Vile and stinky aside, it is black and jelly-like, and might seem hideous and disgusting to the uninitiated. But ..... century egg has many fans who would happily and greedily chow down on this smelly delicacy.
During my childhood, the only type of century eggs available were chicken eggs. But now we have duck century eggs. In fact there is also quail century eggs.
So, let's have a look.
The most common century egg is made with chicken eggs.
This particular century chicken eggs, distributed by Lau Kon Hing Eggs Dealer Sdn Bhd (LKH), is already cleaned and wrapped in paper. Century eggs are usually sold still coated in rice husks.
I also bought another batch distributed by Ladang Ternakan Prudence Sdn Bhd (LTP). As you can see, both the LKH and LTP duck century eggs are still coated in rice husks and are each wrapped in plastic.
The chicken century eggs which are already clean (and dipped in wax) makes it a lot easier because you just need to peel it and not have to struggle with the rice husk coating.
Century eggs are made by preserving eggs in a mixture of salt, lime and ash and then wrapped in rice husks. You have to remove the coating and it is quite difficult because the coating is quite firm and hard (like hardened mud). It is a very messy process because the rice husks and muddy mixture tends to drop everywhere.
I do it under running water (with a bowl to catch the drippings because I don't have a garbage disposal unit under my sink) and remove the coating as much as I can.
Many years ago I came across another brand of century eggs where the coating is dry and flaky and comes off very easily. I am still looking for it.
To peel the century egg, tap gently because the egg is very fragile (it is like jelly but slightly firmer) and carefully remove the shell. I find that it is helpful if my hands are wet because the egg tends to stick to my hands when they are dry.
If you want a neat slice (with minimal sticking of the yolks to the blade), wet your knife before you slice the egg.
I notice that century duck eggs are more fragile and I could not peel them as neatly as the century chicken eggs.
See that? There is more yolk content and the consistency is richer, ooey gooey soft and custard-like (because duck yolks have higher fat content).
So these days, I don't even bother with chicken century eggs. But I bought these just to show you (and remind myself) the difference.
Now I am comparing the duck century eggs between LTP and LKH. The LKH one has a yellow segment at the edge, maybe due to the length of preservation time or composition of the ingredients used for preservation.
Both are good.