Is the Century Egg really that gross?

I used to hate century egg (we’re talking about pi-dan, right?) but now can’t have chou (congee cooked up with some egg, meat…) without it. My usual is Guangdong chou with one century egg (guangdong chou jia pi-dan).

3 Likes

Memories… My kids were very young. Me and three kids were on the scooterbus in the country side. There were to girls in a barn that came right up to the edge of the road. The doors were open and they were holding the eggs up to the light. checking them.
We stopped and naturally we were curious of each other. The oldest was able to communicate with them,
They asked us if we would like to try their eggs. We said OK, not exactly knowing what they were. We had some and they were a little gross. But being polite said they were good.
They the owner went back in, came out with a bag full of them and insisted we take them.
Later my kid told me the owner was saying that these type eggs are really an acquired taste and not many people like them He was happy to give them to us. Fortunately Grandpa liked these kind of eggs. Be careful when you are being polite.

3 Likes

Not really, adding more yeast, temperature and food for the yeast is the only thing that is controllable. More yeast means more food to add, but too much like sugar can kill yeast by osmosis. Too high temp will kill it.

1 Like

I don’t think it is, you should try fermented shark in Iceland.

3 Likes

They add ‘Chinese medicine’ to it, that’s the killer.

2 Likes

Oyster sauce? I like that, gives the whole dish some nice flavor.

2 Likes

Are you talking about that Scandinavian delicacy (I use the word delicacy loosely) called Surströmming? It’s usually associated with Swedish cuisine. Yeah, not planning on trying that one, ha. So the century egg remains the worst.

1 Like

No, Surströmming is a lightly-salted fermented Baltic Sea herring.

It’s actually rotten shark I talk about.
‘Hákarl is a national dish of Iceland consisting of a Greenland shark or other sleeper shark that has been cured with a particular fermentation process and hung to dry for four to five months. It has a strong ammonia-rich smell and fishy taste, making hákarl an acquired taste.’

1 Like

Are you guys talking about that brown herbal chicken soup that smells like an open sewer?

The chicken soup with the Goji berries and rice wine.

1 Like

You bunch of pussies.

1 Like

I will say it does not look good at all, but like many local foods you kind of learn to like it. That I am used to eat and know it taste good (also cheap side dish or snack) I will buy it as long its clean food place,

1 Like

Could be? I don’t know I’ve never had oyster sauce just slathered on a cold something, but I’ve used it in cooking and the dishes turn out nice.

My mouth is watering at the mention of century eggs.

My first experience was approximately one month after arriving in Taiwan. The cook at the school was preparing a bunch of them to be added to some congee. I asked if I could try one. It was already de-shelled, but it had the scaly white stuff on it still. I rinsed it off and ate it in a couple bites (much to the shock of all witnesses).

My first impression was that it was very fragrant and actually quite delicious. It looked a bit odd, black and all, but actually tasted rather nice. In retrospect this is seems to be an atypical reaction.

Since then, I enjoy it in a few ways:

  • with firm tofu, sometimes sauce and “fish” flakes (some of it served with mayonnaise type dressing) - 皮蛋豆腐
  • in a three color egg (三色蛋)dish, along with chicken eggs and salty duck eggs (another big yummy)
  • deep fried 炸皮蛋, often battered a little and served with spicy peppers
  • boiled 滷味皮蛋, usually available at reputable 滷味 stalls
  • in congee/porridge, as others have mentioned. Even 7’s is pretty good! 皮蛋(雞絲/瘦肉)粥 (with shredded chicken/pork is best!)
  • stir fried century egg with tofu. Perhaps the most succulent and savory concoction! 炒皮蛋豆腐

It seems the options are limitless.

That being said. I bought some from a “Chinatown” to use to prepare congee for my parents. They gagged upon cracking the first one open. My mother had to “double bag” the eggs due to the “stench” :cry:, then begged my father to throw it into the skip ASAP from sheer disgust.

Takes all types :+1:

3 Likes

They are both absolutely disgusting sounding and I won’t be trying either, thanks!
Fwiw, Surströmming is often referred to as the worst tasting food in the world. I hadn’t heard of Hákarl until you mentioned it.

The membrane? It should come off when peeled.

It just needed slight washing before consumption. The scaly bit was not that prominent. I didn’t see the egg cracked open, so it might have been packed in some kind of preservative for bulk sale. I just remember being told to rinse off a the bit of residue. Mind you, this was many years ago, so my memory is not that reliable.

Where you try that? I only had that at home or some other home and do you light it on fire?