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Duck eggs?

I bought duck eggs at the Berkeley Farmers Market on Saturday.
After 30+ years of being told about duck eggs, there they were!
I scrambled them (although I usually eat my eggs soft-up, it was recommended than I cook them harder that I usually cook eggs) and they were good. Not stunning, but an interesting experiment. The yolks are *very* firm and the whites were also very viscous, which I assume meant they were fresh. Do you eat duck eggs?

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  1. The only time I had the opportunty to eat duck eggs was on vacation in Scotland. We were at a bed and breakfast on the Isle of Arron. The owner of the B&B took me and my DH across the Island to the farm to pick the duck eggs for that mornings breakfast. They were prepared over easy and hands down the best eggs I've ever eaten! The bright orange color of the yolks were gorgeous. I miss them.

    1 Reply
    1. re: chocolate chick

      My mom used to brine them in a heavy solution for a couple of months, and then we'd steam them over cooked rice, or hardboiled in sticky rice, or steamed in savory custards scrambled with regular eggs, dried shrimp, Chinese sausage, and green onions - delish! (Wow - visions and smells of my childhood are flooding back.)

    2. They are delicious, as I recall. The last one I had, about 30 years ago, gave me my one and only bout with salmonella. Shortly after that, I read that the duck-farming industry on Long Island was a post-WW2 Dept. of Agriculture project, originally intended to start up a duck EGG industry, but then it was discovered that every domestic duck they tested was carrying salmonella! The meat was OK, but all the eggs came out infected.

      I assume this problem has been addressed...but I would still tend to want my duck eggs well done.

      1. Chocolate chick & Will Owen, thanks for your responses!
        The yolks weren't as bright orange as I'd been told duck egg yolks are, but I didn't ask what kind of duck. The eggs I'd always been told about were from Muscovy ducks, maybe their yolks are more "orangey?" I guess the salmonella issue is why I was advised to cook them harder than my usual EXTRA soft. I had been told that they would be extra good, but I was not bowled-over. I won't be haunting the Farmer's Markets for duck eggs. However, I did find nice (though very small) lemon cucumbers, at the Berkeley Farmers Market, which caused me to head for Jack London Square today where I found nice firm large lemon cukes which I plan to have in sandwiches and as "crackers" under some City Fish smoked salmon that was hand-carried to me from Pike's Place Market.

        2 Replies
        1. re: joltgrrl

          The color of the yolks depends upon the diet the ducks eat. If the ducks get to forage for wild stuff as well as eat grains the yolks will be more orange and have more flavor.

          1. re: joltgrrl

            I have Muscovey ducks and for the past three years I have never been sick from any egg. I would be more fearful of factory farm chicken eggs where salmonella is so rampant and antibiotic use so intense.

            I would not eat a broken egg or cracked egg. My ducks' yolks stand high and proud and are orange. Flat or yellow yolks (like grocery store chicken eggs) may be old. If my duck egg yolk breaks when I crack it, then I don't eat it, assuming it is old. When you raise your own eggs, hens will fool ya and sometimes you miss a few. So I break each egg into a small bowl before putting it in with the rest. If the "white" is not clear or the yolk breaks or is flat, then into fertilizer it goes (along with the broken egg shells that are very good for the garden soil.)

          2. I don't eat duck eggs regularly, but I bought some from the downtown Santa Cruz farmer's market last year and enjoyed them. There's a woman who sells them every week, but she ran out last week by the time I got there. :-(

            I don't know about the salmonella issues or recommended cooking time, but here's one that's soft-boiled: http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y45/...

            Here's a close up of a hard-cooked one: http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y45/...

            My yolks were orange and quite large in proportion to the white. In the hard-cooked form, the white was also firmer and more gelatinous than chicken eggs. Overall, I find them richer in flavor than chicken eggs, but not so much "gamey" as the vendor said some people experience.

            1. I'm familiar with the duck eggs you purchased and I have to agree that they're nothing special. However, I'm not too impressed with that particular farmer's chicken eggs either so I suspect that other duck eggs could be much better. I do buy the occasional goose egg from him, more for novelty value than actual taste.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Morton the Mousse

                Thanks, Morton, Where would you recommend for fresh chicken eggs?

                1. re: joltgrrl

                  Repost this on the SF board and I'm happy to make some suggestions.

              2. I had two pet ducks as a kid, mallards, but wouldn't eat her eggs. I only discovered how delicious they were shortly before her laying slowed way down and then they were both killed by raccoons who left the beaks on the patio. Traumatic. My mom used the eggs for a clafouti-like puffed pancake, which she topped with powdered sugar and peaches.

                1. Try them in custards and similar preps. Don't know why (fat content?) but they endow such dishes with a luscious, silky texture you don't get from chicken eggs.

