The century egg, also known as the thousand-year egg or pidan, is a traditional Chinese delicacy that has been around for centuries. It’s made using an ancient process involving a combination of salt and lime to preserve eggs for months before consuming. The result of this method is an unmistakable black exterior with a creamy yellow interior often speckled with green crystals due to its lengthy maturation period. Whether it’s your first time trying century eggs or you’re already an avid fan, you’ll love learning how to make century egg in the comfort of your own kitchen.
What is century egg?
Century eggs, known as ‘pidan’ in Chinese, are a traditional Chinese delicacy that has been around for centuries. The process of making the century egg involves preserving duck or chicken eggs in a mixture of salt and lime for several months.
This method allows the egg white to transform into a jelly-like consistency while the yolk turns into a creamy yellow with greenish-black spots.
History of century egg
The history of how century eggs came to be is still a mystery. It’s thought that the process was first discovered by accident when people stored eggs in salt and lime for long periods of time. Over the years, this method has been perfected and became a part of Chinese culture.
Interesting facts about century eggs
Century eggs are said to have originated during the Ming Dynasty in China. It is believed that they were invented by accident when a farmer stored his eggs in a mixture of salt and lime for months, resulting in the unique flavor we know today.
The century egg is also known as a “thousand-year egg” due to its long maturation process. However, they are usually only left to mature for a few months in order to achieve the desired flavor.
The nutritional value of century eggs
Century eggs are a great source of protein and essential nutrients. They contain high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids, which help to reduce cholesterol levels in the body. Additionally, century eggs are rich in minerals such as selenium, zinc and phosphorus, which are beneficial for maintaining healthy bones.
The benefits of eating century eggs
Century eggs are a good source of energy and can help to boost immunity. They also have anti-aging properties due to their high levels of antioxidants. Eating century eggs on a regular basis may also help improve digestion, reduce inflammation and keep the heart healthy.
How century eggs are made?
Making century eggs at home is a relatively easy process. All you need to do is to prepare the brine mixture by combining salt, lime and water in the correct proportions. Once the mixture is ready, submerge the raw eggs in it for several months before consuming.
It’s important to note that this curing process usually takes about three to four months, so it’s best to plan ahead if you want to make century eggs at home.
The taste and texture of century eggs
Century eggs have a creamy yellow interior that is often speckled with green crystals due to its lengthy maturation period. The exterior has a black, leathery texture and the taste can be described as being slightly sweet and salty.
Century eggs are usually served cold as an accompaniment to congee or other dishes, but they can also be eaten on their own as a snack. And of course, there are many recipes that incorporate century eggs into their ingredients for a unique and delicious dish.
Can I make century egg at home?
Yes! Making century eggs at home is easier than you think. All you need are duck or chicken eggs, salt, lime and a container to mix the ingredients in. And of course, time.
How to make century egg?
Making your own century eggs is actually quite simple as long as you have the right ingredients and follow the steps carefully. Here’s how:
1. Start by selecting fresh duck or chicken eggs that are free of cracks.
2. Place the eggs in a large container and cover them with enough water to completely submerge them.
3. Add ¼ cup of salt per two liters (about a half gallon) of water.
4. Cover the container and leave it for at least five days, making sure to stir the solution once a day.
5. Remove the eggs from the solution and allow them to dry for a few hours before covering them with a thin layer of lime ash.
6. Place them in an airtight container and store them for two months at room temperature or longer if desired.
7. After two months, remove the lime ash and gently rinse the eggs with clean water.
8. Peel the century eggs and enjoy!
Now that you know how to make century egg at home, why not try making it yourself? With just a few simple steps and ingredients, you can easily make your own delicious century eggs in no time.
Signs that the century egg is spoiled
Although century eggs are not particularly perishable, it is important to inspect the eggs before consuming them. Here are a few signs that indicate that your century egg may have spoiled:
1. Foul odor- If the egg has a strong, pungent smell, this is likely an indication that it has gone bad and should be discarded immediately.
2. Discoloration- If the egg’s color is not consistent with how it normally looks, this could be another sign that it has gone bad and should be discarded.
3. Soft texture- If the egg feels soft to the touch, this could also indicate that it has spoiled and should not be consumed.
4. Mold- If the egg has visible mold or discoloration, this is a sure sign that it should be discarded and not consumed.
If you follow these steps and keep an eye out for any signs of spoilage, you can ensure that your century eggs are safe to eat.
How to store century eggs?
How to make century egg? Century eggs can last up to two months when stored in an airtight container at room temperature. It’s important to keep them out of direct sunlight and away from extreme temperatures, so make sure to store them in a cool, dry place.
If you want your century eggs to last even longer, you can store them in the refrigerator for up to six months. Just make sure that the container is tightly sealed to prevent any odors from seeping in.
How to enjoy century eggs?
