Saturday, February 9, 2008

Slow-cooked eggs

About eggs--Be patient sometimes, and let time do the wonders.

I am always amazed at the wisdom of ancient Chinese people. Whoever invented the thousand year eggs was definitely a genius. They are made by preserving duck, chicken or quail eggs in mixture of clay, ash, salt, lime, and rice straw for several weeks to several months, depending on the method of processing. After the process is completed, the yolk becomes a dark green, cream-like substance with a strong odor of sulfur and ammonia, while the white becomes a dark brown, transparent jelly with little flavor or taste. The transforming agent in thousand year egg is its alkaline material, which gradually raises the pH of egg from around 9 to 12 or more.[1] This chemical process causes an "inorganic version" of fermentation, which breaks down some of the complex, flavorless proteins and fats into simpler, flavorful ones.
For more information on thousand year eggs (century eggs), please click here.

I have been eating those delicious thousand year eggs all my life, so I am not surprised at all when I saw this 300 minutes egg. They were baked in a 212F oven for 5 hours to achieve a smoky flavor.
Click here to see how François-Xavier makes them.
The eggs in the following pictures were made by me.

It's quite interesting to see the dark egg "white" in an innocent white shell.

Actually the taste of 300-min eggs reminds me of a special kind of Chinese pickled eggs. The pickling liquid is made by boiling star anise,cinnamon,scallion,ginger,garlic, wine,soy sauce,dark soy sauce, chili,sugar and chicken stock all together.
The eggs are pickled for 3 hours and then blow-dried for 21 hours each day. The whole procedure takes a week. The end results are incredibly aromatic eggs. No offense, 604800 minutes eggs easily beat 300 minutes eggs. :)


jane said...

hi.. i got curious with your blog.. and i find it interesting when i saw its all about food.. hehehe.. Here in the Philippine we call the thousand years egg as Century egg and its my favorite also.. uhmm and im craving for one right now.. hehehe.. bye..

cheese puff said...

Hi, Jane, thanks for your comment! Yes, it's all about food! I have dumped all my personal feelings in another blog. haha, a good way to keep things organized. I just had a century egg for luch, and it's quite an addiction, I have to say. So enjoy it when we can!