Friday, July 29, 2011

Day 348

Red Bean Crisp with Egg Yolk: Anyone who's been following my blog knows I've eaten quite a few Asian pastries during the last almost-year, but this one that I found yesterday at the Oriental Bakery on Buford Highway (in the same plaza as Chef Liu and Chicago Supermarket) offered something quite unexpected. In addition to some of the pre-packaged pastries that are easy to find at almost any Asian grocery, they also featured a glass case with some house-made treats that I'd never seen before.

Rather than overload on pastry, I decided to pick out a couple. One caught my eye immediately just based on the name: red bean crisp with egg yolk. I asked the girl behind the counter if there was actually egg yolk in it, and she said yes. I couldn't discern anything about it from just looking at it, but there was apparently egg yolk in it, and that's all I needed to know.
My level of curiosity about this one was pretty high, so I eagerly gave it a try this afternoon. The pastry itself was egg-shaped, with a hard outer crust that was topped with some sort of yellow substance (egg yolk?) and sesame seeds. I cut it in half, and the interior looked entirely different from what I was expecting. Instead of traditional yellow yolk, it was filled with red bean paste and what looked to be part of a preserved duck egg (the darker part in the pic). Not exactly a combination that sounds appetizing, but I took a bite anyway.
The results weren't too bad - the outer pastry crust was flaky, and it provided a thin covering for the red bean/egg filling. Nothing really new to report with the red bean paste, but the egg had a gamy, rubbery texture much like the kind I'd had before as an ingredient in congee. I'm still not sure what the coating on top was, but as a snack, it was definitely an unusual experience. Kind of a sweet/salty combo, so if you're into that, you may like these.

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