Embracing the month of “Eggstraordinary” April, let’s talk about some of our well-known eggamples. Century Eggs have cost quite a stir before, causing an uprising after CNN posted an article in 2011 stating that it was “the most disgusting food” in the world. The author received angry emails and event death threats, that’s how serious their love is for Century Eggs.
So what are Century Eggs?
Traditionally the century eggs are made by mixing three pounds of tea with calcium oxide plus sea salt and a sprinkle of (7 pounds of) ashes. The eggs are then covered by hands and wrapped in rice leaves so they don’t stick together, in a few months they will be ready for consumption. Now, with technological advancement and a better understanding of chemistry, the eggs take only 10 days to mature after being soaked in a specially designed solution and wrapped in plastic for maturation.
How can you eat them?
Century Eggs are popular in many places in South East Asia and China. In Northern China, it is common to find them atop of chilled tofu mixed with a sweet soy sauce. In Hong Kong, you can find many different variations of the Century Egg, including being steamed with fresh eggs and salted eggs, or finding them in your congee with some lean pork. In Taiwan it is also common to find them with tofu and some ginger pickles.
The Scandalous Century Egg
Century Eggs have always had a bad reputation, some people believed that it was made by dunking the eggs into horse ruin. Although it has been proved false, many still dislike the smell as it may seem pungent at first. In Thailand and Laos, they call the Century Eggs “Horse Urine Egg” because the colours are uncannily similar.
Where can you try them in Hong Kong?
There are plenty of places you can get your Century Eggs! Here are some of our picks and recommendations graded by difficulties:
Level 1: Sang Kee Congee Shop
Congee is one of the best ways to try Century Eggs as the taste is not as prominent as simply popping one into your mouth. The Century Egg is quartered and boiled with lean pork in congee. A popular breakfast or usually ordered with Dim Sum, the congee is fragrant, filling and fabulous.
Address: G/F, 7-9 Burd Street, Sheung Wan
Level 2: Market Hotpot
Market Hotpot is a great place to try out different kinds of soup bases and have an authentic Hong Kong Hot Pot experience! Try their Ginger and Century Egg Meatballs, the flavour is quite subtle but you’ll be able to try the Century Egg!
Address: 2/F, Dundas Square, 43H Dundas Street, Mong Kok
Level 3: Du Hsiao Yueh Restaurant
Try their Pork Floss Century Egg on Cold Tofu which is a notch higher as you will be putting these Century Eggs into your mouth as one piece. The pork floss and tofu will cover some of the taste but you will be facing it full on! Don’t worry you can always pick it out if you don’t like it.
Address: Shop B215, B2/F, Times Square, 1 Matheson Street, Causeway Bay
Beware beware of the Eggs that tear
When choosing a Century Egg you must be careful to select though without any cracks. A Century Egg should be green in colour with Pine shape patterns (almost like snowflakes!) so be careful if you see anything that’s yellow. The egg should smell a bit like ammonia but if it smells rotten you better not risk consuming it!