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Monday, October 15, 2007

Chao Hot Vit Bac/Bach Thao (Vietnamese Rice Porridge with Preserved/Century/Thousand-year Duck Egg)

I eeked out one more dish from my roast duck by boiling the carcass and making chao hot vit bac/bach thao (Vietnamese rice porridge with preserved/century/thousand duck egg). I know, I know, this is a Chinese dish too. :P (Any of my readers know if the bac refers to the north ie. Chinese-style? I know that bach is for century and thao refers to herb, or preservation method.)

Chao with Preserved Duck Egg 1

Preserved duck eggs aren't actually a century or even a thousand years old, but they sure look it eh? They're actually preserved with a mixture of clay, ash, salt, and lime. Modern methods don't require them to be coated in mud and buried in jars anymore. Think of that final scene in Amy Tan's "The Hundred Secret Senses."

The preservation leaves the albumen translucent and gelatinous, the yolk takes on a creamy, almost cheese-like quality.

I like to boil the duck carcass until the meat virtually falls off the bones, and the bones themselves turn the broth milky white. I prefer my porridge a bit on the thick side, so obviously add more liquid or less rice if you want a looser porridge. I add the chopped preserved duck eggs at the end so they don't become too mushy.

Chao with Preserved Duck Egg 2

Chao Hot Vit Bac/Bach Thao (Vietnamese Rice Porridge with Preserved/Century/Thousand-year Duck Egg)

For a 5-quart pot, you'll need:

1 duck carcass
2 cups rice
2-3 preserved duck eggs, chopped
Rau ram (Vietnamese coriander) for garnish
Salt, to taste

Place duck carcass in 5-quart pot and fill with water. Add a tsp or so of salt. Let boil, and then turn the heat down to medium-low and let simmer for about an hour until the broth turns milky and the meat easily falls off the bone. Remove the duck from the pot. The pot should be only half full of broth at this point. Shred any extra meat from the bones and put it back into the pot.

Add 2 cups of rice and let simmer for about 20 minutes until the rice grains cook and swell up. Add the chopped preserved duck eggs, stir, and let simmer for another 10 minutes.

If the porridge is too thick, add more water. If it's too thin, leave the lid off the pot and let simmer until it thickens to your liking. Add salt to taste.

Top with rau ram to serve.


Who else made rice porridge with preserved duck egg?
Amy of Nook & Pantry made century egg congee.

My other rice porridge recipes:
Chao (Vietnamese Rice Porridge)
Chao/Congee/Jook Thit Heo Bam Hot Vit Bac Thao (Vietnamese/Chinese Rice Porridge with Ground Pork and Preserved Duck Egg)
Chao Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Rice Porridge)
Chao Oc (Vietnamese Rice Porridge with Clams)

Also, by reader request, I've created a tag for just my Vietnamese recipes.


  1. oh..i didnt know it is a viet style! Regardless, I think preserved duck eggs are perfect for porridge. I make this when the prices of the eggs are not that expensive here..

  2. God WC! That porridge looks so thick and creamy. I could really go for a bowl of that right now. I made something similar with a roasted chicken carcass, but it didn't come out nearly as thick as yours.

  3. Ahh Dub C, another dish that the Vietnamese and Filipinos have in common. Ours is called Arroz Caldo, which is spanish, but I'm sure the dish itself also has some chinese influence. Yours looks wonderful with the duck stock and preserved eggs.

  4. OH MY GOD.
    I'm sitting here eating my bowl of porridge with the duck eggs. and I come to your blog and see exactly what I'm eating!!!

    I can't tell you how many times we've cooked the same dish at the same time.


  5. I love this dish, although it is not as popular in the North as in the South!

  6. I love this dish! Reminds me of the porridge I grew up on. And, for some perverse Chinese reason, I had been told when I was young, by some stranger, that century eggs (that's what we call preserved duck eggs in Mandarin) were actually preserved in horse piss. I always knew that wasn't true... or was it?

  7. Oh I love this stuff! There was a Chinese restaurant close to work that made a pork version - very good and very tasty. Then they went out of business :-(

  8. Mmmm century eggs, I love them -- for all of first 5 bites/nibbles (about quarter of an egg) then I get sick of them. Wonder if it's just me....

  9. I love this congee too, and now I know what you did with that duck carcass. ;)

  10. I'm not a fan of century egg but am definitely a fan of congee :)

  11. Mmm preserved eggs. I like to use leftover turkey bones and preserved quail eggs to make chao. Thank goodness T'giving is around the corner!

  12. preserved eggs always taste like salted jelly to me. My mum is a big fan though, she said congee with preserved eggs have healing power. Anyway, I have just tagged you in a 8 random things meme so if you're not bored with writing meme then I'd love to see your 8 random things.

  13. I'm not a big fan of egg, but I love rice porridge

  14. i never had the guts to try C-eggs...im scared...but i will definitely try the rice porridge i will just replace the C-eggs with hardboiled eggs :-)

  15. preserved eggs! i see them at weddings on them cold plates. :D heehehe i'm not alone! i don't like these critters either. maybe it's the name? or the color?

  16. Daphne,
    Well, sometimes I think VNese and Chinese style are the same. :P 6 preserved eggs cost me $1.29. How much are they in Australia?

    Hehe, carcass. Good for soups but saying that always turns people off. :)

    Hmm. I wonder if the similarities between VNese and Filipino food are really Chinese similarities? *Gasp* Nah. Must be other things.

    Hehe, it's happened so many times. We're foodie soulmates!

    I was thinking the "Bac" part of it was because it more popular for northerners?

    I think the horse piss might actually be correct. The uric acid would help preserve it? Does it have the same qualities as lime? Eeek!

    Oh, but it's so easy to make your own.

    I can't eat them all in one sitting, so for the porridge it's just little bits and that seems to work for me.

    Carcass always ends up in soup doesn't it? :)

    Oh no! There was a restaurant down here that specialized in congee and it went out of business. Chiu Chow-style too! I was gonna take you there if we ever meet up. :(

    Yup, that's probably what's gonna happen to my turkey carcass. :P

    OK, it'll be a while. So lazy lately!

    I actually only eat porridge a few times a year. Not such a big fan myself.

    Hehe, try just a little bit and see if you like it!

    I think it's the color. Black eggs can be rather off-putting!

  17. Have you come across any information about how long these keep? And the best way to store them? I'm about to ship a friend a few boxes (various brands to test out) and she may not get to eat them all anytime soon. My mom refrigerates them and so do I, but not usually more than a couple of weeks.

  18. Nikki,
    I think I read somewhere that they last up to 6 months in the fridge. I've actually kept mine out in the pantry for that long and had no problems. After all, they are already rotted ie preserved aren't they? :)

  19. Great. I'll pass along some storing notes for my friend. Thanks!

  20. Nikki,
    OK, but if your friend gets sick, don't blame it on me! :P


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