It's that eggs-boiled-in-urine time of year!

Translation from China Daily article courtesy Google Translate:
China-urine-eggs.jpgIn Dongyang, has already formed such an old custom: the street vendors who sell eggs boy or lad boiled eggs to their own people, would mention a plastic bucket to a school boy to collect the urine.

Students long ago got used to this, one to three grade boys to urinate, they will align the plastic bucket outside the classroom. School teachers, but also acquiesced in such conduct, they will always remind the children during illness in the cold to the plastic bucket can not pee. The children all came to listen.

People who are not familiar with the situation should surprise: the boy with the boy in urine egg is boiled eggs, eggs in the spring of stalls selling all over the boy Dongyang streets. The boy a fifty-one eggs more expensive than ordinary eggs, can always sell out of stock.

Dongyang Urine boiled egg with the lad lad named to the local non-genetic eggs (Thanks, Jimwich!)


  1. As Dave Barry would say, this description appears to have been written using the “random word generator.”

    Aside from that, ick, but only slightly less disgusting than eating week-old decorated Easter eggs, with their pink/blue/purple whites and green/blue yolks.

  2. My god, I love this translation. It’s fun to recite aloud. Also, I’m wondering where can I get this recipe, because I too would like to taste the spring. I’m also wondering if it has to be little boy urine, or would grizzled old husband urine do just as well. I will mention the plastic bucket to him, but remind him in the illness in the cold he can not pee.

    1. No you can’t pool, the urine of the unwell children!
      No you can’t pool, the urine of the unwell children!
      No no no.

  3. Via Google Translate from English to Chinese and back.

    For me, this seems to be a serious and dare I say a little bit inappropriate. While there may be some use of this food. Perhaps these eggs can be used as bait for those kinds of people, love the little boy in the date line feeling. This is a cultural difference, or we do not see it? I have no problem with people, like adults pee though (not I like it.)

  4. OK, is just me or did anyone else not realize this was a translation of seeming non sequiturs until they were like three sentences in? And then said, ‘wait, where is this from? Oh…’.

  5. I’ve always suspected that a number of culinary traditions began as the result of a dare, a practical joke, or someone losing a bet.

  6. I bet this is a way to make cheap easy “century eggs” , Sort of like how we make cucumber vinegar pickles not for the sake preserving them but just for that great pickled taste. Maybe I should try a bit of piss on my eggs? Or maybe a sprinkle of plain ammonia would do.

  7. This certainly does have a Dr Seuss feel to it.

    In the US the boys and teachers would be arrested and put on a sex offender registry.

  8. That is SO much grosser than eating an egg from a factory-farmed chicken pumped full of antibiotics with no beak and broken wings from fights in a dark cramped warehouse full of feces and dead chickens, covered in food coloring derived from petroleum and boiled beetle shells.

  9. Boy’s urine has been used medicinally to prepare herbs for thousands of years. I remember reading this in the appendix of Nigel Wiseman’s “Fundamentals of Chinese Medicine” when I first started acupuncture school. Since young boys are so full of health and vigor and “yang” energy, their urine imparts these characteristics to the herbs.

    Personally, I prefer soaking my herbs in a nice bourbon or baijiu (rice wine), to aid in the extraction of volatile oils and alkaloids.

    1. The “Super Adventure Club” highly recommends these kid-eggs in their guidebook as a more legal way to obtain the special particles found in children that can grant everlasting life.

  10. “Waiter, I will have the Number One Egg Special!”


    “These Number One Eggs taste like number two!”

  11. Y’know, I haven’t yet met the machine translation system I’d pis…
    Hm. The joke’s either COMPLETELY inappropriate, or TOTALLY appropriate, and I can’t tell which way it falls.

  12. Now wait, before we pass judgement here, remember this is a very different culture with different standards.

    No, scratch that, this is totally effin’ gross.

    1. @ Big Sword, Small Demon (from Jinhua): very tasty and delicious. Just a little salty.

      That’s what she said! *rimshot*

  13. Hi guys, I’ve translated it in full. Apologies for errors!

    Spring has come. In the streets of Dongyang, an odd smell floats about. The locals of Dongyang say this is the smell of “children’s eggs” and also that of Spring.

    Those unaware of local customs will flutter their eyes in shock: “children’s eggs” are eggs boiled in the urine of children. As soon as it is Spring, the small vendors selling children’s eggs fill the streets and alleys of Dongyang. A single children’s egg alone costs 1.50 RMB more than a normal tea [boiled] egg, but children’s eggs still often sell out.

