Century Eggs

Century Egg

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.

Century Eggs

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.

Century Eggs 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.

Century Egg Tofu Salad

About Robin

I love to cook. Check out my dutch website: Aziatische-ingredienten.nl
This entry was posted in Eggs, Other Snacks, Tofu and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Century Eggs

  1. JofArnold says:

    Great blog – must start one to share my recipes (currently making a broth for a vietnamese dish using beef, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, soy sauce, nuoc mam, anise and pepper).

    In china I had a dish v. similar to the egg one above, albeit without the cilantro. Very nice, but I never could get over the color of the eggs. Strange for a foodie to be bothered by color, but there you go.

  2. Kok Robin says:

    How strange! Because I think the colour is just lovely!!! The only thing that could bother me is the slight smell of ammonia that sometimes gets stuck in your nose. Hihi. Not a recommendation he? :-)

  3. Jadelin says:

    Yeeeessss! This is the EXACT recipe I am looking for. Thank you! This is SO bookmarked!!! :D

  4. Brian says:

    I just tried century eggs and found them to be awful. The ammonia smell was strong, as was the flavor. Mine didn’t seem as creamy as yours look. The yolks were much more solidified. I ate one plain, so maybe I’ll try mixing it in a tofu salad or with pickled ginger or something.

    I’m have a pointless blog about different foods from the Asian market. I’ll be sure to check back here for Asian recipe ideas!

  5. Robin says:

    I’m sorry you found them that awful!

    I have to say, after the first time I tried them (and took those photos) the following times they weren’t as creamy either! A real shame.
    And I don’t think I would have enjoyed them plain either. I really think it needs that sprinkle of ginger and a splash of (sweet) black vinegar.

  6. Gustavo Leal says:

    Are those eggs boiled?
    you buy them already boiled?
    Can you make them at home with regular eggs?

    I wish I could have them, they look goergeous!

  7. Robin says:

    Nope, they’re not boiled and you don’t need to boil them. The mixture of clay, ash, salt, lime and rice straw is preserving them. Like pickles.

    Sure you can make them at home, but not easily. At least, the traditional way. Nowadays, with the knowledge of chemistry, there are simplyfied recipes. For instance soaking the eggs in a brine of salt, calcium hydroxide, and sodium carbonate for 10 days followed by several weeks of ageing while wrapped in plastic is said to achieve the same effect as the traditional method. But I wouldn’t be brave enough to try myself.

    Are you sure you can’t buy them where you live? There are Chinese all over the world and so is their food. Maybe ask in your local Chinese restaurant?

  8. Mommy Ana says:

    great! i was undecided if i’d boil it or not! so i won’t :)

  9. Robin says:

    Haha, yes, boiling them isn’t a great idea. ;-)
    My tip: don’t bring it to your nose to smell it. The smell can be a bit overwhelming, but with ginger en black vinegar or in a salad or congee that strong smell is gone.

  10. johan says:

    I very like the century eggs because the “strong” smell. You need to try many times, then you will loved it.

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