Century eggs or thousand year eggs are a great Chinese delicacy. Traditionally the eggs were pickled in brine, and then buried in a mixture of coals, chalk, mud and alkaline clay. Although no recipes keep the eggs for a hundred or even a thousand years, the curing salts do mean that the egg is preserved for many months, without need for refrigeration. The century eggs have a translucent, jelly-like, greenish-black egg-white, and a deep blue yolk, with a slightly cheesy, fermented flavour. The outside of the white sometimes develops a stunning pattern, reminiscent of snowflakes or the branches of a pine tree, which gives rise to one of the egg’s Chinese names – songhua dan, or pine-patterned egg.
The century egg is ready to eat – just peel and slice to serve. They are traditionally served as an appetiser along with pickled ginger, or – most popular – with the congee (a thin soup or porridge of rice and water) for breakfast. Other condiments served along with congee include preserved bean curd, pickled vegetable, spring onions, and tofu.
Ingredients: Duck eggs, preserving salts