A Vietnamese’s Guide to Duck Embryos - A must try experience

A Vietnamese’s Guide to Duck Embryos

Just like an egg, but with feathers!

What is hot vit lon, or duck embryos?

A hot vit lon is a fertilized duck egg that’s typically less than 21 days old. Duck embryos contain a yolk and an embryo and are popular in Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam, Cambodia and The Philippines. Despite being a common street food, it remains controversial for one obvious reason – as naysayers claim that it is a form of animal cruelty.

Whatever side of the fence you’re on, it is still a dish that incites much curiosity and all too often, horror. Allow me to introduce hot vit lon to you!

Hot vit lon Eating Tips

Obviously, eating hot vit lon is quite different from eating normal boiled eggs.

In Northern Vietnam, people usually break the entire hot vit lon, put everything onto a plate then eat it. In the south, the hot vit lon eating style is different; the hot vit lons is placed in a very small cup so that it sits upright, then they work their way through it from the top.

Image credit: baomoi

So how do we begin? On the table, you will usually see the hot vit lons, a plate of laksa leaves, some small cups, a small bowl of pepper and salt, limes and chilli. Squeeze the lime juice into the pepper and salt mixture, then add some chilli.

Image credit: bloganchoi

Once the egg is sitting upright, crack open the top with a spoon. Add the pepper and salt mixture and mix well. Now, knock back the eggy mixture as you would a tequila shot! You can now spoon whatever is left inside and adjust its taste to your preference by adding laksa leaves.

Where to find hot vit lon in Ho Chi Minh City?

1. Kim Thao hot vit lon

This is probably the most famous place to eat traditional hot vit lon in Ho Chi Minh City now. They have really nice hot vit lons that are selected directly from the farm, at the perfect age, and eaten with a special salt which consists of fried salt, pepper, chilli and kumquat juice.

Image credit: diadiemanuong

Address: 104 Xuân Thủy, 2nd district, Ho Chi Minh City.

Operating hours: 15:00 – 23:00

Price: 9,000 VND/ hot vit lon (~S$0.50)

2. Bien Hoa hot vit lon

Another place where you will have the hot vit lons “in-house”. It’s quite difficult to find hot vit lons in fine dining restaurants, at least in my experience, who lived 26 years in Vietnam, so don’t expect to have a really nice hot vit lon in a really nice restaurant.

Image credit: foody.vn

298 Nguyễn Văn Công,  3rd ward, Go Vap District, HCMC

Đang mở cửa  09:00 – 22:00

Price: 8,000đ – 12,000đ (~S$0.50-S$0.70)

3. May May hot vit lon

This hot vit lon shop follows the northern style, which is definitely different from its southern counterparts!

Image credit: foody.vn

99 Bình Thới,  11st District, HCMC

Opening hours:  15:00 – 23:00

Price: 5,000đ – 12,000đ (~S$0.30-S$0.70)

4. Van Kiep hot vit lon

Here you can try some hot vit lon done in various styles, such as stir-fried with tamarind sauce

Image credit: foody.vn

37A Vạn Kiếp,  Bình Thạnh District, HCMC

Opening hours:  17:00 – 22:00

Price: 10,000đ – 30,000đ (~S$0.60-S$1.80)

5. Pham Van Hai hot vit lon

If you’re feeling ballsy and in the mood for some thrills and spills, head here. This shop is literally a pavement shop and is not quite legal. Hence, they are dubbed “runaway shops” by the locals, since there is a need to pack and flee whenever the police pay a visit! I had the dubious honour of experiencing it myself once – everything unfolded so quickly that I didn’t even realize what had taken place until I was left standing with only the drink in hand.

188 Phạm Văn Hai, 3rd ward,  Tan Binh District, HCMC

Opening hours:  17:00 – 22:00

Price: 10.000đ – 20.000đ (~S$0.60-S$1.20)

Also read: What to Eat & What Not to Eat in Ho Chi Minh

About Author

Thong Nguyen
Thong Nguyen

Thong was an introvert and quiet person who always love taking holidays in … his room. After his first adventure trip, he became a totally different person, now he has a big love for travelling and always hungers to see the world. Thong wants to connect with all the people he meets along his adventures. One of his big dreams is travelling to all the countries in the world. It’s not too big, isn’t it?