                  1. Ahh, duck eggs. Most Chinese markets are the best source, and the turnover is so high they will always be fresh. You will frequently find them stamped "FRESH" on the pointy end to differentiate them from other duck eggs that contain a charming little duck embryo. Yikes! "Make you strong," but not recommended in the eggs bennie you are tucking into to chase your hangover.
                    In all honesty, there are few things more luxurious and silky (thanks, carswell) than a fresh duck egg SSU (sunny side up). Like most tasty things, the reason is the fat content - in both the white and the yolk. But it's all good fat, so relax and tuck in. The only real challenge of a duck egg is cracking it without puncturing the yolk. Two reasons - the shell and membrane beneath are extremely resilient; and, the yolk is proportionally larger than in the familiar cluck egg. Smack it lightly all around, then go at it gently with your thumbs.
                    If you have never tried a duck egg, just do it. Typically 2-3 times more expensive than cluck, but well worth the premium. And ignore those chickens (ha-ha) who tell you to scramble them - fry in butter, poach or soft-boil. Or try the world's best egg salad sandwich:
                    5 duck eggs, hard-boiled
                    2/3 cup Hellmans or other real mayo
                    2 diced green onions
                    1 diced celery stalk
                    salt & pepper
                    10 slices thick-cut multigrain bread
                    Chop the eggs and toss with everything else, and spread nice and thick on the bread to make five OTT (over-the-top) sandwiches you will be loathe to share. Sowbelly says: OINK!
                    And finally, what a great duck eggs story from Junie D. Silly girl - the obvious solution was to devour not only the duck eggs, but the ducks and then the raccoons. Mmm...now that's good eatin'!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: sowbelly

                      Yum .. raccoons!
                      Great receipy. I'll give that a go. My farmer is delivering 5 dozen fresh duck eggs this friday. Lets get the party started!

                      1. re: JoeBoxer

                        Hmmm, six years later the conversation returns to duck eggs...
                        Here are two more recipes, if you dare:
                        A) Asparagus with Duck Eggs
                        1 lb asparagus, tough ends snapped off
                        4 large duck eggs, as fresh as possible
                        Steam asparagus 2-3 minutes (depending on thickness of spears and how crisp you like it). Lightly poach duck eggs (best method: melt butter in a large skillet, add 1 cup water, add eggs when water is bubbling, remove when whites are firm and yolks are still runny).
                        Plate asparagus on 4 plates and slide an egg on top of each, then a grind of sea salt and black pepper. You won't believe how good this is...also try it with a couple rashers of bacon or lightly-fried pancetta. Oink!!!
                        B) Duck Egg Caesar Dressing
                        1 raw duck egg yolk
                        1/2 cup olive oil, preferably unfiltered extra virgin
                        juice of 1/2 lemon
                        2 raw garlic cloves, minced fine
                        2 roasted garlic cloves, peeled and mashed
                        1 tsp anchovy paste or 1 salt-cured or oil-cured anchovy filet, mashed (optional but authentic)
                        1 tsp dried mustard or 1 tsp dijon
                        couple good squirts of Worcestershire sauce
                        Beat the egg yolk with the oil, then blend in the remaining ingredients. Whip it, whip it good...the order really doesn't matter, just beat it to get it really creamy and integrated.
                        The heat in a Caesar dressing comes from the garlic, This is a strong, garlicky recipe.
                        To make your salad, tear up (do not use a knife, it's illegal or should be) a large head of Romaine lettuce (thoroughly dried if you insist on washing it), and have at least 1 cup grated parmesan ready to go along with your pepper grinder. Toss together at the last possible second, plate and devour. Soo-eee!!!
                        Oh yeah, both these recipes call for raw duck eggs. In my personal and unqualified opinion and experience, the risk of encountering salmonella, E. coli or other pathogens in a raw duck egg is no different that in a raw chicken egg. I have never had a problem. If you need to avoid these nasties, don't make these recipes. if you are a daring and reckless gourmand, pig out like Sowbelly!!! Trust me, you have far more to worry about eating a cheeseburger from the Evil Clown...

                    2. I remember duck, and other eggs, in market in europe... I'll have to head off to the local Chinese market now and got some!

                      1. Had breakfast at Silks in the Mandarin Hotel yesterday morning. They had a duck egg omelet on the menu. Didn't try it but it was a first for me seeing it.

                        1. I used to buy duck eggs at Waitrose in London - a chain of supermarkets. I guess they still sell them but they used to give me a real bad stomach ache so I quit eating them, it took me a few tries to realize that this happened after scrambled duck eggs.

