Step 5: encase

Traditionally century eggs were rolled in mud then wrapped in rice husks and buried for a few more weeks. In this modern version I simply wrapped the eggs in several layers of clear plastic wrap then encased in modeling clay. This inhibits oxygen from reaching the eggs while they cure.

Be careful when encasing in clay as not to break the eggs. After wrapping I put all the eggs into a resealable bag and left for another 2 weeks. 
<p>I just started the process of making this, and I measured the lye and salt very carefully (within 1g of accuracy) but my eggs seem to be cracking open within 12 hours of submerging in brine. At least 3, maybe 4, out of a dozen chicken eggs have cracked a bit, but the membranes are mostly intact. My guess is due to osmosis, or maybe the egg shells are a bit thin. </p>
I have successfully made it today, followed exactly your instructions and steps. I cracked the egg and astonished with the transformation of the egg. Can't explain how happy I was. Thank you very much for your wonderful egg-xperiment!
<p>Glad it worked out for you! Your egg looks awesome, how did you enjoy the taste?</p><p>Thanks for sharing a picture, enjoy the Pro Membership!</p>
Dear author, thank you very much for the member you offered me. I sure will enjoy it very much. The taste is a little bitter on the amber part, muddy part tastes good, and it has the smell of clay, is it strange ?
<p>I wonder if sodium silicate could be used instead of the clay....</p>
Sodium silicate found in furnace cement should probably not be used. In my experience, it dries up really hard and is tough to remove. In the past, I've seen these eggs rolled up in a coat of (wood) ash. I assumed that it was also used to raise the pH
As those eggs aren't cooked, I am courious about germs.<br>Whats about bacteria like salmonella? Are they gone?<br>
I eat UNREFRIGERATED, RAW eggs all the time without incident. you can store them on the counter at room temp for at least two weeks. mercola.com even recommends it. what's more, salmonella is not a death sentence. eat farm fresh, free range, organic, anti biotic free and pesticide free as much as possible.
the curing process kills the microbes that would otherwise spoil the egg, that's why the egg can last as the name suggests a hundred years and still be edible. as long as you don't mind something that smells of rotten eggs, it takes a lot to attempt to eat one and is an aquired taste (not to mention texture) so they are safe to eat, but if they'll stay down, that depends on the person eating them. they were invented as a way to preserve eggs through the winter months back when there were no green houses pumping out fresh fruit all year round or imports from africa and south america in the corner shop less than a week after being picked. so it was an emergency solution that evolved into a delacacy
who cares about poison
I am not sure about the the germs issues, but I ate it from child till now, not cooked. But will cook with pork Congee most.
<p>Yuck! I hate Chinese food and drain cleaner is not food. The Chinese eat drain cleaner??? </p>
<p>Alright! I'm gonna start the process tonight! Thanks so much for this write-up! How in the world did you even get the asian century egg sensei's to give up their secrets??</p>
i had this in China a few years ago. everyone was freaked out by this and didn't try , but I didn't think it was bad. I'm interested to try it on my own. :-)
if i will use lye water.how many cups i need?
<p>See Step 2</p>
&quot;Drain opener&quot; style sodium hydroxide may contain heavy metals. You should really, really, find food grade lye online instead.
They taste like urine- andrew zimmerman - think thats how you spell it
In china there are eggs like this that are made really quickly but were kinda dangerous to eat (due to chemicals). but how does NaOH and NaCl pickle the egg?
