Chinese Century egg is also named as preserved egg, hundred-year egg, thousand-year egg which is commonly made from preserved duck eggs.
This is a dish I have struggled about whether introduce it or not because my husband hates the century eggs. But the fact is that he is quite sticky concerning about food for example he does not like bacon, sausage, pickled vegetables. Fresh meat and vegetable will be his first choice for ever. But there are a large group of century egg lovers. My family members all love it very much.
What's Century Egg
Century egg or preserved egg are named as "皮蛋"or "coated eggs". Chinese century egg is encrusted with mud on shell with a transparent brown jelly. The coating mud actually contains soil, salt and a strongly alkaline material, which might be mood ash, lime, sodium carbonate, lye or other alkaline solution. It takes around several montes to mature, varying from one month to 3 months depending on the room temperature.
Pine-blossom eggs (松花皮蛋) is the most popular type of preserved eggs in China. Looks at the textures carefully, you can see the "flowers" dotted on the egg. Those flowers actually is crystallization of amino acid salt.
Another type of pidian has a yellow running yolk and a clear, yellow jelly. We call this yellow type "变蛋". It has a very similar but lighter taste. So it should be a great choice for starters.
This is a super easy recipe for century egg lovers. But if you have not tried yet, start with a much milder version with congee.
Heat oil in a pan and add garlic and chopped green pepper, fry until soft and aromatic.
Pour the chili pepper over the eggs.
Add other seasonings including sesame oil, light soy sauce and salt. For a even hotter version, drizzle some Chinese chili oil on top.
Century Egg Salad (Pidan Salad)
- 3 Century Eggs , peeled
- 2 large green pepper , chopped
- 2 garlic cloves , finely chopped
- 1 tsp. salt , or more to taste
- 1 tbsp. light soy sauce
- 2 tsp. sesame oil
- 1 tbsp. vegetable cooking oil
- Peel the century eggs and then cut into wedges. Place them in serving plate.
- Heat around 1 tablespoon of vegetable cooking oil in pan and fry chopped green peppers and garlic until soft and aromatic.
- Transfer the fried chili peppers to serving plate. Add sesame oil, light soy sauce and salt. Mix before enjoying.
Claire Anne Zapico
Hello my relatives in Luzhou Sichuan has been sending me these century eggs with yellow coloring hope you can share information on these eggs. I have pictures to show...
Do you mean the type with golden yellow yolk and transparent egg white?
Rita Del Carmen
Do you have a recipe on how to make century eggs? Thank you.
I have not make century eggs myself. Will seek a chance to get a detailed recipe from my grandma.
how is this served? As a side dish to a regular meal, or more like a snack kind of dish?
As typical side dish or cold dish for a Chinese meal.
Perfect for as part of Chinese New Year Eve meal. Tasted identical to the dish served in a local Sichuan restaurant here in Shanghai (though I did add a dash of chilli oil).
Thank you David for your lovely feedback!! As chili oil can be added for a hotter version.