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How to Make – Century Egg & Pork Congee 皮蛋瘦肉粥

thousand year old egg pork congee


Congee is the perfect way to warm up during the winter months.  In Northern China, we eat our congees plain, with an array of flavourful condiments such as pickled vegetables, peanuts and fermented beancurd.  In Southern China, meat and other ingredients are typically incorporated into the congee during the cooking process, in addition to broth or salt.  Thousand year old egg and shredded pork congee (皮蛋瘦肉粥) is a popular dish to order during dimsum, and a distinctively Southern Chinese fare.  Even a Northerner like me can’t resist making this comfort dish at home.  Pungent gelatinous dices of thousand year old eggs (or century eggs) are slow simmered with pre-cooked pork  to produce a fragrant, rich congee.  The secret, lies in the rice, which breaks down to a pulpy rich porridge.  Here’s our recipe for this warming breakfast favourite.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1/2 cup short-grained rice
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1.5 cup pre-cooked pork
  • 2 century eggs
  • scallions, for garnish
  • white pepper powder, for garnish

Prep Time:  10 minutes, pre-soak rice overnight

Cook Time:  2 hours

In order for the rice to break down easily, pre-soak the batch overnight in a bowl of water.  Wash and drain rice before cooking.


congee rice


Century eggs, or thousand year old eggs, have been a part of Chinese culinary traditions for at least half a millennium.  The slight alkaline or ammonia taste of the eggs is achieved through a preserving process spanning over several months, when the eggs are coated in a mixture of clay, ash, salt, quicklime and rice hulls.  This process also forms crystallines in the whites of the eggs, giving them the characteristic “snow flake” or “pine branch” look.

Dice the eggs into medium size cubes.  I simply adore the intricate patterns on the eggs!


thousand year old egg congee


thousand year egg


Dice up the cooked pork into similar sized cubes.  This is a great way to use up leftover pork.  I used the leftovers from the previous night’s suckling pig.


thousand year old egg congee


In a rice cooker, pour in the pre-soaked rice, 5 cups of liquid (broth and water), and allow to simmer for 1.5 hours, or until the rice kernels break down to a pulpy consistency.  Mix in the pork and century eggs, and allow this to cook for a further 30 minutes.  Check for seasoning, add salt if needed.

Garnish with chopped scallions and white pepper powder.  Bon Appetit! 


thousand year old egg congee


  1. Hello, really interesting cooking recipe and very nice photos! Can everybody make these “Century Eggs”? Or is anything special needed, like bacteria, enzyme or anything like this?
    Greetings from Hamburg/ Germany 8)

    • Hi Daniel, that’s a great question! Century egg would need to be coated in a special blend of minerals and cured for months before it turns that unique black colour. I would suggest that it’s best to buy them instead from a Chinese grocer, as it might take several months of trial and error otherwise to perfect the aging process, also I’d be worried about food safety. However, I’d love to hear your experience if you do try to make this yourself! Would be an interesting project :)


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