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Preserved Duck Eggs aka Thousand Year Eggs - Best commercial version found!

Charles Yu Oct 13, 2010 06:18 PM

This posting might appeal to fellow chowhounders especially those from the Orient and Hong Kong who had acquired the taste of this delicacy. To most foodies, the reference yard stick is the ' sugar center, soft runny yolk' version from Hong Kong's Michelin 1* restaurant, Yung Kee. Perfectly cured and preserved, the texture and taste can be very addictive! In fact, nowadays, some foodie afficiandos are pairing red wine with this in lieu of cheese!
In the past, commercial versions of these were mostly made in China, of mediocre quality and using lead infested caustic compound to cure the eggs. Also, the yolk is usually hard and the texture unappealing.
Now, come the great news! Today, at T&T, I bought a six-pack of ' LEAD FREE, Made in Taiwan - Sugar center, runny yolk, preserved duck eggs' by ' Kuo Hua Trading Company. Though not the Michelin standard of Yung Kee, this product is IMO about 90% of the real thing!! Lovely runny yolk, just like a molten chocolate cake!
BTW, in addition to the taste, these eggs apparently increases the good HDL of cholesterol and its alkaline property even has super anti-oxidant property!! Thousand year health food! Ha!!

  1. sweetie Oct 14, 2010 10:24 AM

    Thanks Charles. Not that I need an excuse to eat pei dan, but now I feel a little better about it.
    Can't wait to try these.

    1. a
      acd123 Oct 14, 2010 10:47 AM

      What restaurants in the City make their own? I had some in Bangkok (with runny yolk), and they were awesome.

      1 Reply
      1. re: acd123
        Charles Yu Oct 14, 2010 03:12 PM

        None! Not in Toronto! But tons in Hong Kong!

      2. l
        Learn2CooknEat Oct 14, 2010 10:48 AM

        Hey Charles, many are now Made in Taiwan and they have website with details more so than the Made in China ones which still come wrapped with Rice Chafe & Clay. The previous traditional preparation method is not as healthy/safe as the modern method but when you have chemical elements transforming the original state of any item, just make sure you eat it in moderation no matter how they lure you on the wrapper.

        1. jingloh Oct 14, 2010 12:31 PM

          I haven't had Pei Dan in a long time! Occasionally add it to my congee, but it's great on its own as an appetizing dish. I would love to know if any restaurants here make it on their own. Otherwise your suggestion at T&T will certainly do! Thanks Charles.

          1. mrsleny Oct 14, 2010 12:43 PM

            The last time I had preserved eggs was when I was young (over 30 years ago!). I didn't know it could be done with runny yolk. I have to go get some now.

            Thanks Charles.

            1. t
              tarteaucitron Oct 14, 2010 08:08 PM

              I recall posting a while back to ask for exactly this. So, thanks for the good news, especially that you know to compare with those made at Yung Kee. I wish they do not limit them to eat-in only, because you can only eat and order so much of this black gold in one sitting! May I ask which T&T you got these from?

              On the other hand, I got so excited about this that I googled and found the link to the distributor you mentioned. I recognize the brand and packaging right away as the default that I always get, because T&T always carries them. But I find that the quality varies. In fact, I wasn't very happy with the last few boxes because the yolks and whites were quite solid. I believe that a runny yolk relies a good part on the eggs not having been preserved for too long, if I remember correctly. And since they typically do not put a manufacturing date on the box, I am still looking to solve this riddle (of being able to identify a good pei dan).

              http://www.kuohua.com/English/Non_Sta...

              1. s
                szw Oct 15, 2010 06:09 AM

                I have eaten Pei Dan my whole life but never had anything either than the regular grocery store types you get here. Looking forward to trying this!

                BTW anybody seen these in other Chinese grocery stores? I avoid T&T for the most part.

                2 Replies
                1. re: szw
                  Charles Yu Oct 15, 2010 06:25 AM

                  Most Chinese grocery stores like Foody Mart and Bayview Foodmart carry a number of different name brand Taiwanese 'Lead free, sugar centered runny yolk' versions. The secret, I guess is for one to try them one by one and pick one's personal favourite?! For example. at T&T, there was a 'four' pack which I tried that has the runniest yolk but I found the flavour a bit mild.

                  1. re: Charles Yu
                    l
                    Learn2CooknEat Oct 15, 2010 02:27 PM

                    It might be a trend as well that there's runny yolk versions. Awhile back In Toronto, most Hong Kong or Southern Chinese use Preserved Duck Eggs in Congee or Steamed Eggs, but now you will notice there's more Northern Chinese and Taiwanese flavours in Toronto leading to more uncooked/cold appetizers such as dishes like Tofu/Preserved Egg with Soya Sauce that needs such a requirement for Preserved Duck Eggs.

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