Thousand year egg/century egg/preserved egg isn’t actually a thousand years old. But it sounds pretty exotic doesn’t it?
I’ve neglected the Chinese recipe section of my blog so I decided to share this easy recipe. No cooking is necessary. You just need to assemble a few ingredients.
The Thousand Year Egg is actually a preserved duck egg. A common Taiwanese dish is to eat it with a tofu salad, often as an accompaniment to a light congee (rice porridge) breakfast. Roddy of Rodzilla Reviews was a bit obsessed with these eggs for a while, prompting my craving for this tofu salad which I used to eat pretty regularly at home.
The preserved egg definitely has a much different taste and look compared to a fresh egg. The outer egg white layer becomes a translucent brown with a jelly-like texture. The yolk turns a dark green/greyish color. The yolk is creamy and has a very rich flavor, which is why it is often paired with the plain raw tofu. The egg yolk flavor isn’t for everyone. I actually prefer the egg whites and only eat a little of the yolk.
You can find the eggs at Ranch 99, usually next to the regular eggs or sometimes in its own section. The packaging looks something like this:
Inside, each egg is individually wrapped. The egg shell is a pale blue, reminding me of a giant robin’s egg.
The preservation process only takes a few months, but the name comes because of its appearance, which makes it seem like it has been preserved hundreds or thousands of years.
Preparation for the salad is quite simple. Silken tofu is usually used because of its soft silky texture. Eggs are usually quartered, though I halved them for this post so you could see the egg characteristics better. I like to also top mine with bonito shavings for some extra seasoning and some fresh green onions (some people use cilantro). Right before serving, soy sauce is drizzled on top, otherwise the tofu is a bit plain.
You can eat the salad by itself, or it’s usually eaten with Chinese congee. Growing up, I used to eat this almost every weekend. I used to make it for myself in college too, but it’s definitely been a while since I made it. I didn’t realize how long it’s been until DH told me he never had it before.
It was fun sharing this with him and he really enjoyed it. It also gave me an excuse to use my cute chick shaped soy sauce container which I found at Marukai Value.
Thousand Year Egg Tofu Salad
1 block silken tofu
2 tbsp chopped green onion
3 tbsp bonito flakes
2-3 thousand year eggs (preserved duck eggs), sliced into 4 sections each
soy sauce to taste
Slice tofu to bite sized cubes. I usually make four vertical slices, four horizontal slices across the surface and also make one horizontal slice along the middle. Line eggs around the tofu. Sprinkle green onion and bonito flakes on top. Drizzle with soy sauce. Serve cold.