A Good Egg

7 Jan

I’ve written about century eggs before. This is not one of them:

Animal or mineral?

I thought it was when I bought it at the wet market. I mean, it’s an egg covered in some sort of black stuff, what else could it be?

I started having doubts as I scraped off the thick clay to reveal white shell, because presumably, the kind of processing that would turn the whites black would also affect the shell color. And then I cracked it…and saw that it was still raw. Luckily, because it was a duck egg, the membrane was a lot stronger than a hen egg, and I was able to pop it into a pot for boiling without the whites leaking out all over the place.

Once I had hard-boiled the egg using my favorite method (bring the water to a boil, then turn the heat off and let the egg sit in a hot water bath for 20 minutes…perfect eggs every time, without that gross grey ring around the yolk), I cut it up to see what exactly I was dealing with.

It’s a salted duck egg! I’ve only seen it as a garnish for congee (rice porridge…got to love those Asian hotel breakfast buffets), or the yolk in moon cakes. It’s a lot like a normal hard-boiled egg, except that it’s a lot saltier, obviously, and the yolk as an odd crumbly texture to it — probably because all the moisture has been absorbed by the salt. But what to do with it? I decided to put it in a salad with cucumber. It turned out pretty tasty, so here’s the recipe, as such:

Ingredients

One Japanese, Persian, or English cucumber, cut into chunks and tossed with salt

One salted duck egg, boiled (you could use a regular egg in a pinch)

Sesame oil, to taste

Method

Combine the above. Serve with some hot rice and Chinese food.

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