I'm very concerned about the number of people I've seen referring to these as being made with &quot;drain cleaner&quot; (or some variation of that statement).<br> <br> Lye itself is corrosive but if it's used in the right amounts and carefully it is perfectly safe for preparing food (it is such a high pH base that it kills bacteria, similar to pickling with vinegar -- a low pH acid)<br> <br> But most dry &quot;Drain Cleaner&quot; usually contains bits of aluminum. The lye (NaOH), when it becomes liquid in water, reacts with the aluminum and creates:<br> - <strong>(A)</strong> bubbles,<br> - <strong>(B)</strong> heat... and lots of it. Enough to cause heat burns (I've seen it melt plastic bottles!). and then<br> - <strong>(C)</strong> the bubbles are likely <strong><em>pure Hydrogen</em></strong> -- thus, flammable or explosive!!<br> <br> As a Biology teacher (hence the &quot;BioT&quot; name) I made these in class but I also had to teach some Chemistry. I used to use this Lye + Water + Aluminum to show that it would make hydrogen. &nbsp;I collected the gas in a balloon in class. Then to prove it was Hydrogen I'd have someone ignite the balloon with a match at the end of a yard/meter stick. <em><strong>BOOM! &nbsp;&nbsp;</strong></em><br> <br> <em><strong>SO, I'M JUST SAYIN'</strong></em> -- #1. Don't use Draino, drain cleaner, etc... use plain old Lye (NaOH), <strong><em>and</em></strong> #2. Don't use the Lye if it might come in contact with Aluminum... the catalyst that causes it to release Hydrogen gas!<br> <br> Other than that, have fun and enjoy your eggs. They're good. As I said, we made these in my Biology class, too. But only a couple students were &quot;gutsy&quot; enough to try them. ;-)
Yes! I love these! Unfortunately, my wife just bought some, so she won't let me make them right now. I like to eat them sliced with soft tofu and thick soy sauce. Mmm! Now I just need to learn to make my own rice wine and tofu...
Often served in Chinese restaurants in Thailand - in Thai language referred to as &quot;horse urine eggs&quot; - go figure!<br><br>(It's the ammonia.)
Thanks - always wondered how they made them!<br>Here in thailand, these &quot;kai yeow maa&quot; (horse piss eggs) are used in a few dishes.<br>I would say the best is &quot;kai yeow maa gaprow grop&quot; which translates to horse piss eggs with crispy basil.<br>Simple recipe:<br>1. Heat oil in wok and flash fry basil leaves until crispy. Here we use holy basil which is slightly spicy. The fried basil loses most of its flavour though so any basil will probably do - it's for colour and texture anyway!<br><br>2. Quarter horse piss eggs and deep fry until outsides are a medium brown. Drain or put on paper to soak up excess oil.<br><br>3. Make a sauce using soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, chilis (optional but gooooood!), then corn or tapioca starch in water to thicken the sauce. Heat and simmer to thicken the sauce. Add basil leaves (lots) in the last 30 seconds of cooking.<br><br>Put the eggs on a plate, pour sauce over them, then sprinkle the fried leaves over top.<br>YUM!
Everyone thinking lye is artificial, lye is traditionally made by slowly leaching water through wood ash. The eggs might even be able to be considered an organic food. Powdered drain cleaner is lye+aluminum shavings+possibly color crystals, anti-clumping agents, fillers, etc.<br>
hi,<br><br>try eating them steamed. it takes the &quot;edge&quot; off the taste. Also, great steam with egg and salted egg!<br><br>
I am Chinese from Malaysia and in my country, we eat this with pickled sliced ginger and its taste is awesomely great. However, do take caution as this egg is high in cholesterol. Won't want to have heartattack after taking it...<br><br>To have this in Fear Factor, eating it will be a piece of cake...<br><br>Great stuff in sharing the &quot;Recipe&quot;....
DO NOT USE AN ALUMINUM POT FOR THIS!!!<br><br>See comment by submark on Step 1 page.
Correct me if I am wrong, but I think you could use; Pickling Lime (Calcium Hydroxide) to increase the Ph and remain food safe.
There is got to be a good way to keep the eggs submerged since that seems to be important. <br><br>You don't mention your gloves. Is that to protect you from the brine or the eggs from contamination? <br><br>As for &quot;Step 5 Encase&quot; - plastic wrap, modeling clay, and a resealable bag? Gosh, what happens if you don't do this well? Do the eggs go bad? Please define &quot;bad.&quot; :-) <br><br>Congrats on being Featured!
It is delicious, you can siliced and eat it cold paired with rehydrated Skitaki mushrooms , or my favorite with hot Pork Congee. Very good ible!
Very interesting instructable. I will pass on actually attempting to eat what looks like a rotten egg though - we throw those out around our house :-)
There's food grade lye available on the market. I'm not sure the difference, but it might be worth trying that over the lye marked &quot;drain cleaner&quot;...
The difference would be the purity with which it's manufactured. The food grade stuff they take precautions to make sure nobody sneezes in it and that there aren't any other chemicals in it. For this application it's not likely to make much of a difference since the shell of the egg makes a pretty good filter and the drain cleaner version is going to be at least as pure as the original salt-water and wood-ash recipe. Wash them before you crack them open.