    Don’t belittle these children’s eggs – they’ve become part of Dongyang city’s intangible cultural heritage.

    In the doorway to a classroom, male children “pee” into a plastic tub. In one elementary school in the Dongyang city area, male schoolchildren make a racket as they crowd into the corridor outside of the classroom during breaks. Don’t assume that they’re playing some new game though – they’re all urinating.

    In Dongyang, it’s long since become an old custom: those vendors selling children’s eggs (or those who want to make them for themselves) will place plastic tubs in elementary schools to collect urine.

    The students have long since grown accustomed to this practice. As soon as male third-graders want to urinate, they will do so in the prepared plastic tubs outside of the classroom. The school’s teachers also tacitly consent to this practice. They even will often remind male schoolchildren who have caught cold that they cannot pee in the plastic tubs. The children are all quite obedient.

    “The difference between boiling children’s eggs and tea eggs is not large. The most critical element is the heat.“

    Another odd thing is that although during the season every street has vendors selling children’s eggs, each shop believes that its own eggs have a unique taste.

    Mrs. Li operates one such small shop. Her husband has the responsibility for going to the local elementary schools each day to collect urine. She only cooks and sells the eggs.

    In front of her small store, a coal stove is heating an iron pot. The “water” in the pot looks rather yellow; floating on the top are a few bubbles. Mrs. Li puts the cleaned eggs one by one into the iron pot.

    “After these are boiled, you have to take all of the eggs out, break the shells, and put them back in to boil. After a while, you have switch the eggs on the bottom with those on the top and add fresh urine. Repeating this way, using different heats, it takes up an entire day and night. After speaking about how to cook the eggs, Mrs. Li said that the principle was similar to cooking tea eggs. The heat and the timing were the critical elements.

    People who have acquired the taste say “so fresh”, others say “it stinks”.
    “What flavor do the eggs have after they come out?”

    Yesterday at noontime, people were passing to and fro on Zhenxing Road in Dongyang, so there naturally were quite a few people patronizing the egg vendors. “They’re delicious, I can eat ten in one day!” said Ms. Liu, who several years ago moved to Dongyang with her husband, “I never ate them before – after I ate them once, I was hooked.”

    If you had to sum up the love Dongyang has towards these children’s eggs, the words of a blogger named “Mr. Egg” does it quite well: “The taste of children’s eggs is the taste of Spring”.

    But it really isn’t that all Dongyang locals love the eggs. Mr. Li, a 30-year old native, has never even tried them once, explaining “I can’t stand that smell, even thinking about it is disgusting and makes me want to throw up.”

    “Can children’s eggs nourish? Chinese and Western medicine each have a verdict: careful when you eat, but we’re not against it.”

    In the eyes of many Dongyang locals, using children’s urine to boil eggs is the one and only way to imbibe springtime. Those who sell children’s eggs will also tell you that eating children’s eggs will keep you alert in the Spring and prevent heatstroke in the Summer.

    But exactly how nourishing are children’s eggs? Perhaps the words of a doctor are more objective.

    “Children’s eggs in Dongyang have a long history. In the past when living conditions were poor, when one had to farm, the only nourishing food was eggs. After urine has settled for a certain period of time, it will precipitate into a crystal. This type of crystalline precipitate is known as a type of human mineral element for Chinese medicine. It can reduce the amount of “yin” and restore circulation.” Wu Yunhua, the head of internal medicine at Dongyang Chinese Medicine Hospital, explained children’s eggs this way. But he also stressed that not everyone was suited to eating children’s eggs – it’s dependent on an individual body.

    Huang Jian, the head of nephrology at Jinhua City Central Hospital, instead believes that urine is the body’s internal discharge of pollution and has no benefit for people’s bodies. Therefore, he does not recommend that anyone eat children’s eggs.

    Jia Suqing, the head of Jinhua City Chinese Medicine Hospital, instead says that in ancient times, children’s urine was often introduced used into medicine, but from the perspective of modern hygiene, children’s eggs aren’t very sanitary. “Eating children’s eggs though has already become a habit of Dongyang locals. I am not for it, but neither am I against it.”

    This reporter also learned that children’s eggs were already selected in 2008 as a part of Dongyang city’s intangible cultural heritage. Regarding this, Gong Mingwei, the current head of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Protection Center, said that that year he had studied the ingredients for children’s eggs and entered its application. In the end, the nine members of the Dongyang People’s Art Leadership Committee unanimously approved the application and after half a month of public debate, it officially entered into the registry.

