What Is Vietnamese Egg Soda And What Does It Taste Like?

Ever craved an egg nog, but more rejuvenating? Soda sữa hột gà, or Vietnamese egg soda, might just be for you. Crafted with club soda, egg yolks, and condensed milk, this drink is sweet, velvety, and custardy, with a delightful foam dollop on top. Plus, it's a carbonated beverage served over ice, a combo bound to be refreshing. In fact, its bubbly undertone gives it a mouthfeel reminiscent of the beloved Japanese soda Ramune. And garnished with some spices or orange zest, it can be a vessel for even more flavor.

A non-caffeinating cousin of egg coffee, the soda likely emerged from the same origins –as a substitute for milk. As a result of the French war, milk was in short supply in Vietnam, so an ingenious bartender whipped an egg to replicate the mouthfeel of a cafe au lait. And nowadays, many prefer an egg with their soda, too. It crafts a decadent texture that's hard to replicate. Let's dive into how it comes together.

How to make Vietnamese egg soda

This creamy and refreshing beverage is assembled with only a handful of ingredients. As per its name, an egg is a cornerstone. Typical servings of the soda reach for a single large yolk. Most preparations utilize a high-quality raw egg — source pasture-raised for the highest quality. And if you are extra concerned about salmonella, pasteurize the whole egg in low-heated water for a few minutes. After pasteurization, raw eggs will be safe for consumption (via USDA).

After the yolk is separated, it is mixed into club soda — another critical component. It's necessary to use this specific type of bubbly water since it contains sodium bicarbonate and sodium citrate. These compounds "cook the egg" and further aid with bacteria and give the beverage a distinct mouthfeel. The final ingredient is condensed milk — about 2 tablespoons go into a glass. Next, add the yolks, and then stir the mixture aggressively with a spoon. This creates the beloved custardy texture, dolloped with foam on top. The drink is then poured over ice and served in a tall glass. Occasionally, it's strained to remove any curdled chunks.

While many drink it as is, some preparations include extra flavors. Common aromatic additions include cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract, as well as orange rind.

Where to find Vietnamese egg soda

In the U.S., Vietnamese egg soda is most commonly consumed at Vietnamese restaurants. Pho Saigon Noodle House, which has many locations throughout Texas and Louisiana, serves a version of the drink. Of course, you can always head to a local Vietnamese restaurant and inquire about availability. Even if it's not on the menu, some businesses may be willing to mix one up. However, the drink is not incredibly widespread in the U.S., so it might be easier to craft your own.

If fortunate to be located in Vietnam, the drink is served across cafes and restaurants. Hanoi-based Cafe Giang, famed for their egg coffee, serves a rendition, as do many other coffee-focused businesses. For the most casual experience, order an egg soda streetside. Pull up a plastic chair, and specify duong, which means less sweet, if preferred. With its creamy texture over ice, it's the ideal soothing beverage in the humid Southeast Asian heat.