Century Egg – Would You Eat One?

I love a good omelet and I’ve been known to gobble down boiled eggs from tme to time, but Century Eggs? No freaking way!

Known also as preserved egg, hundred-year egg, thousand-year egg or thousand-year-old egg, the Century Egg is a Chinese delicacy used in many traditional dishes. Fresh duck, chicken or quail eggs become Century Eggs after weeks, sometimes months of preservation in a mixture of clay, ash, lime, salt and rice. The process of “cooking” Century Eggs is believed to date back 600 years, when someone apparently found some old eggs preserved in a pool of slaked lime. Upon tasting them, he decided to produce some more, but this time with some added salt.

After the preservation is complete, the hull mixture and egg shell are removed to reveal the now dark-brown egg-white and a dark-green, creamy and pungent yolk.  It’s the alkaline that raises the ph of the egg from 9 to 12 or more and gives it a strong smell of ammonia and sulfur.

Century Eggs are consumed either raw, or as ingredients in other Chinese foods. There are those who associate them with smelly cheese, pungent but really delicious. Sadly there are others (myself included) who just can’t get past the disgusting colors and smell.


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Feedback (21 Comments)

  • natalie Posted on December 17, 2009

    they might looks disgusting but ive eaten them before and they arent that bad

  • Roeland Posted on December 18, 2009

    Where can I get some?

  • Art Rock Posted on December 18, 2009

    I have had them frequently – my wife is from Shanghai. They actually have a very good taste.

  • Girl Meets Food Posted on December 18, 2009

    I love century eggs. In fact, I write about unusual, one-of-a-kind foods just like this. Don’t knock it until you try it. It has a taste like some of the finest cheeses in the world!

  • Markus Posted on December 19, 2009

    Go to your local Chinese supermarket. These eggs sell for 4 a dollar here in Canada. Like said, they might look bad, but they actually taste quite nice, and its quite a common food in China.

  • Paul R Wilson Posted on December 20, 2009

    White looks like amber and the yolk like clam ?I might sample one if offered, but the first nip will determine if I finish the item.

    The Chinese eat strange things…

  • Yummy Posted on December 21, 2009

    These are very delicious! And definitely not 100 years old. 🙂

  • Genie Posted on December 22, 2009

    The taste is quite unremarkable. A little sulphury, but very bland. In fact, people often eat it with pickled ginger to give it some more flavour.

  • sarah Posted on December 31, 2009

    wow whats with the hatin’?
    americans also eat some gross things….
    and this egg tastes pretty good with some soy sauce or with porridge…have an open mind man

  • sarah Posted on December 31, 2009

    oh yeah and its more like a year old at most….

  • Jenni Posted on May 1, 2010

    They might look weird but trust me, it’s the most delicious thing ever! The outside is like a firm jello-y consistent and it’s chewy and stuff, it’s so good, and the inside is just creamy and – yum! :]

  • becky Posted on June 20, 2010

    HELL YES i'll eat one! they're delicious 😛

  • becky Posted on June 21, 2010

    HELL YES i'll eat one! they're delicious 😛

  • jon2x Posted on July 6, 2010

    Yeah it’s really good, it feels silky inside the mouth, It’s best eaten with congee or rice poridge. yummy!

  • Wendy Posted on July 25, 2010

    I LOVE THESE THINGS. I usually order them in congee because not many Chinese-Canadian restaurants have perserve eggs in other recipes… such as dumpling, duck, soy sauce.. and other delicious dishes…

  • thepunisher75 Posted on October 19, 2010

    They might look disgusting and smell a bit weird, but they are actually pretty good. and luckily you can get them in the asian supermarkets now.

  • M Posted on August 15, 2011

    stirt fry it in some oil then boil it with some hot water with chicken stock. It makes an extremely fine soup when mixed with cucumber afterwards. Very good!

  • Anonymous Posted on October 22, 2011

    I’m actually reading this as I’m eating them.

  • V Posted on February 27, 2012

    Sorry to be the downer, they might taste delicious but I’ll never know because there is no way I’m putting THAT in my mouth. The texture makes me shudder. And I’m a rather adventurous eater.