自製黃金皮蛋【爆醬溏心這樣做】為甚麼你的皮蛋總是不成功 Are You Ready for Century Eggs Challenge

一顆引發中西舌戰的蛋❗️究竟有多好吃⁉️ 松花蛋 @beanpandacook ​

 

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The first mistake that many people make when learning to cook or bake is assuming that all ingredients are of equal quality. The first problem that arises from failure is always assuming that the recipe is wrong, rather than questioning whether the ingredients and tools used are the same as the author’s or whether the environment is the same. Although century eggs are not fermented foods, the process is similar to any fermentation recipe I have made in the past, and it is a craft that is greatly influenced by external factors. Even slight deviations such as differences in the size, weight, quality, brining time, batter thickness, and temperature changes between day and night can greatly affect the speed of protein denaturation. The changes in century eggs are different every day and with each batch. If success is achieved once, it may be due to good luck. If you want to achieve consistent quality or the desired color and texture every time, you need to understand the relationship between alkalization and temperature environment.  

By using an alkaline substance or solution to pickle eggs, the pH value inside the egg is increased. The alkaline substance breaks down the protein, causing the egg white to become a semi-transparent, elastic jelly-like substance, and the yolk to become a solid, elastic, dark green substance. The texture of the yolk is like crab roe when it is still runny. The taste of the century egg comes from the amino acids that make up the protein. After decomposition, it produces a flavor of ammonia and hydrogen sulfide, which is slightly similar to the smell of ammonia.

Century egg powder contains ingredients such as plant ash, quicklime, clay, and sodium carbonate (commonly known as pure alkali or baking soda). The pH value of the century egg powder has been adjusted, so there is no need to add rice husks or plant ash, which may alter the original proportion. Alkali can corrode metal utensils, so it is recommended to use a glass bowl to contain it. The alkaline substances used in different regions may vary, and plant ash from different plant species may have different pH values after combustion. The lack of consistency in raw materials may result in a higher failure rate. Whether it is sodium carbonate, quicklime, or sodium hydroxide, they are all strong alkaline substances. Using them separately without proper chemical handling experience can be dangerous. It is safer to use commercially available century egg powder rather than attempting to make it from any type of pure alkali. It is not recommended to try to make century egg powder on your own.

Some people use sodium hydroxide (commonly known as caustic soda) to make century eggs, which is dangerous and not recommended. Sodium hydroxide is a strong alkaline substance that can cause corrosion and should not be used for food production or come into direct contact with skin. Accidental contact with a heat source such as residual heat from a stove can also cause splashing and burns to the skin. If you are not familiar with handling chemicals, do not attempt to use it.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine theory, century eggs have a cooling nature and are suitable to be eaten with vinegar-soaked ginger. Homemade century eggs are much tastier than those bought outside.

Ingredients

  • Century Egg Powder 300 g (1 pack of 150g each)
  • Coarse Salt 40 g
  • Pu’er Tea Leaves 20 g
  • Hot Water 300 ml + 15 ml (for brewing tea)

 

  • Fresh Duck Eggs 24
  • Fresh Chicken Eggs 24
  • Fresh Quail Eggs 24

【皮蛋粉】

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Choosing Eggs

  • Duck eggs, chicken eggs, and quail eggs can all be used to make century eggs.
  • The size of the eggs affects the maturation time – the larger the egg, the longer the maturation time.
  • Fresh eggs have a higher success rate.
  • Avoid using eggs that have been refrigerated or washed with water.
  • The eggs should not touch or have any cracks.

Tea Leaves

Pu’er tea or any tea of your choice can be used. Black tea or green tea can also be used. The tea color has a slight effect on the color of the century eggs, but the color depth is mainly determined by the temperature.

Instructions

Brew the tea leaves in boiling water and let it steep for 10 minutes with the lid on. This will create a bitter tea. Pour it out and let it cool.

Century egg powder contains a stronger alkaline substance than baking soda, so if you have sensitive skin, be sure to wear gloves when handling it.

Mix the century egg powder and coarse salt in a bowl. Gradually add the cooled tea to the mixture, stirring with chopsticks. Century egg powder contains quicklime, which heats up when it comes into contact with water. To prevent splashing and burns, the cooled tea should be added gradually. Different brands of century egg powder have different water absorption rates. Adding the tea a little at a time makes it easier to control the consistency, so the mixture is not too thin or too thick. After mixing, let it sit for about 1 hour.