Century eggs are incredibly versatile and can be enjoyed in many ways. They can be eaten as a snack on their own, cut into slices and added to salads, or served alongside congee for a comforting meal.
They’re also great for making fried rice, noodle dishes and omelets. Alternatively, you can make century egg porridge by boiling the eggs in water and adding seasonings of your choice. However you choose to enjoy it, century eggs are a great way to add some unique flavors and textures to any dish.
Some recipes that include century eggs
There’s no limit to how you can enjoy century eggs! Here are a few recipes that make great use of this unique ingredient:
– Century egg congee: A delicious and comforting rice porridge that’s made with century eggs, ginger and scallions.
– Century egg salad: A simple salad of century eggs, lettuce and tomatoes with a light vinaigrette dressing.
– Century egg fried rice: Stir-fried rice with century eggs, vegetables and spicy seasonings.
– Century egg omelet: An omelet filled with century eggs, mushrooms and other ingredients.
– Century egg soup: A nourishing broth made with century eggs, pork bones and fresh vegetables.
These are just some of the dishes you can make using century eggs. With a little bit of creativity, you can come up with even more recipes that incorporate this delicious ingredient.
Conclusion: How to make century egg
Century eggs are a unique and delicious ingredient that can add amazing flavor and texture to any dish. With just a few simple steps, you can make your own century eggs at home and enjoy them in a variety of ways. Whether you’re making congee, fried rice or omelets, century eggs will be sure to add an interesting twist! So why not give it a try and see how you like century eggs for yourself?
FAQs Century egg
Are century eggs healthy?
Looking for a nutritious snack? Consider Century Eggs! Packed with protein, iron and vitamins A-D, they are the perfect guilt free indulgence. Plus you can get creative by having them boiled or fried as part of your meal – or even raw if that’s more up your alley.
Do I need to boil century egg before eating?
Peeling away the mulch reveals a hard-boiled egg just waiting to be devoured – no heat required! A simple rinse and you’ll have an all natural, nutrient packed snack.
How do century eggs get black?
The century egg’s unique hue is created through a process known as the Maillard reaction. When sodium hydroxide is used to break down proteins into glucose and amino acids, it creates an alkaline environment that speeds up this natural browning effect – resulting in a remarkable transformation.
Do century eggs expire?
An amazing discovery: if kept in the pantry, eggs can remain fresh and edible for months on end. And with a little extra care by refrigerating them, they’ll last indefinitely – who knew?
Can century eggs be eaten raw?
Enjoy century eggs in all their unpreserved glory! Serve up these unique treats as an appetizer or side dish, with a variety of complementary condiments like soy sauce, salt, pickled ginger and vinegar. For the more adventurous eaters out there – why not add some tofu to really take your meal to the next level?
Do century eggs take 100 years?
It takes a bit of courage and patience to enjoy the unique delicacy called century eggs! This traditional dish is made from chicken or duck eggs preserved in salt, lime, ash and rice husks for around 4-5 weeks. Then it’s just a few seconds away from being savored – if one can manage to open it first that is!
Why do century eggs smell like ammonia?
Century eggs have a unique aroma that comes from the breakdown of proteins releasing NH3 and H2S. The mix of iron and sulfide in the yolk creates an intriguing greenish color, like something out of this world.
Who eats century eggs?
This culinary wonder has polarized eaters for centuries: the century egg, or hundred-year-old egg. A Chinese delicacy crafted from duck eggs (though occasionally made with quail and hen eggs), it simultaneously invokes horror in some while delighting others – a delicious enigma.
How old is a century old egg?
The mysterious century egg has a secretive past, having been created centuries ago! According to experts it was crafted in the Ming Dynasty over 500 years ago – giving us an insight into ancient Chinese cuisine.
How do you clean a century egg?
If you’re looking to make a delicious dish with century eggs, but don’t want them going bad in the refrigerator before you can use ’em, here’s your answer: keep them unpeeled until right before cooking! Peel just like any other hard boiled egg – give it a quick rinse and then tap lightly on counter tops for cracking the shell. Now grab those culinary gloves and get ready to whip up something special.
Do I need to refrigerate century eggs?
Century eggs are a delicious and mysterious delicacy – they stay edible for incredible periods of time when stored unopened, so you can enjoy their unique flavor whenever the moment strikes! Just remember not to keep them out in the open too long after cracking into their shells; once free from their preservation cocoon, best savor these delectable snacks as soon as possible.
Susan Muskat is a professional chef with over 25 years of experience in the culinary industry. After working in some of the most prestigious restaurants in the world, she opened her own restaurant, Moose and Sadie’s, which quickly became a local favorite. Susan is also the author of a blog all about recipes, guidelines, cooking tips, and knowledge from professional chefs. She loves nothing more than sharing her passion for food with others.