RecipeSource: Preserved Duck Eggs (thousand Year Old Eggs)

Yield: 12 servings

  • 2 c Tea, very strong black
  • 1/3 c Salt
  • 2 c Ashes of pine wood
  • 2 c Ashes of charcoal
  • 2 c Fireplace ashes
  • 1 c Lime*
  • 12 Duck egg, fresh

*Available in garden stores and nurseries.

Combine tea, salt, ashes and lime. Using about 1/2 cupper egg, thickly coat each egg completely with thisclay-like mixture. Line a large crock with garden soiland carefully lay coated eggs on top. Cover with moresoil and place crock in a cool dark place. Allow tocure for 100 days. To remove coating, scrape eggs andrinse under running water to clean thoroughly. Cracklightly and remove shells. The white of the egg willappear a grayish, translucent color and have agelatinous texture. The yolk, when sliced, will be agrayish-green color.

To serve, cut into wedges and serve with:

Sweet pickled scallions or any sweet pickled vegetable

Sauce of 2 tablespoons each vinegar, soy sauce andrice wine and 1 tablespoon minced ginger root.

Preserved Ancient Eggs

These are often called thousand-year eggs, eventhough the preserving process lasts only 100 days.They may be purchased individually in Oriental markets.

The description of the whites turning grayishisn’t quite accurate from the ones I’ve seen. They’remore a dark blackish amber color– quite attractiveactually.

From “The Regional Cooking of China” by MargretGin and Alfred E. Castle, 101 Productions, SanFrancisco, 1975.

For Paul in Hong Kong. I am beginning a Seattle quest for these delicacies of my youth. Note to Culver descendants: DUCK eggs.

5 thoughts on “Thousand Year Old Eggs

  1. No. Just no. Anything that’s left in a crock for more than a day — particularly, a crock that’s unrefrigerated, or buried — has ceased to be edible. Lutefisk, kim chee, rotten eggs…these are biological weapons, not food.

  2. None of the foods you mention, dear Mr. Whybark, have had the chance to lie (or lye) about long enough to become rotten. Putting something in a bucket under the sink isn’t a valid method of preparing food, whereas smoking and dehydration are.

  3. I am baffled by some of these ignorant comments–thousand-year-old eggs are not only a delicacy of the first order, they are beautiful when shelled and quartered. If the idea of these treats offends these sissies, what would they think of Tlinket fish heads–salmon heads buried underground until they thoroughly ripen? Or eulichan oil–made by fermenting candlefish in a barrel, dipping the oil off the top and allowing it to age–tastes sort of like miso, only a lot more potent.

Comments are now closed.