I have been asked so many times over the years by my non-Chinese friends, ‘Why do Chinese people eat century eggs?’. Looking at one, the shell looks just like a normal duck egg, but after removing the shell, a black jellified oval ball emerges. If I had never seen one before, I would be horrified too. I was introduced to it when I was little, probably around three, and I was not quite intelligent enough to know that a black egg is actually quite ‘unusual’. My dad used to take me to a local congee breakfast place almost every day before school. There was no better breakfast in the whole world than a bowl of pork and century egg congee(皮蛋瘦肉粥), and a plate of deep fried dough(油炸鬼).
While the gelatinous egg ‘white’ of a century egg does not taste of much, its creamy yolk carries quite a distinct metallic flavour. The classic way of serving it is cut in half, topped with pickled ginger slices as a cold appetiser. I am going to share some of my favourite century egg recipes with you in the next few posts. You are going to try them, yes?