Nov 20, 2020

Salt and Pepper Century Eggs 椒鹽皮蛋

Back in the days, there weren't that many food shows available, and through the ventures of Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, which might be the most popular food show on TV at the time, we learnt many interesting ingredients used all around the world.

One episode was about century egg, or preserved egg, thousand-year egg. Its Darth Vader appearance might frighten some, but to me as a Taiwanese, century egg is like a finely condensed, flavor-packed egg with gooey center and jelly-like egg white. Actually, egg "black" to be exact. 

Salt and pepper century eggs 椒鹽皮蛋 -

Ingredients (for a small portion)?

  • 2 century eggs
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 stalk scallion
  • 1 red chili
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • Some corn starch


You can enjoy century egg straight up, or serve alongside with other ingredients without further cooking it. However, this time I'm going to stir-fry some salty, spicy, and garlicky seasonings to go with the eggs. Once cooked with such heavy aromatics, that distinct taste gets diluted. Also in exchange, the eggs are soaked in the flavors from garlics, scallion, and chilies. One might be scared of century egg's original form, but this Chinese flavor-kicking version, can change your perspective once and for all.

The century eggs I've got here were still with shells attached. So I bring a medium pot of water to a boil and cook the whole eggs, to help further harden the shape. About 5 minutes. Once ready, drain and set aside until cool enough to handle by hand. Peel off the shells and slice each egg into four even pieces.

Dust the eggs with corn starch.

Destem the scallion and finely chop the remaining section. Destem the red chili and give it a fine chop too. Peel and chop the garlic cloves.

Use a non-stick pan, drizzle about 2 tablespoons of olive oil or other light flavored oil. Turn to medium high heat and wait till the surface warms up. Add in the eggs and sear till slightly hardened on the sides. Remove and set aside for later use. You can place the eggs on top of a kitchen towel to soak up excess oil, but not necessary.

Use the same pan, add in scallion, red chili, and garlics. Cook for about 30 seconds, make sure not to burn the garlic. Transfer the eggs back along with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper. Give it a quick mix and plate to serve.

It's a fairly small portion recipe, but I was just cooking for myself. I know even the cooked version tastes better than straight-up century egg, but Mister at home still not a fan of it. I love it though. 

Just double up the ingredients if cooking 4 eggs, but watch out on the amount of salt and black pepper. Better go easy on the seasonings first. Add more if needed after tasting the mixture.

Also don't be afraid of using more scallion, garlics, and red chilies if you can handle the heat. The more the merrier. In fact, these cooked aromatics might be even more addicting compare to the eggs, totally stole the spotlight there.

Other Asian egg recipes:

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