                          1. My grandfather was an immigrant from Ireland, as was my grandmother, but my grandfather would go on and on and on about how duck eggs were so much better than hen eggs. That being said, every Sunday, after early-morning Mass, we would stop at this one place, pick up his duck eggs while we went to the bakery for rolls and buns. He would have his Sunday morning breakfast of fried duck eggs--sunny side up!

                            1. Bought a box today free range to eat poached with some asparagus have always liked them and have never had any trouble with them at least 3 different UK supermarkets carry them as did my local butcher.

                              1. I think the thick whites make them perfect for poaching ... I do like them alot & find the yolks taste richer. I buy them along with chicken eggs from the same place--I'm sure the birds have the same diet, but the eggs are significantly different.

                                1. I grew up on Eastern Long Island. The former home of the Long Island Duckling. We should have loved duck eggs but they were too strong what some ppl call gamey. Strangely i love roasted duck The industry on LI declined when farmers figured out their bay front property was valuable and ducks could be raised in the mid west near no water what so ever.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: CaeAtPlay

                                    Long Island is still producing 10,000 ducks a day, 2 million a year. You should have no problem finding them even though the majority are going to Asian markets.

                                    http://www.nytimes.com/2003/12/21/nyr...

                                    1. re: c oliver

                                      Yes I know. I still have family there. However we can definitely tell the industry is not the same as when we were kids in away statistics can't. The Moriches Bay Region is not as involved as it was. Ducks went largely to East Coast Asian markets in the past as well; as does the produce from Asian American owned farms in the same region.

                                  2. Huh. Old thread, but whatevs.

                                    I was super-excited to find duck eggs at the local farmers market: $4 for half, $7 for a whole dozen.

                                    I bought half in case I didn't like them. I found them incredibly disappointing, which is a bummer, as I generally love all things duck.

                                    I scrambled them and found them lacking in any "special" flavor, plus the texture was a turn-off. I actually ended up chucking my portion because I found them to be borderline inedible.

                                    Back to chicken eggs for me. Feh!

                                    22 Replies
                                    1. re: linguafood

                                      Nondescript flavor definitely an improvement over gamey! LOL $7/DZ Wow ! Also I think the Chicken Egg Industry has extensively researched producing a more appealing product and is catering to consumer preferences in taste and quality.

                                      1. re: linguafood

                                        I have an employee that raises chicken, ducks an quail. Had a couple of duck eggs and really could tell little difference in flavor over chicken

                                        I have a dozen quail eggs that I need some inspiration in how to use them

                                          1. re: scubadoo97

                                            Shooters! I also saw reference here for deviled quail eggs. Can't imagine having the patience for that.

                                            We had a couple of duck eggs recently - $1 EACH. I couldn't tell any difference in the flavor but thought the texture was firmer, not in a bad way. But not for that price. Even I have my limits on what I'll pay for an egg :)

                                            1. re: c oliver

                                              Yeah, I think I'd rather beat my head against a wall than trying to make deviled eggs with quail eggs :-D

                                              As for the duck eggs, they were an absolute bitch to crack. The shells are much tougher than chicken eggs.

                                              I'll stick to the chicken eggs I get at the farmers market.

                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                Yeah his duck eggs had a really firm shell unlike the chicken eggs which had really fragile shells. I first did a SV prep and they were really hard to peel. I just got the yolk out intact. So using grocery store eggs for for SV poached

                                            2. re: scubadoo97

                                              Salmon roe nigiri with a quail egg yolk is awesome.

                                              1. re: scubadoo97

                                                They are really cute and fun to fry.

                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                  The duck???

                                                  Oh you meant the quail eggs

                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                      Just a little ick warning re quail eggs. I gave one a little crack and there were feathers!!!!!!!!

                                                        1. re: scubadoo97

                                                          Yup. My reaction exactly. There were actually two like that in the carton.

                                                          1. re: foiegras

                                                            Yep. As I started cracking suddenly there were little feathers. I didn't continue.

                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                              Wow.

                                                              I've definitely had feathers on the outside of farm eggs before--but never inside! I've never bought quail eggs, only had them in restaurants. They're cute, but I'm looking for a more substantial egg for home cooking.

                                                2. re: linguafood

                                                  We love duck, and we went through a phase of making chopped liver using duck liver, duck fat, and duck eggs. It wasn't an improvement over chicken (for once), it was never an ambition, and it wasn't any less tasty than our usual effort -- given that duck fat improves everything it touches.

                                                  1. re: BoneAppetite

                                                    Oh, I'm a huge lover of duck liver & duck fat.

                                                    But the eggs I can do without.

                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                      Best known use of duck eggs is "pi dan" or Chinese "thousand year old egg".

                                                      1. re: BoneAppetite

                                                        I live in the country and have 7 Muscovy girls, I have 3 dozen eggs a week. I cannot find anyone to buy them so I give them to the Senior Center.