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Thousand-Year-Old Eggs

Cuisine: Chinese
Type: Cheese, Eggs
Serves: 12 people

Recipe Ingredients

2 cups 474mlVery strong black tea
  From fireplace
1/3 cup 78mlSalt
1 cup 237mlLime*
2 cups 474mlAshes of pine wood
12   Fresh duck eggs
  Ashes of charcoal and ashes

Recipe Instructions

These are often called thousand-year eggs, even though the preserving process lasts only 100 days. They may be purchased individually in Oriental markets.

Combine tea, salt, ashes and lime. Using about 1/2 cup per egg, thickly coat each egg completely with this clay-like mixture. Line a large crock with garden soil and carefully lay coated eggs on top. Cover with more soil and place crock in a cool dark place. Allow to cure for 100 days. To remove coating, scrape eggs and rinse under running water to clean thoroughly. Crack lightly and remove shells. The white of the egg will appear a grayish, translucent color and have a gelatinous texture. The yolk, when sliced, will be a grayish-green color.

To serve, cut into wedges and serve with:

Sweet pickled scallions or any sweet pickled vegetable Sauce of 2 tablespoons each vinegar, soy sauce and rice wine and 1 tablespoon minced ginger root.

*Available in garden stores and nurseries.

The description of the whites turning grayish isn't quite accurate from the ones I've seen. They're more a dark blackish amber color-- quite attractive actually.

From "The Regional Cooking of China" by Margaret Gin and Alfred E. Castle, 101 Productions, San Francisco, 1975.

Claiborne/Lee, "The Chinese Cookbook"


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