Back in my London days, I would organize a gang of 6 or 9 for dim sum on Sundays, it has to be 6, 9 or 12 due to the dim sum portions, but that will be another chapter another day. A regular stroll to the Chinese supermarket was important to complete the Sunday, and I often get asked about century egg, it often ended with some disgusted onomatopoeias. Whoever named it in English must be a dreadful PR person, or he or she just loved it so much and felt resentful to encourage non-Chinese potential century egg eaters.
Growing up with Cantonese food, we put Century Eggs in congee, sometimes we cut them up to top tofu and sprinkle flossy pork on top. In general the subtle fermented taste is not for everybody, and its appearance certainly does little favour to itself.
Last night I got home and the chef handed me a bag of “Ji Pi Dan” (Chicken Century Eggs). Century Eggs you see in the market are made from duck eggs, these are a lot smaller and the muddy coatings were different colour.
I was told a kitchen staff brought these all the way from home-grown-run-around-sporty-extremely fertile chickens. It was so intriguing that I decided to make a cucumber century egg salad in the midnight hour.
The inside of the chicken century egg is a lot more appetising. The flavour is a bit stronger though. Therefore I put a little bit more vinegar and chilli in the mixture and cut them up into smaller pieces.
I doubt it is the healthiest midnight snake, but it was mighty good at the time.
I also found the preservation formula for Chicken Century Egg from Hei Long Jiang Poultry Institute, for those who happen to have time of century in their hands: NaOH4.8—6.0%,NaC l5%,PbO 0.2%, Black tea4—5%.