    In the future, will children’s eggs also apply for recognition as intangible cultural heritage for Jinhua city or Zhejiang province? Gong Mingwei revealed that there currently were no plans to do so.

    “The flavor is somewhat akin to noodles with gravy.”

    What flavor do children’s eggs really have? Yesterday, this reporter bought one large bag and invited online readers to taste. The online readers were from all over the province, but all currently worked in Dongyang.

    [Chinese Twitter Feeds]

    @Love a Bottle (from Hangzhou): there’s this weird taste. Maybe it’s psychological. After I ate it, I had to go to the bathroom several times.

    @ blueisland (from Dongyang): the flavor’s ok, but the smell’s no good.

    @ Big Sword, Small Demon (from Jinhua): very tasty and delicious. Just a little salty.

    @ Nara Deer haruka (from Hangzhou): seems like preserved eggs combined with duck eggs.

    @iffisher (from Dongyang): smells great and tasty. In one breath I ate three or four.

    @ Sandeliangzhi (from Xiaoshan): tastes a bit like noodles with gravy. One egg goes down the hatch and I drank three glasses of water.

    Reporter: Hou Mingming

    1. Thanks for the translation! I thought maybe I was missing something in the Google translation, but apparently the article really is about what it sounded like the first time around.

  14. Ugh. What’s worse is that’s not just a bucket of urine… It’s a bucket of fermented urine.

    That is some serious eat-on-a-dare food.

  15. As someone who’s wife used to teach elementary school, and who occasionally needed to use the bathroom when visiting her after hours, I can attest to the fact that boy urine smells different than other varietals. The first time I walked into one of her boys restrooms, the smell brought me back to my elementary school days. Decidedly not gas station aroma, although no less pungent. I never thought of it as a secret sauce until now, though.

    “The boy a fifty-one eggs more expensive than ordinary eggs, can always sell out of stock!”

    But, of course.

  16. Are THESE the green eggs Dr. Seuss was talking about? Would anyone like to venture a guess as to what the ham was made of?

  17. Now eggs boiled in tea sounds kind of interesting. Gotta look that one up. Internets, do your stuff.

  18. Not just any child’s pee, must be a boy’s pee. And not just any boy’s pee, must be a prepubescent boy’s pee.

    1. Wood ash? So basically, you’re soaking the egg in lye, which is made by soaking wood ash in water, as anyone who’s made soap in Dwarf Fortress will tell you. So the basic chemical reaction here is the same sort of thing that’s going on in lutfisk. Don’t tell the Scandiwegians, they’ll start pissing on the fish.

  19. Wow. I’m used to fermented urine being used to cure fabrics but I never thought it might be used for… food.

    Yeah, I kind of hope I’m never that hungry.

  20. well, technically urine is sterile (unless you have some kind of infection, but sick kids don’t get to donate)
    so an egg boiled in it is probably safe to eat. this is not the most extreme “cultural tradition” out there, its just the yuck factor that puts some folks off. in the Philippines they eat Balut, aged, half formed duck embryos. beaks and all. now THAT pegs my gross-meter. others eat bugs, or animals we traditionally keep as pets. there are still places on earth where human flesh is still consumed (barely a blip on my meter) here in the good old U S of A we still have those who eat fried pig intestines. having tried this myself once I can tell you it must be an acquired taste. if eating something that smells like rancid pig feces IS a taste. and the brits have never met an organ they won’t consume. ever try blood pudding? don’t. Yet they still have an aversion to using any type of seasoning on even their more edible dishes. that still baffles me. when I travel there I bring my own supply of cardboard because it is still better than what you will get in an english pub, and at least I know where its been. urine? child’s play. (pardon the pun) Bring it on.

    1. “Yet they still have an aversion to using any type of seasoning on even their more edible dishes”

      I don’t know where you’ve been but you clearly didn’t spend long there or visit much of a variety of eating venues.

      – Curry is among the most popular dishes.
      – You cannot spend more than 10 minutes in any Italian restaurant without being menaced by a giant black pepper mill
      – most super-market ready meals are grossly over-peppered – they’d be salty too but that’s a health scare – salt is on or in everything big time over here so I rather suspect your “aversion to using any kind of seasoning” to be pure hyperbole to ginger up your rather bland and tired point.

Comments are closed.