How to make a Century Egg

Pidan (Chinese) or alkalized eggs is a Chinese delicacy from either duck or chicken eggs. With many other names, thousand-year or century-old egg, but it does not take 1000 or 100 years. It takes about 30 days. They are very black, and taste, well… it’s all relative.┬áThese eggs are soaked in a solution for 15 days in summer, 20 days in winter. They sometimes have a pungent smell from ammonia.


  1. Prep the solution: 1 Liter of water, 72g of sodium chloride(NaCl), and 42g of sodium hydroxide(NaOH). Dissolve the NaCl and NaOH completely in water. Boil and then let cool.
  2. Let the eggs sit in the solution for about 10 days at 15 to 20oC.
  3. Take out the eggs and rinse them. Allow them to dry naturally.
  4. Coat with PVA or some air-tight packaging material. An alternative is to add red soil to the solution after the eggs are removed.  Coat the eggs with the solution, and roll them in rice. Age for about 2 weeks.
  5. Crack the eggs lightly and remove the shell. The white should look grayish, translucent color and gelatinous texture. The yolk, when sliced, looks grayish-green.
  6. Serve by cutting into wedges.

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