Century egg, also known as preserved egg or thousand-year egg, is a Chinese delicacy that has been enjoyed for centuries. It may look quite weird and uncommon from regular healthy food, you may wonder what does a century egg tastes like? It is healthy? Why are people enjoying eating century eggs? Keep reading because we will cover everything.
What's a century egg
Century eggs have a large group of other names: Chinese preserved eggs, Chinese black eggs (because some century eggs are black ), or even 1000-year-old eggs.
In fact, there are two popular types of preserved eggs in China including salted egg and this century egg. The Chinese name is “皮蛋”. “皮” actually refers to the extra shell of the egg. So you can understand the Chinese name “皮蛋” as “Coated eggs”. Its pronunciation is Peedan eggs in Mandarin Chinese.
On the surface of the century egg, there are beautiful crystallizations of amino acid salt, similar to pine flowers, on the surface of the eggs. So those eggs are also called pine flower eggs.
What does a century of eggs taste like
In terms of taste, the white part and the yolk part are quite different from each other.
What does century egg yolk taste like
The creamy yolk is considered the star of a properly century egg. Its texture transforms from liquidy and runny before curing to a rich, thick custard-like consistency with the following features:
- You will find the century egg yolk to be super smooth and creamy, custard-like texture when you bite it. When you cut a century egg with knives, it may stick on the palate.
- Century egg yolk is much softer than standard egg yolk with a rich and indulgent mouthfeel. It tastes like creamy custard with a leading sweetness and earthy notes.
- You can also feel strong umami savoriness along with the creamy, custard-like texture.
What does century egg white taste like
In contrast to the opulent yolk, the egg white transforms into a grey-black or golden-yellow translucent jelly-like solid with a bouncy texture. The taste of the egg white can form a lovely comparison with the creamy egg yolk.
Century egg white is firm, with a jelly-like texture, similar to a jelly dessert made with gelatine. You can find it is super easy to cut compared with the egg yolk.
It has a strong savory umami taste with subtle smokiness. There is no sweetness that can be found in the yolk white, instead, you may find a feeling of minerals.
Although I tried my best to describe the taste, you may still find the taste of century egg is quite hard to imaging. I would love to describe the century egg like a gelatine jelly wrapping a custard creaming filling. Well, I still recommend you try one bite at least to explore the treasure from Eastern.
Are century eggs safe to eat
If you are century additives like me, you may care about whether are they safe to eat.
Chinese people share health concerns about century eggs too. The first problem is heavy metals especially lead. Heavy metals are used to seep up the solidifying process of the protein in the traditional method. But the process has been modified a lot and modernized production uses EDTA as a substitute for lead oxide. So century eggs from the good channel have very little lead.
The second problem is the strong alkaline. Many people may have health problems after eating too much alkaline.
Moderate consumption of century eggs will not harm your health. They have the effects of supplementing protein and promoting digestion.
However, century eggs contain lead and sodium elements, it is not suitable for children, pregnant women, or people with chronic diseases.
In conclusion, century eggs from good channels with moderate consumption are safe to eat.
Types of Century eggs
There are two famous types of century eggs one is pine blossom eggs "with pine flowers dotted on the jelly" and the other one is light yellowish eggs. It has a very similar but light taste compared with traditional century eggs.
Why it is still so popular
Because it is delicious!! At the very first bite, you may feel it has accents of sulfur and ammonia. But after the first taste, you will enjoy a world of highly flavorful and umami components which is denatured from egg proteins under the stress of higher PH value.
Why it is named Century Eggs
At the very beginning, lots of guys like you believe that those eggs are kept for quite a long time, so it has such a unique taste. Besides, the dark color makes people think of rotten eggs. As an exaggeration, people use century or 100 years’ eggs to refer to those eggs. In fact, the mature process only takes months. On hot summer days, it only takes around 25 to 30 days to finish the process.
How to eat century eggs-the other ways.
- The most common way of using century eggs is to add them to Cantonese congee to make a century and pork congee. It can give the congee a very unique flavor and a smoother texture.
- Secondly, century eggs can be eaten directly as an appetizer. They taste extremely yummy with a fresh pepper sauce.
- Fried Rice – You can scramble century egg into fried rice to add rich flavors.
- Noodle Soup – Sliced and added to noodle soups, as a substitute for soy sauce eggs.
- 5 century eggs
- 2 green onions chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 fresh Thai chilies thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 4 tablespoons vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon chili oil
- Peel the century eggs and cut them into widgets. You can wet the knife or freeze the eggs in the refrigerator before cutting to prevent sticking.
- Place the cut century eggs on a plate and set aside.
- In a bowl, mix minced garlic, sliced chilies, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, and chili oil.
- Pour the mixture over the century eggs and sprinkle with chopped green onions.
- Serve cold.
Can I still eat Century Egg?
We suggest pregnant women, children, and older ones be cautious about century eggs. For adults, the frequency of eating century eggs should be limited too. I believe this is not a problem for most of you. I highly recommend the Yellow Century Eggs for starters.
Do the eggs actually ferment for 100 years?
No, century eggs do not really ferment for 100 years. "Century eggs" is more of a mistranslation. They cure or age for just 4-12 weeks typically before consumption. Their dark color and translucent whites give the egg an ancient preserved quality.
Do they actually taste good?
When properly cured and combined into complementary Chinese dishes, century eggs offer a unique savory, creamy mouthfeel that fans find very tasty. However, some may not like the egg white's jelly-like texture or initially strong aromas. It's a subjective experience.