Century eggs, also known as pidan, thousand-year eggs or millenium eggs, are a famous 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 thousand, or even a hundred years, the curing salts do mean that the egg is preserved for many months without the need for refrigeration.
Century eggs are almost translucent - the preserving process turns the egg white jelly-like with a brown-black hue. Century egg yolks are a deep greenish-blue 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. This gives rise to one of the egg's Chinese names - songhua dan, or pine-patterned egg.
Century eggs are ready to eat. To serve, just peel and slice into wedges. They are traditionally served as an appetiser along with pickled ginger. But perhaps the most popular way to serve century eggs is with 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 (60%), water, salt, acidity regulator (E524), black tea. Contains allergens: egg.
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