 1, 2015

    Vietnam has the best food – love the pics & great post!

    Reply
    • lostinutensils
      June 1, 2015

      I know! All the food was amazing, one of my new favourite food destinations 🙂

      Reply
  5. sherry from sherrys pickings
    June 1, 2015

    omg duck foetus? I think that is a step too far for me:) sounds like you are having heaps of food and fun!
    cheers
    sherry

    Reply
    • lostinutensils
      June 1, 2015

      Thanks Sherry. It certainly isn’t everyone’s cup of tea that’s for sure 🙂

      Reply
  6. Lizzie {Strayed Table}
    June 6, 2015

    Ah, Vietnam so good! They sure do know how to cook and if you are up for the challenge you can just keep on eating. Great photos, takes me back a few years.

    Reply
    • lostinutensils
      June 6, 2015

      And I’m always up for the challenge of eating Lizzie… 🙂

      Reply
  7. Monique@The Urban Mum
    June 8, 2015

    Oh I am thrilled to have found your site…we are off to Vietnam in 3 weeks for our first visit…my brother in law lives in Ho Chi Minh, so meals out I am sure will be wonderful. However Cooking Classes are not his thing, I am like you and try to take a class in every city we visit…could you recommend the class you took, if you get a moment I would certainly appreciate the details Cheers…

    Reply
    • lostinutensils
      June 8, 2015

      Good to meet you Monique! I’m sure you will enjoy visit, the food is incredible…the street food, restaurants everything. There are two food things I would really recommend; the cooking classes at Saigon Cooking Class (74/7 Hai Ba Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City, http://www.saigoncookingclass.com) and the XO Foodie motorbike tour (xotours.vn). Hope you have a blast 🙂

      Reply
  8. Jan (A gluttonous wife)
    June 11, 2015

    There’s nothing like being with ‘your people’ is there. You are so adventurous Jem!!! I am keen to try new things but I think I’d sternly decline the duck egg!!
    Jan x

    Reply
    • lostinutensils
      June 11, 2015

      Haha Jan…most people would but I’m only adventurous when it come to food, nothing else 🙂

      Reply
  9. Gourmet Getaways
    June 14, 2015

    Wow, what an interesting journey! Wait…are those frogs?! Hehe, looking crispy and tasty!

    Julie & Alesah
    Gourmet Getaways xx

    Reply
  10. Anna @ shenANNAgans
    July 22, 2015

    Hahaha…. love that ‘you took one for the team’ and chowed down on all the amazing foods. I so enjoy travel for this reason, one must try all the foods right?! 🙂

    Your friend enjoys fertilised duck egg and eats it with gusto…. #nodeal You can smell it a block away. Aint nothing tasty about something the stinks that bad. LOL!

    My bestest friend is from Vietnam, she makes me coffees often and holy moly are they delicious. 🙂

    Looks like a fabulous adventure. Cant wait to visit.

    Reply
    • lostinutensils
      July 22, 2015

      LOL thanks Anna. Yep the only reason to travel is to eat! Those coffees are in a league of their own and should be drunk with caution…but it’s hard to stop 🙂

      Reply
  11. Padaek
    August 9, 2015

    Great post and pics Jem. Looks like you had such a good time, and so much delicious food. I would do the same. Fertilized duck egg? Meh.

    Reply
  12. Nagi@RecipeTinEats
    February 5, 2016

    Looks like you had a wonderful time. And you spent it with wonderful people. The food there looks all delicious but I’m still not sure about the fertilized duck egg. 😀

    Reply

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