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Thousand-year Old Eggs
by mark

Chinese 1,000-year duck eggs. These delicious preserved duck eggs, which take about 3 months to cure I understand, are an acquired taste for Westerners

Title: PRESERVED DUCK EGGS (Thousand Year Old Eggs)
Categories: Eggs, Chinese
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 cup per egg, thickly coat each egg completely with this clay-like mixture. Line a large crock with garden soil and carefully lay coated eggs on top. Cover with more soil and place crock in a cool dark place. Allow to cure for 100 days. To remove coating, scrape eggs and rinse under running water to clean thoroughly. Crack lightly and remove shells. The white of the egg will appear a grayish, translucent color and have a gelatinous texture. The yolk, when sliced, will be a grayish-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 and rice wine and 1 tablespoon minced ginger root.

Preserved Ancient Eggs

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

The description of the whites turning grayish isn't quite accurate from the ones I've seen. They're more a dark blackish amber color-- quite attractive actually.

From "The Regional Cooking of China" by Margret Gin and Alfred E. Castle, 101 Productions, San Francisco, 1975.

Incidentally, this is an excellent book. It's written by Maggie Gin of commercial Chinese sauce fame. If you can find an early edition, get it. The later editions have been integrated into her marketing strategies and may not be as complete as this one is. They also call for whatever the sauce ingredients are or "Maggie Gin's Such and Such Sauce".
per Stephen Ceideburg

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