What Do Century Eggs Taste Like? A Detailed Answer

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Your penchant for trying out trending foods abruptly stopped when the next item on your list was century eggs. Well, you have heard a lot about it, but you are reluctant to give it a try (obviously!) Are you wondering, “what do century eggs taste like?” The whole article is your answer to that.

Century Eggs

Century eggs have a complex flavor profile. They have a salty, creamy, and succulent taste and a pungent aroma with a smooth, creamy texture. The taste of century eggs can be compared to that of a ripe blue cheese with a subtle hint of ammonia. 

Believe me; you have got to know about century eggs before trying them out. That is because several myths and misconceptions cloud these eggs. Shall we start dealing with century eggs and their taste right away?

What Are Century Eggs?

Let me start with the names of century eggs (It is going to be a while, so bear with me). Century eggs are also preserved eggs, hundred-year eggs, thousand-year eggs, thousand-year-old eggs, century-old eggs, millennium eggs, skin eggs, black eggs, and old eggs.

Century eggs refer to a Chinese dish that comprises duck, chicken, or quail eggs preserved in a mixture of clay, ash, salt, quicklime, and rice hulls. These eggs are preserved for many weeks or months based on the production method. This preservation changes the egg white into a gelatinous, dark brown, or black colored one while the inner yolk becomes green in color. 

Contrary to popular belief, century eggs are not 100 years old. The term is a reference to the preservation process, which is time-consuming.

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What Do Century Eggs Taste Like?

Coming to the important (and disturbing, perhaps) question of the day – what do century eggs taste like? Ready to know in detail about the taste of century eggs?

Century eggs have a rich, complex, and bold flavor profile. They have a salty taste and a succulent flavor. The yolk has a cheesy taste, and the whites have a translucent, jelly-like consistency. A pungent, sulfuric smell or an ammonia scent is unmissable from century eggs. The taste of century eggs can be deemed to be that of ripe blue cheese. 

Are Century Eggs Nasty?

I can very well understand why someone might come up with this question, “are century eggs nasty?”. Care to weigh in?

Century eggs have a complex taste. Though it is considered a delicacy, many can find century eggs to be nasty, considering their unpleasant smell similar to ammonia or sulfur. The pungent odor accompanying century eggs does not mean it is rotten (however, too intense the smell indicates it has gone bad).

Does A Century Egg Taste Good?

Century egg is a Chinese culinary dish that is considered a delicacy. In fact, it has been one of the trending foods for a while. What does that tell you about its taste?

Century egg has a delicious, creamy, salty taste with a smooth, jelly-like texture. A century egg’s taste depends on the flavors used in the making. A century egg tastes good if you love flavors in your food. 

There are many ways by which a century egg can be made and served, giving its unique, good taste. A few popular ways to make a century egg taste good are to pair it with vinegar and a mix of spices and soy sauce. 

What Does A Century Egg Smell Like?

It is not always about the taste, isn’t it? We need a rich aroma to tempt us to try something new. If that’s the case, you will not like what is coming.

A century egg has a rich, succulent flavor, no doubt. The smell of a century egg is similar to that of ammonia – it has a pungent smell as that of ripe, blue cheese. 

The unique aroma of century eggs comes from ammonia and hydrogen sulfide resulting from protein degradation. The smell can also be compared to that of a funky cheese. Of course, there is a divided opinion – some even claim that fresh, century eggs have no unpleasant odor. 

How To Tell If Century Eggs Have Gone Bad?

Though century eggs can last a long time, they don’t last perennially though. There is a simple way to tell if century eggs have gone bad. Fill a bowl with fresh water and drop the eggs gently into it. If the eggs do not sink and float on the top of the container, it means that the century eggs have gone bad. 

How To Make And Preserve Century Eggs?

Let us divide and conquer, shall we? We will first look at how to make century eggs and then how to preserve them.


  • Sodium hydroxide
  •  Salt
  •  Chicken egg (duck or quail egg)


  • Prepare the pickling solution first by mixing water (1 l), Sodium hydroxide (42 g), and Sodium chloride (72 g).
  • Place the eggs in a glass jar and pour the pickling solution over them. The eggs should be fully submerged in the solution.
  • Store the jar in a cool place at a temperature between 15-20°C (60-70°F) for about 10 days.
  • After 10 days, discard the brine solution and remove the eggs from the jar. Rinse the eggs with water and dry them well.
  • Initially, the eggs were rolled in mud and then wrapped in rice husks. Nowadays, the eggs can be wrapped in plastic wraps and then encased in clay. After encasing, the eggs should be put in a resealable egg and left for two weeks.
  • After a month, the eggs should be carefully removed from the encasement and wrapped, and you can see the transformation and be amazed at how you have transformed them!