Before using, mix the mixture again. The paste should stick to the chopsticks. Test the consistency by dipping quail eggs into the mixture. The quail eggs are light and should float, indicating that the consistency is about right. Chicken and duck eggs are heavier and should be completely covered with the mixture. The mixture should not be too thick, or it will have an overpowering alkaline taste. It should not be too thin, or it will not stick to the eggshell.

FermentationRoom Temperature 26~28°C

The ideal temperature for making century eggs is between 20-26°C. The temperature difference between day and night should not be too large. Prepare a paper box and place some foam pads or cloth inside. After wrapping the eggs with the mixture, put them directly into plastic bags without drying them. During the fermentation period, the mixture should be kept moist and should not dry out too quickly. The plastic bag should be tightly attached to the surface of the eggshell and sealed.

Put 6-8 eggs in each plastic bag and put the next batch in another bag to prevent them from getting crushed. Duck and chicken eggs take longer to mature, so they should be placed on the bottom. Quail eggs mature faster and can be placed in a separate bag on top for easy access. Seal the bags, label them with the date, and keep them away from children and pets. Temperature is crucial for making century eggs. Do not move or shake the bags during fermentation, and keep them away from light and heat sources.

HarvestingRoom Temperature 26~28°C

Quail eggs are smaller in size and can be harvested on the 4th day. Wash off the alkaline mixture on the surface of the eggshell with clean water to stop the fermentation process. Be gentle when cleaning as the quail eggshells are fragile.

At the same time, take out some duck or chicken eggs for comparison. Gently crack the eggshells and carefully peel them. Boil them in water for 7-8 minutes and rinse them in cold water for 3 minutes to make them easier to peel.

To observe the freshly harvested eggs, peel them right after cleaning. Quail eggs can solidify into a complete shape on the 4th day.

On the 4th day, the egg white of duck eggs is not fully solidified and cannot withstand pressure. The egg yolk is still in a liquid state.

Day 7Chicken Eggs

❶❶ From the 6th to 7th day, take one egg out every day, wash off the mixture, observe the progress of the coagulation of the egg white and yolk, and the color changes of the egg white and yolk. Determine whether to extend the maturation time.

❶❷ On the 7th day, the egg white is in a soft jelly-like state that has just solidified. It is stickier to the eggshell, lacks toughness, and is easy to collapse. The hardness is not enough to maintain its shape. When cut open, the egg yolk is still in a liquid state.

❶❸ Chicken eggs, quail eggs, and duck eggs can be harvested after about 4 days.

Day 9Chicken Eggs

❶❹ Under high temperature and high pH conditions, the sulfur amino acids in the egg white react with the iron in the egg yolk to produce ferrous sulfide, which turns the outer layer of the egg yolk grey-green and permeates into the egg white, causing it to turn amber or black. From observations, the higher the pH value of the protein, the higher the heating temperature, and the longer the heating time, the more significant the color change.

Day 10Chicken Eggs

❶❺ As time goes by, the hardness of the egg white gel increases, and the color gradually darkens to become amber. The elasticity becomes better and is not sticky to the touch. The egg white still adheres slightly to the eggshell, but the hardness can maintain its shape after peeling.

Day 11Chicken Eggs

❶❻ This batch has matured in an air-conditioned room with little temperature difference, maintaining a stable temperature between 26-28°C. The hardness and color changes gradually progress. The egg white gel has a certain degree of hardness. Although it is not easy to peel off the eggshell, when cut open, the egg white cross-section is smooth and the egg yolk is paste-like. The smaller quail eggs turn black. For those who prefer a runny yolk, the fermentation process can be stopped on this day.

Day 13Chicken Eggs

❶❼ After peeling the eggshell, the surface of the egg white remains smooth, and the hardness of the egg white can maintain its complete shape, tight and not sticky to the touch. The runny yolk becomes smaller, and the egg white shrinks to form a round bottom. When this result is observed, the eggs should be washed off the mixture and the alkalization process stopped in time.

Day 14Duck Eggs

❶❽ Duck eggs are slightly larger than chicken eggs and take 1-2 extra days to mature at the same temperature (26°C)

Day 15Duck Eggs

❶❾ After the salted duck eggs have matured, if the alkaline mixture is not washed off to stop the alkalization process, the egg white in contact with the alkaline substance for too long or sudden temperature increase may start to dissolve. The egg white cannot solidify and will become like broken jelly.

