Easter is just around the corner, which means everyone is beginning to think about hunting for coloured Easter eggs! Regular eggs, on the other hand, which also come in different colours can be found pretty much anywhere in Hong Kong. What makes a good egg and how do you spot one? Channel 823 invited Annie Ng, the founder of Egg Agricultural House, to tell us her story of “good egg hunting”. How does Annie like her eggs? Let’s find out!
Eggs have traditionally been an essential part of many different food cultures, crossing culinary boundaries to feature in everything from Eggs Benedict, a classic breakfast dish in the US, all the way to Tomato Eggs, a classic comfort dish known by every Chinese household. However, they are usually an afterthought during grocery trips and are typically tucked away in the corner at general stores. Inspired to bring eggs to the spotlight, Annie decided to open her own egg specialty store – Egg Agricultural House.
“Unlike vegetables and other fresh produce, eggs are actually very easy to cook. Not everybody consumes meat daily, but most would have an egg every day. To say eggs are indispensable in our lives would be an understatement,” Annie said proudly.
And just like an Easter egg hunt, Annie’s eight boutique egg stores are scattered across Hong Kong, with six found in Link markets: one each in TKO Market and Spot Mart in Tseung Kwan O, Homantin Market and Nam Cheong Place Market in Kowloon, Wo Che Market in Sha Tin, and Fu Tung Market in Tung Chung.
Look closely at the petite shop front of Egg Agricultural House, and you will find more than 10 types of eggs from around the world displayed on shelves like fine jewellery. Some of these eggs are imported from places like Japan, Australia and Singapore, and others from Mainland China and local farms in Hong Kong. Among them, the Ran-Oh egg from Oita prefecture, Japan, is an eye-catcher. This specific type of egg has earned the title of “the king of eggs” with its deep golden-orange yolk which carries a sweet, creamy flavour.
“Ran-Oh eggs were previously unavailable outside of Japan,” Annie explained. “But since the pandemic, the decline of foreign tourists in the country has caused a surplus of these eggs, making imports to Hong Kong possible.”
It is no secret that Hong Kong people love travelling to Japan and hold high regard for its products. Therefore, the availability of Ran-Oh eggs in Hong Kong is a wish come true for many who could once only dream of enjoying this delicacy in Japan.
To meet her customers’ demands, Annie is always on a mission to discover new eggs, identify the latest trends and bring them back to the Hong Kong people. On the other hand, maintaining a steady inventory during the pandemic can be a challenge. Fortunately, over the years, Annie has built a tight relationship with her suppliers, enabling her to secure a steady supply of fresh eggs amid logistical hiccups and panic-buying frenzies. All these efforts by Annie and her crew go to making sure that her customers won’t have to scramble for some tasty eggs!
Having been in the business for five years, Annie has accumulated a wealth of knowledge about eggs from her suppliers. Here are some tips she shared with us on how to identify a decent egg.
A decent egg should have a smooth surface. Find eggs that have the fewest spots and ridges on their shells, as generally those blemishes indicate a poor condition of the hen’s reproductive system.
In the world of eggs, a larger size does not mean better value. In fact, smaller eggs have a smoother texture and a sweeter flavour because they are usually laid by younger hens.
The appearance and nutritional value of an egg are a direct function of the hen which laid it. In most cases, the egg shares a similar colour to its parents, and the nutritional value of the egg depends on the hen’s breed, land of origin and feed. For example, the Emperor chicken, a breed of chicken famous for its high nutritional value, lays eggs which are also highly nutritious.
Finally, Annie would like to remind Channel 823 readers that most eggs currently available on the market are not only antibiotic-free but also rich in protein and micronutrients, making them a safe choice for consumption while also offering great health benefits. “Eating eggs can be healthier than eating meat. Other than people with high cholesterol or high blood fats, a normal person can safely consume two to three eggs a day,” said Annie.
Have you wondered why the date for Easter is different every year? As a long-lived tradition by the Christian church, Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday following the full moon that occurs on or just after the spring equinox. For this year, that day is 17 April. May you and your loved ones enjoy a Happy Easter!
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