Ever seen black eggs that look like jelly? You probably must have come across such images while surfing the Internet.
They are called century eggs and are a classic among the Chinese.
The name makes it sound like the eggs are a hundred years old.
But what is the truth behind this? You’ll find the answer as you read on.
While looking at images of the dark eggs, you must have wondered, “what does century egg taste like?” Well, this article is here to fill you in on the many details you might want to know about century eggs.
What is Century Egg?
A delicacy of the Chinese, century egg is a cuisine made of eggs and other spices to create a pickle-like product.
They have a strong flavor and are eaten with something mild in taste like tofu or condiments.
Owing to the long preparation time and the final product’s appearance, the century eggs are called so because they look like some aged eggs.
The yellow egg yolk turns grey or dark greenish during the preservation process.
The whites, on the other hand, become brown and jelly-like.
The preservation process is complete within three to four months.
Once they are ready, the century eggs aren’t prepared any further other than a rinse.
They are used as a side dish to complement other dishes.
Duck’s eggs are mainly used for this dish.
This is because duck eggs are more nutritious.
With a higher amount of protein, duck eggs become even better after completing the preservation process.
Century eggs have found their place on the menu during special occasions.
The traditional Chinese societies use them as a must-have food item during weddings and festivals.
What Does Century Egg Taste Like?
Century egg is also called “Hundred Year Egg” or “Pidan” in Chinese.
Some even like to call it a “thousand-year egg.”.
Century eggs have 130 calories per 71 grams and high protein content.
Cholesterol, carbs, and fats are in low quantities.
Century egg has a terrible smell, but don’t let that stop you from trying this delicacy.
You might want to pinch your nose a little to avoid the scent messing with the taste.
In contrast to the somewhat foul smell, century egg tastes impressive.
The century eggs have a wonderful mixture of flavors and texture.
The yolk is cheesy, while the whites are translucent and have the consistency of jelly.
This gives an exciting feeling to the overall eating experience.
A century egg tastes bitter in terms of overall taste– a good kind of bitter that becomes addictive.
These eggs are mostly not served alone because they give a strong flavor which is often hard to take in.
Depending on how it is prepared, century eggs may give varying colors; some have a light-yellow shade while others have a darker, black color.
If you increase the number of seasonings or the duration of maturation, the egg will turn darker in color.
Taste of yellow century egg vs. Black century egg.
Yellow century eggs have a lower amount of sodium hydroxide and taste less bitter than a black century egg.
The sodium hydroxide breaks down the egg’s protein and turns it into a jelly-like element.
The black version uses a higher amount of the alkaline mixture and tastes bitter.
How to Cook Century Egg?
Century eggs are not cooked. After the preservation process, they are cracked open and ready to eat.
They are best used as a side dish with other food items.
While making century eggs, one thing to keep in mind is to cover the eggs adequately with the clay mixture.
This will prevent any foreign particles from entering the eggs.
You can enhance the flavor of the eggs using whatever spices you like.
Some healthy spices include ginger, star anise, and cinnamon.
Many versions of making century eggs include lead as a catalyst to increase the curing speed.
But the best and healthiest way is to prepare the eggs without lead.
Also, if you want to have a slightly milder bitterness in the eggs, you should use a lesser amount of the sodium hydroxide mixture, i.e., soda ash and quick lime.
Cautions while eating century eggs:
The century eggs have a strong flavor which is overwhelming.
So, you might want to eat the eggs in smaller bites, and this will remove any chances of you being overwhelmed by the taste.
Also, be ready to get an unpleasant-smelling food because century eggs are one.
Now that you’ve read the truth about century eggs and how they are made, you can make them your next meal project.
It doesn’t hurt to go a little extra mile and make an extraordinary cuisine every once in a while.
You can try out different versions of the process and decide which one is to your liking.
Remember to be gentle with the shell removal to get a perfect translucent century egg.
Once you have all the ingredients, which aren’t many, you will be on your way to recreate the Chinese classic.