Cantonese congee with century eggs and minced pork

Society & Culture

A classic Cantonese congee called "century egg and minced pork congee," featuring century eggs (a.k.a., thousand-year-old eggs): duck eggs preserved in a mixture of clay, ash, tea leaves, salt, quicklime, and rice hulls.

I’ve been having lots of congee recently, to ease stomach pains after I indulged in too much spicy street food at irregular times during a business trip last week. Congee (粥 zhōu) is a rice porridge that is thick and silky, believed to promote health and relieve inflammation. Because it’s easily digested, congee warms up the body and nourishes the immune system.

The congee can be sweet, savory, or plain, depending on the toppings you choose. In this recipe, I’ll show you how to make a classic Cantonese congee called century egg and minced pork congee (皮蛋瘦肉粥 pí dàn shòu ròu zhōu).

We’ve covered Chinese tea eggs before, but century eggs (皮蛋 pí dàn), also known as thousand-year-old eggs, are duck eggs preserved in a mixture of clay, ash, tea leaves, salt, quicklime, and rice hulls for several weeks or months. The eggs have a unique umami that may be stinky at first, but the salty, jelly egg white and the creamy yolk takes over, and will amaze you. Sliced century egg can also be served as an appetizer.

You can find ready-to-eat century eggs at an Asian supermarket. When you cut into the eggs, make sure to rinse your knife so that the yolk doesn’t get stuck to the knife.

I prefer using an instant pot to cook congee, as it requires less effort and generates the best result. A stovetop version will also be provided in the end.

YIELD

Serves 4

TIME

2 hours, 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup white rice
  • 50 grams (1/3 cup) minced pork
  • 1 tablespoon cooking wine
  • 1 slice ginger, shredded
  • 2 century eggs, sliced
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • A drizzle of sesame oil (optional)
  • Water

century egg and minced pork congee 2

INSTRUCTIONS (INSTANT POT)

  1. Marinate for 20 minutes: minced pork with 1 tablespoon of cooking wine, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, a pinch of black pepper, shredded ginger, the white part of the green onion.
  2. Gently rinse the rice a few times and drain well.  Combine the marinated pork, washed rice, and enough water (as instructed by your instant pot). Cook for two hours under the congee/porridge mode.
  3. Add the sliced century eggs and green onion to the pot when there is 30 minutes left. Stir to mix well.
  4. When it’s done, transfer the congee to small bowls. Add a drizzle of sesame oil (optional) and black pepper to taste. Serve hot.

INSTRUCTIONS (STOVE)

  1. Marinate for 20 minutes: minced pork with 1 tablespoon of cooking wine, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, a pinch of black pepper, shredded ginger, the white part of the green onion.
  2. Gently rinse the rice a few times and soak in water with 1 tablespoon of sesame oil (optional) for 30 minutes.
  3. Combine the soaked rice and 4 cups of water in a big pot.  Bring the pot to a boil.
  4. Add the marinated pork and sliced century eggs to the pot. When it boils again, turn to medium-low heat and simmer covered for 30 minutes.
  5. When the congee reaches the desired texture, add chopped green onion to the pot and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  6. Transfer the congee to small bowls. Add black pepper and salt to taste. Serve hot.

century egg and minced pork congee 3


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