The widespread use of refrigeration is a very recent phenomenon. As a result, it should come as no surprise to learn that there are recipes for a wide range of preserved foods that happen to include eggs. Century eggs are a Chinese version of preserved eggs, which are sometimes called either hundred-year eggs, thousand-year eggs, or pine-pattern eggs.
What Makes Century Eggs Stand Out?
One of the most striking characteristics of the century egg is its appearance. In short, the preservation process produces significant changes in the egg, with the result that the yolk turns dark green with a creamy consistency while the white turns into an amber gelatin. As a result, it isn’t uncommon for people who are unfamiliar with century eggs to make comments about their perceived grossness, though in truth, they are perfectly safe to consume so long as they have been made using non-hazardous ingredients in a non-hazardous manner.
Taste-wise, century eggs have a slight resemblance to hard-boiled eggs. However, their flavor has more complexities to it, with an excellent example being what some people have called a mild mineral or even metallic aftertaste. As such, century eggs aren’t eaten on their own by most people but are instead served up along with either congee or something else that can complement their taste.
How Can You Prepare Century Eggs?
Century eggs have been in existence for multiple centuries, so it should come as no surprise to learn that there are numerous recipes for making them. Generally speaking, the process involves putting the eggs in a preservation solution that contains sodium hydroxide as its most important ingredient. After the eggs have been soaked in the preservation solution for two weeks or more until the egg whites have solidified, it is time to encase them for the purpose of cutting them off from oxygen while they cure. The traditional material is a mixture of mud and rice husks, but it is perfectly possible to use other materials such as clay instead. Be warned that sodium hydroxide is a strong base, meaning that interested individuals should be wearing some kind of protection for their hands throughout the whole process.
For people who want to make century eggs using tools and materials that they can find with maximum ease, they can check out this simple home-made recipe. Meanwhile, if they are more interested in seeing the finished century eggs as soon as possible, they should try preserving quail eggs with this recipe instead.
Are There Any Variations on Century Eggs?
There are different recipes for making century eggs, which can produce different tastes. For example, it is possible to make century eggs by soaking the eggs in a solution that contains sodium hydroxide. However, it is also possible to make them by coating the eggs in a sodium hydroxide-containing paste instead. Besides this, it is worth noting that century eggs can be made from either chicken eggs, duck eggs, or quail eggs.