Century Egg Congee (皮蛋瘦肉粥)

Preserved Egg Congee

When I was younger, I did not appreciate congee that much because I loved eating deep fried and unhealthy stuff like fried chicken. As I got older, I started to appreciate these healthier and lighter dishes like congee. Whether it’s wintertime and you’re craving something warm, sick, or possibly craving something light after a healthy meal – congee is the comforting dish that will give you the reset you need. And by far the most popular congee in Chinese cuisine is none other than preserved egg congee. Why? Because preserved egg congee has a great balance of flavorful stewed pork blended in the congee combined with the silkiness of the century egg. Pair this congee with a plate of deep fried chinese donut and I’m in congee heaven. 

What is Congee “粥”?

Congee  is a kind of rice porridge that you boil with water and rice until the rice expands to make a kind of gruel texture. People in China eat congee as an everyday meal, whether it’s plain, or made with different kinds of meats, vegetables, and seafood to enhance the flavor. Congee was mostly consumed during times of famine in China as a way to stretch the rice supply to feed more people. One of the great things about congee is the versatility. Every region of China and countries such as Japan, Singapore, India, Korea, etc have their own variations of congee. 

What is a Preserved Egg or Century Egg?

Century egg? 1000-year old egg? Preserved egg? Millennium egg? Don’t worry, these preserved eggs haven’t literally been around for a thousand years. Century eggs can be made from duck, chicken, or quail eggs. The preservation of the eggs can last from several weeks to several months. This process is presumably the origin of the egg names. During the preservation process, the eggs are usually covered with rice hulls and a mix of clay, ash, and salt for the duration of the preserving process. The result is this beautiful grayish silky egg yolk with a black jelly egg white that delivers a punchy flavor. 

Notes

Texture of Congee

Silky smooth texture is the key to making a delicious congee. I’ve made congee a bunch of times but I was always curious about the varying degrees of smooth texture from other congees I’ve tried before. At first, I thought it was different grains of rice or a special ingredient, but what I’ve realized is that it’s all in… the temperature! I’ve cooked my congees in medium heat before and it’d turn out fine, but not as smooth as I’d had hoped it would be. But after playing around with the temp, I’ve found that keeping the congee cooked at a low temperature is the key to making the congee smooth and silky. Yes I realize it would take longer to cook, but like anything with cooking, it is well worth the wait, and makes the congee so much tastier. 

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of lean pork, 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup of rice, rinsed and drained
  • 2.8L water
  • 4 preserved eggs
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of salt
  • 1 sprig of green onion (garnish)

Preparation

  • Cube lean pork into 1-inch increments
  • Rinse rice 3 times with cold water

Instructions

  1. Bring 2.8L of water to boil on high heat. Parboil lean pork for 2 minutes and then rinse with cold water
  2. Once water is boiling, pour in rice and lean pork. Use two chopsticks to separate the lid and pot for partial aeration. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir congee every 15-20 minutes to prevent congee from burning and sticking to the bottom of the pot. 
  3. Cook congee for 1 ½ hours or until desired thickness is reached. 
  4. Peel preserved egg shell and slice into ½ inch pieces. Pour in eggs for the last 20 minutes of cooking congee. 
  5. Add 1 tablespoon of salt to taste and serve. Garnish with green onions and serve with a Chinese donut. 
Print

Century Egg Congee

Preserved Egg Congee

Congee  is a kind of rice porridge that you boil with water and rice until the rice expands to make a kind of gruel texture. Preserved egg congee has a great balance of flavorful stewed pork blended in the congee combined with the silkiness of the century egg.

  • Author: christine gong
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 1/2 hours
  • Total Time: 29 minute
  • Yield: 23 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Boil
  • Cuisine: Chinese

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 pound of lean pork, 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup of rice, rinsed and drained

  • 2.8L water

  • 4 preserved eggs

  • 1 ½ tablespoons of salt

  • 1 sprig of green onion (garnish)

Instructions

Notes

  • Cube lean pork into 1-inch increments
  • Rinse rice 3 times with cold water

Keywords: Preserved egg congee, century egg congee, 1000 egg story

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