Century Eggs / Preserved Eggs ('pi dan' in Mandarin)
Legend has it that century eggs are made by soaking duck eggs in horse urine! The truth is that the eggs are preserved in a mixture of clay, ash, salt, lime and rice straw for several weeks to months. When cooked, the egg white has a gelatinous texture, looks dark brown and transparent, while the egg yolk is creamy and looks grayish-green. Century eggs have a pungent smell and are typically eaten with preserved ginger.
Salted Duck Eggs ('xian dan' in Mandarin)
This is a Chinese preserved food. It is made by soaking whole raw ducks eggs in brine or wrapped in heavily salted clay for about a month. This results in a very liquid egg white and a bright orange-red, round and firm yolk. Typically eaten with congee, and also used as an ingredient in moon cakes and rice dumplings.
Half boiled egg
Room temperature eggs are placed into boiling hot water and left to cook for 4 minutes. The result? You get a soft and wet egg yolk and white, slippery enough to be slurped down in one breath! Usually served with a few drops of dark soy sauce and a dash of white pepper. A popular breakfast item in Singapore, eaten with toasted bread.
Tea Leaf Egg ('cha ye dan' in Mandarin)
This is a savory snack, very popular in Taiwan. Tea leaf eggs are hard boiled eggs that are further stewed in a salted tea liquid, with soy sauce and five-spice powder. The eggs are first cooked to be hard-boiled, then the shells are lightly cracked without peeling and boiled the second time to let the flavor of the tea into the egg, resulting in a marbled pattern on the egg white when you remove the shell.
Egg soup is like a form of art. Beaten eggs can be added to any Chinese soup (flavored with pork, chicken, crab, shrimp, or even just vegetables). The trick is to gently pour the beaten eggs into the soup and use a fork to stir the in one direction until the eggs form thin streams or ribbons.
Egg Tart ('dan ta' in Mandarin)
A kind of pastry popular in Asia, especially in Hong Kong, egg tarts consist of a flaky outer crust, with an egg custard filling. The western equivalent is a custard tart. You can find egg tarts in most Hong Kong and Chinese bakeries and dim sum restaurants.
Preserved radish ('chai po' in Hokkien) omelet
Preserved radish is served as a topping for steamed rice cake 'chwee kueh', a popular breakfast item in Singapore. Preserved radish can also be mixed into a beaten egg to make preserved radish omelet, a salty side dish.
Minced pork omelet
To make this, just add minced pork, parsley, fresh chili and salt to beaten eggs and pour the mixture on to a heated pan. Remove from the pan when the egg and meat is cooked.
Small oysters and green onion are mixed into an egg batter. Corn starch is used in the batter to give the egg a thicker consistency. The mixture is pan-fried and served with chili sauce dip.
About the Author
Yi Sim is a home cook who maintains a food blog at http://www.simcooks.com. Featuring mainly Asian recipes, cooking tips and techniques and good eats, it is packed with colorful meal pictures to whet your appetite!