After I had a nightmare experience with stinky tofu I took the advice of a friend to never try thousand year old eggs. I was told they were the most horrible thing ever. And you keep hearing horror stories about them. Just recently when Paul Young was a guest on BBC’s Saterday Kitchen and asked of his worst food-experience-ever he came with a story of these duckeggs in Taiwan, rotting for months in mud and horse-urine. He couldn’t even finish his story, everybody was already totally disgusted. And yesterday I found this video on the internet in a series of “so you don’t have to“, of an ignorant american eating a century egg and telling you it is totallly disgusting.
And you know what? It’s not!! First of all, the horse-urine is an urban legend. The eggs are covered in a mixture of clay, ash, salt, lime, and rice straw for about 90 days. Second of all, they just taste like egg! Okay, the egg white doesn’t taste like anything but firm jelly. But the yolks are really creamy and lovely, like a superlative eggyolk. You can eat it with a little bit of grated ginger and sweetened black vinegar sauce and I think they are brilliant. Not brilliant as in very, very special tasting, because as I said, they mainly taste like egg. And what’s special about egg? But it’s a fun appetizer and I would dare to serve it to anybody who likes egg. And I did. At two different occasions. We all liked it and nobody of us is chinese or asian.
The only reservation I make is that maybe, just maybe there are different kinds of century eggs? Like very matured cheese is much more likely to put off people than younger cheese. So maybe, the kind I bought are not as mature as the ones in the video? It definitely came from a different package.
I had read somewhere that the best/safest way to get acquainted with preserved eggs was to mix them into congee or a silken tofu salad. I just happen to hate congee and love tofu salad, so that was an easy choice.
Just carefully mix together
2 century eggs cut into cubes
1 package of silken tofu, cut into cubes
2 T light soysauce
1 T sesame oil
1 bunch of coriander/cilantro, chopped
1 red chilli, chopped
Like I said, I love tofu salad and I think the texture and taste of the preserved eggs complement the tofu very nicely. But I think the eggs deserve to be in the lead. And this way they are not.