DO NOT USE AN ALUMINUM POT OR UTENSILS WITH LYE OR OTHER STRONG BASES OR ACIDS!! THE CHEMICAL REACTION BETWEEN ALUMINUM AND STRONG BASES OR ACIDS CAN BE VIOLENT.<br>Sorry about the screaming, but this IS IMPORTANT.<br>A relative boiled a lye solution in an aluminum pot to make soap and the pot dissolved and caused severe chemical and heat burns to her. <br>Stainless steel or porcelain clad steel or iron are best and wooden spoons work really well with lye. A teflon coated aluminum pot with no scratches might be OK, but why chance it?<br>It would be best to heat the solution just enough to ensure that the lye/salt mixture dissolves completely. You are not sterilizing anything and boiling lye can spatter.
Could you bypass the plastic wrap and clay and just put the eggs in a plastic bag and vaccuum seal it?<br><br>I thought it was the minerals from the mud that infused the egg thru osmosis that caused the color and flavor/smell.... ?
I am speechless which is not me, I come from a catering back ground and have been asked to make many food oddities over the years, where were you 10 years ago?, when I was asked if I could make these for a Multi-cultural event. I could not have made these because of the lye but I am sure there has to be a health Department acceptable alternative out there for the lye! Great Post! CJB
I agree with Tony. I've always been told NOT to drink the stuff under the kitchen sink. I'm glad this worked out for you but I'll make sure to have poison control on speed dial if I ever muster up the courage to try this.
I live in China and there's a lady selling these just outside my apartment. She also has a larger varient where the white turns a black colour. I never knew they were called Century eggs. <br>I have also eaten them back home in the UK, where they were described as the blue cheese of the east!<br>The worst thing about them is the texture, especially the yolk with can stick to your mouth, they taste pretty good.
This is a fantastic ible... but I'm sorry - I just feel sick looking at the zombiefied eggs. You are a bigger man that me. Your dangly bits must be gigantic! I shall pass on this one.
What she said.
This is a Chinese traditional snack food but not for rice, I like it . Of course, I am Chinese. It better to match with &quot;gari&quot; or &quot;sugar&quot; together, Or match with congee. It's rich taste and very nice. But the smell is a little special. If you try it, you will never stop. But we don't suggest to eat it always.
I didn't know that only the yolk of the egg became the blackish colour, I always thought it was the whole egg. I've only ever eaten them cut into bits but I do not recall seeing any amber part.. Is the amber part also safe/tasty to eat or is it discarded and only the yolk eaten?<br><br>Either way I'm gonna make these. My colleagues already think I always eat weird stuff and this will be a great way to keep them freaked :D
Being Chinese, I have had the before. They are very tasty in my opinion. My sister has different thoughts. <br><br>(Also just to get this straight it is 1000 year eggs if you use abit of translation but most Chinese people won't penalize you for it.
Im so excited to do this, its like bizarre foods i would love to try all the stuff on that show. Well Im going to make a youtube video. We will see how my ulcerative colitis likes this !
Wow... just wow.<br><br>I don't know what the natural foodies would say about eating eggs pickled in drain cleaner.
Wow I'm impressed, this is totally hard core! I bought a package of 6 because I like them in Jook (rice porridge) however I didn't realize that eating them alone would be...well pungent. They don't call them horse urine eggs for nothing...it's not the taste, it's the smell. But seriously these things are like blue cheese, small bits make a great impact. <br> <br>Now I just get them when I get porridge...no more trying to tough my way through 6 of those babies at a time :) <br> <br>My hat is off to you sir!
You are a brave man Mikeasaurus. I'm kind of afraid of foods preserved with lye . . . still, I've always said I'd try anything once, so I'd give these a whirl. Definitely a scary concept though. <br><br>The pictures in this one are great, they really capture the detail of the changed egg. Excellent instructable!
These must be really hit the spot after a nintey-nine year famine. MMM-mmm good.
I actually read the history of these eggs some time ago. <br><br>They smell like amonia dont they? <br>
Awesome ible! I am happy I have never been offered one of these though. I have a weak stomach! I will be checking back to see all the daring people who have eaten these! Thanks for sharing. Your ibles are always interesting!<br>sunshiine

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