Preserving Century Eggs

  • It is not advisable to preserve the ‘already preserved’ century eggs in the refrigerator since such low-temperature storage can affect the color of the eggs.
  • Being a preserved delicacy, century eggs can stay for a long time if they are unopened and unrefrigerated.
  • Leftover century eggs can be preserved in a plastic bag and kept in a cool, ventilated place. This way, the eggs can be preserved for about three months.

How To Cook Century Eggs?

Hi, there! Did I forget that century eggs need no cooking to be enjoyed? (Yeah, we are supposed to devour the raw, preserved eggs…hmmm). But there are ways by which we can use century eggs in recipes. You don’t need any cooking to cook century eggs. In fact, you just break them open to use them in whatever recipes you intend to make. You can also chop or slice them lengthwise.

Can You Eat Raw Century Eggs?

Century eggs are, in fact, eaten raw. They are used for cooking after a clay or rice straw layer is removed and peeled off. Century eggs are a no-cooking-required delicacy that can be enjoyed in various ways using flavorful recipes. 

Different Ways To Eat Century Eggs

Now is the time to know about the different ways to eat century eggs. Century eggs can be eaten hot, cold, served in a salad, or cooked in a broth. 

Century eggs are chopped and sliced lengthwise and used as a topper on foods with a bland flavor, such as rice and tofu. Cantonese-style congee is one of the popular recipes by which you can truly enjoy the taste of century eggs. 

Century eggs can also be baked and stuffed into a pastry dessert. They can also be sliced into quarters and then fried with Sichuan peppercorns, chiles, and garlic. These are then tossed in a mix that is based on soy sauce.

Health Benefits Of Century Eggs

Ready to hear the health benefits of the centenarian? I am sorry, the century eggs? 

  • Century eggs are a great source of iron, selenium, and Vitamin D.
  • They contain high amounts of protein, more than any other egg.
  • They are low in carbohydrates.
  • They help in lowering blood pressure and improving appetite.
  • They boost the functioning of the liver and improve vision.

Nutritional Content Of Century Eggs

In a 100gm serving of century eggs, the following nutritional values are observed:

Total Fat9.6 g
Saturated Fat8.9 g
Sodium810 mg
Total Carbs3 g
Total Sugars1 g
Protein13 g

Final Word

That was everything that you needed to know about century eggs and their taste. I hope the article did a good job of giving a neat idea about the taste of century eggs. Century eggs are a kind of preserved eggs that could be either that of chicken, ducks, or quails. They are preserved in a briny solution of water, salt, and sodium hydroxide. 

They have a salty taste and a succulent flavor with a hint of ammonia. They are considered a delicacy and boast impressive nutritional values. So, what stops you now? Try those eggs, and let me know how well you liked them in the comments section. See you soon with another article!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the century egg made from horse urine?

It is a false conception that a century egg is made from horse urine.

Are 100 year old eggs actually 100 years old?

No, 100 year old eggs or century eggs are not really 100 years old. They are called so implying the fact that it takes a long time to prepare and preserve them before they are ready to be consumed.

Why are century eggs black?

Century eggs are black in color as a result of a chemical reaction called the Maillard reaction. This is a natural browning reaction that gets intensified in a highly alkaline environment. Since century eggs are preserved in a briny solution containing sodium hydroxide, which is alkaline, the eggs turn dark brown or black in color. 

Why are my century eggs yellow?

If century eggs are made with lead oxide, they can be yellow in color. Lead oxide seals the pores on eggshells. Oxygen oxidizes the eggs and that makes them yellow. 

Do you refrigerate century eggs?

It is not necessary to refrigerate century eggs since they are already preserved. But they can be kept fresh if refrigerated properly.

How do I know if my century egg is bad?

Drop the century egg carefully in a bowl of fresh water. If it floats on top of the water, it has gone bad.

How long are century eggs preserved?

Century eggs are preserved for one or two months. 

Are century eggs safe to eat?

If made correctly, century eggs are safe to eat. They should be devoid of any mold or bacteria. 

Are century eggs toxic?

Century eggs are not toxic if they are prepared and preserved the right ways. Changes in the preparation process such as the use of lead oxide can make them toxic.

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