I love a tasty project and Century Eggs are just that.
(to be continued)
The following was inserted/edited into the century egg post by me, the blog's writer on May 3, 2015.
so sorry these eggs were so bad...
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DO NOT MAKE THESE EGGS!!!!!
A week or so ago I cracked into my Century Eggs.
Nasty does not even begin to describe how awful these eggs were. At the time, I believe I described them as 'exploding little pockets of pus.'
Yea. Pretty gross.
I guess you have to hard cook them first.
If you've eaten congee at a dim sum joint or if you've ordered a cold jellyfish salad, most likely it came with 'century egg.'
A century egg is an egg that is packed in a caustic mud and allowed to 'cure' for 100 days. The result is an egg white that is transparent and amber colored, like stained glass, and a yolk that is creamy and slightly green. The photo at the right is taken right from the interwebs.
Really, really delish. But, what an undertaking!
The basic ingredients I cobbled together from a number of blog posts and recipes, most notably Silk Road Gourmet and Recipe Source. The latter employs a charmingly archaic HTML/DOS font for the recipe.
Century Egg Recipe
1 cup black tea leaves
2/3 cup sea salt
1-3/4 cup quick LIME*
3 cups wood (fireplace) ash
3 cups charcoal grill ash
1 dozen duck eggs
(5 chicken eggs -- optional)
3 pounds inexpensive rice (what I used) OR rice chaff (which I couldn't find)
Brew the cup of black tea leaves in 6 cups water. Steep/cool for 30 minutes to one hour. The tea should be hella strong.
In a large glass bowl or stainless pot, combine sea salt, lime and ash. Add two cups of strong tea (un strained). Strain tea reserving the tea. Add the wet tea leaves to the ash mixture.
Cool completely. The mix should resemble loose cement. Add more tea, slowly, until the mixture is thin enough to work with but thick enough to stick. Coat the eggs to a depth of 1/4 inch with the mud. In a separate bowl, place rice chaff (or cheap rice -- I used broken jasmine rice). Roll the mud-egg-ball in the chaff and set aside on a plate. Similarly coat all the eggs, segregating the duck from the chicken eggs. I coated the duck eggs first and layered them in a bucket of dirt. The chicken eggs went into dirt last so they'll be easy to test in February, when the eggs are done rotting.
Eat well and love big.
PS: I don't think you need gloves. I did half the eggs without and didn't suffer any damage to my digits.
* When I initially read the recipe I though it said 'lye' not 'lime' so I searched all over for food-grade lye only to find it and realize later that it wasn't what I needed.
When life give you lye, make kick-ass home-made soap. Which I did.