Century egg and Lean Pork congee  recipe is one of  the most famous congees in china, a perennial classic Chinese comfort food that I will never tire of. What I usually love with this congee is freshly fried “youtiao” or freshly fried Chinese cruller (油條 in Chinese). The slightly salted flavour and the crunchy texture is a good complement to the congee.

What is Century egg?

Century egg  also known as preserved egg, hundred-year egg, thousand-year egg, thousand-year-old egg, and millennium egg (or Pidan in Mandarin), is a Chinese cuisine ingredient made by preserving duck, chicken or quail eggs in a mixture of clay, ash, salt, lime, and rice hulls for several weeks to several months, depending on the method of processing. Through the process, the yolk becomes a dark green, cream-like substance with a strong odor of sulphur and ammonia, while the white becomes a dark brown, transparent jelly with little flavor.The transforming agent in the century egg is its alkaline material, which gradually raises the pH of the egg to around 9, 12, or more.This chemical process breaks down some of the complex, flavorless proteins and fats, which produces a variety of smaller flavorful compounds.

Some eggs have patterns near the surface of the egg white that are likened to pine branches. However, do note that preserved eggs are an acquired taste as well and most Western palates might not be used to it at first.

Century egg and Lean Pork congee

Story of Century egg and Lean Pork congee recipe:

In China, there are many dishes where the name originated from a folklore, legend, or story. Like some popular food, Century egg and Lean Pork congee also has an interesting  tale behind it.

Long long ago, there was a very famous and valiant general during the Song Dynasty by the name of Yue Fei (岳飛) and as with a lot of righteous heros, his was a tragic story. His demise was brought about by an evil Chinese court official by the name of Qin Hui who created a plot together with his evil wife and manipulated the weak Chinese emperor into ordering the wrongful execution of General Yue Fei. Hence, legend has it that the evil couple met an oily fate in hell where they were deep-fried as ghosts over and over again to pay for their sins against the legendary General.  That is why, the Chinese crullers are always sold in pairs, they are essentially two dough strips stuck in the middle.

Ingredients for Century egg and Lean Pork congee:

    * 1 cup uncooked short-grain white rice
* 2 cups Chinese roast boneless pork, diced
* 2 preserved duck eggs (century eggs), peeled and diced
    * 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    * 8 cups water
    * 1 cube pork bouillon cube
   * 6 green onions, chopped

Directions to cook Century egg and Lean Pork congee:

  1、Rinse the rice in several changes of clean water. Drain completely in a mesh strainer and place into a large pot. Stir the vegetable oil into the rice and set aside for 10 minutes.

  2、Stir 6 cups of water, the bouillon cube,Chinese roast pork, and green onion into the rice. Bring to a boil over high heat; then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 1 1/2 hours. Stir frequently as the rice cooks to help break the rice grains apart and keep it from burning on the bottom.

  3、Stir in the remaining 2 cups of water and the century egg. Continue cooking another 1 1/2 hours, stirring frequently until the congee reaches your desired consistency. The congee is ready when the individual grains of rice are no longer discernable and have thickened the soup.

congee with freshly fried Chinese cruller

What I usually love with this congee is freshly fried “youtiao” or freshly fried Chinese cruller (油條 in Chinese). The slightly salted flavour and the crunchy texture is a good complement to the congee.

{August 21, 2010} {Tags: }