Day 16Duck Eggs

The salted duck eggs may start to hydrolyze on the 16th day. It is important to avoid placing them near heat-generating appliances. In summer, an environment with a large temperature difference is not suitable for making salted duck eggs, otherwise, the effort will be in vain.

PreservationRoom Temperature 30°C or Above

❷❶ I simulated room temperature of 30°C using a fermentation box and kept it at a constant temperature of 30°C. On the 4th day, the high temperature accelerated the denaturation of the egg white. The egg white turned into a deep amber gel in only 3-4 days, but the egg yolk was still semi-raw.

❷❷ Salted duck eggs matured at high temperatures have a stronger alkaline taste. Even if they are kept for a few days or boiled in water to remove the taste, it is difficult to eliminate the strong ammonia smell.

❷❸ On the 6th day at a constant temperature of 30°C, the egg white of the salted duck eggs alkalized at high temperatures cannot maintain the gel-like state for a long time. If the temperature rises slightly, the egg white will turn back to liquid overnight. It is difficult to determine the harvesting time, and the failure rate is high. Once the egg white hydrolyzes, it cannot be reversed, and the whole batch of eggs will become watery, wasting eggs and time. Salted duck eggs that have started to hydrolyze have a very strong alkaline taste and are not recommended to be made in an environment above 29°C.

❷❹ If the eggshell is broken during the preservation process, the alkaline substance will directly contact the egg white, causing it to oxidize and become an opaque hard lump with a strong alkaline taste that cannot be eaten.

 

 

PreservationLow Temperature Maturation at 4~6°C

❷❺ Low temperature can be used to make golden crystal salted duck eggs. The method of making the alkaline mixture is the same as before. After putting the eggs in and evenly coating them with the mixture, put the eggs into the refrigerator for low-temperature maturation. It is suitable to use an enamel container in the refrigerator to avoid accumulating moisture.

❷❻ The refrigerator temperature is set at 4~6°C, and the salted duck eggs need to be refrigerated for at least 40 days. Alkalization still occurs at low temperatures, but the process is very slow.

❷❼ Quail eggs and duck eggs stop alkalization at the same time. The temperature in the refrigerator is stable and there is almost no temperature difference. The salted duck eggs are slowly and stably salted at low temperatures. After the egg white solidifies, it maintains a golden color and has a mild saltiness. Even if the harvesting is delayed for a few days, the egg white will not hydrolyze overnight, and there will be no huge losses due to the failure of the whole batch. The eggs have excellent elasticity.

Termination of PreservationCleaning

❷❽ After peeling an egg to confirm that it is mature enough, the entire batch of eggs can be put into clean water. Wear plastic gloves to wash off the alkaline mixture. The water used for cleaning contains mud, so do not pour it into the sink to avoid clogging. It can be poured into the toilet and flushed away.

【保存♦常溫風乾】

❷❾ 洗掉糊漿,擦乾水份,放在陰涼空氣流通處,常溫可保存約 56 個月,避免碰撞、潮濕、沾水,若蛋殼有裂縫,放一天便開始發臭,時間長了還會長出蟲子,長蟲子的蛋我就不給大家看了

蛋殼有細毛孔,被蛋殼保護的皮蛋水份慢慢流失,皮蛋洗乾淨放冰箱容易脫水,蛋白乾燥收縮變硬,蛋體變小,質感變硬像石頭

Crystallization

❸❶ After air-drying the salted duck eggs with the shell still on at room temperature for a period of time, crystallization occurs as a result of the decomposition of the egg white protein into amino acids. When the egg yolk components move towards the egg white, irregular crystals are formed. Regardless of the maturity temperature and color, as long as there is good ventilation, crystallization will occur over time.

❸❷ If the alkaline mixture is washed off and the shell is peeled immediately without air-drying, the texture of the salted duck egg will be soft and tender. The longer the air-drying time, the harder the egg white and yolk will become, and the elasticity will not be as tender and chewy as when it is freshly mature.

Consumption

❸❸ Peel the shell off the salted duck eggs before consumption. Boil the salted duck eggs with the shell on in boiling water for 6-7 minutes, or steam them for 5 minutes to remove some of the alkaline taste.

❸❹ Crack the cooked salted duck eggs and immediately put them into cold water. The eggshells can be easily peeled off. The salted duck eggs can be eaten raw after maturation. After peeling, it is best to consume the salted duck eggs within 2 hours.

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