You never can tell…

This cropped up in the discussion the other day as to how we never can tell whether the bitter gourd that we are buying is bitter or not. I guess the same thing applies when we’re buying salted eggs…

Salted eggs 1

I used to get them from a mini-supermarket near my house in packs of 4, each one buried in the black salted paste, wrapped in a small plastic bag and placed in the egg tray-like compartment in the pack. I stopped buying those from there when more often than not, the salted eggs turned out to be far from nice, at times, even rotten. Then there was another supermarket that packs their own, 6 in a pack. I was told that theirs were always very good so I started buying from there until lately when I found that they too were far from satisfactory.

There is a grocery store round the corner from my house and they do sell salted eggs as well. I would always ask the man whether they are any good and he would be honest enough to tell me whether to buy or not. I guess he eats them himself and some batches he receives may be excellent while others may be rather disappointing. Thankfully, he is nice enough to tell me the truth and not just sell them to me regardless.

Once, I was told that those sold by an old man at the Sibu Central Market were very good so I went to buy some to try. He makes them himself and no, they are priced the same as those imported ones sold at the shops and supermarkets and yes, the ones I bought from him were really good, slightly on the salty side, but good. I love my salted eggs like these…

Salted eggs 2

– slightly “oily” and the yolks have a very nice bright red or orange colour…and I would not like them to be too salty either.

During my growing up years, the only time when I would have salted eggs would be when I was sick. I would have them with my porridge, usually tossed with Bovril or Marmite. We never had them any other way but these days, there are so many things with salted egg like this bitter gourd dish that had been fried with them…

Bitter gourd fried with salted egg

This is available at most restaurants in town, if not all of them, big or small…for instance, this one or this one and at the latter, you can also get the very lovely deep-fried pumpkin in salted egg batter…

Deep fried salted egg pumpkin

There is also the very nice bayam dish fried with three types of eggs – the ordinary eggs, salted and century eggs…

Century eggs

…and I do know that salted egg crabs is a very popular dish among lovers of the crustacean.

Then, of course, you can find salted eggs in bak chang (meat dumplings) and mooncakes

Salted egg in mooncake

…and I love the steamed paos with salted egg custard filling aka as the lau sar pao

lausar pao

…other than some of those delightful selections that you may find at those dim sum places

Glutinous rice with salted egg

Perhaps you know of more?

But, pray, do tell me how you choose your salted eggs when you buy some. Is there any foolproof method that you use to ensure that the salted eggs you buy would definitely be good…or are you just like me and you never can tell either?