How To Make Homemade Century Egg? Today’s video is on how to make Pidan like I’ve filmed about before.
Let’s first talk about its name; It’s usually called Pidan, Songhwadan, or Pyundan.
Each region calls it differently.
If it’s made from duck eggs, some regions call it Songhwadan.
If it’s made from chicken eggs, it’s called Hyundai.
They have different names for it across China.
So if you’re unfamiliar, it’s understandable to get them mixed up.
Therefore, I’ll be tackling this from a more theoretical perspective.
In reality, Songhwadan, Pidan, and Pyundan are all the same thing.
I’ll just refer to it as Pidan from now on.
How To Make Homemade Century Egg?
But since we’ll be using different types of egg, Depending on the ingredient, I’ll specify it like “quail egg pidan,” “egg pidan,” or “duck egg pidan.”
Regardless of the type of egg you use, you first need to get some pidan powder that looks like this.
The ingredients of Pidan powder are simple.
It’s plant ashes, soda, and calcium.
We’ll be adding dirt to it so that the clay sticks to the eggs’ surfaces nicely.
Here we have chicken eggs, duck eggs, and quail eggs.
You can turn all of these into pidan;the end product will differ, but that’s about it.
We also need tea leaves.
This is an ordinary bag of black tea.
And next to it, we have green tea.
You can use both, and I’ve tried with Wulong and Puer, and those worked too.
But since the teas have different colors, the pidan come out to in different colors, too.
First, wash your eggs clean.
As you probably are aware, there are microscopic holes on the surface of these eggs.
And those holes are key to making a pidan.
If the surface is contaminated, the contaminants may seep into the egg as the fermenting process goes on.
Another thing to be mindful of is the freshness of the eggs.
Please purchase the newest, freshest eggs you can find.
This is because as time passes, the protein inside the egg changes.
And when it does, there’s a very high chance you’ll fail to make it into a pidan.
Observe closely as you wash them: if some quail eggs float to the surface,it means that they’re not in good shape.
If you lift those up and observe,you’ll find cracks in them.
We won’t be using these eggs.
Give the teas a deep brew.
I used two different colors of tea; one red, and one green.
Once the eggs are washed, dry them completely.
Cool down the tea, and remove the tea leaves.
Next, we’ll make some pidan batter.
To protect your hands, please wear gloves during this step.
Make sure you use plates and cooking utensils that are not metallic.
Alkaline substances such as this will corrode stainless steel and other metals.
I recommend you use ceramic or glass.
Take about 100 grams of pidan powder, and put 15 grams of salt in it.
Make sure you use iodine-free salt.
Let’s lightly mix this up.
This is the green tea from before.
Slowly pour it into the mix.
Since there’s calcium in the powder, it’ll heat up when it reacts to water.
It’s only natural, so don’t be surprised.
You want your batter to have this kind of viscosity.
Judging by how it feels, it’ll be easy to coat the eggs’ surfaces with it later.
It’s rather hot as of now, so I’ll let it cool for about 30 mins.
When it’s completely cool, I’ll start coating.
Next up, we have the black tea version.
Like you did before, pour salt and tea into the pidan powder.
We now have both batters ready.
I’ll first be demonstrating with duck eggs.
Pick out one that’s clean and dry, and roll it in the batter.
Coat the surface in an even thickness.
Check to see if any part is left uncoated.
The coat should neither be too thick or too thin.
Let me show you.
It should be evenly coated, and no part of the shell should show. However, it can’t be too thick.
Place them in the plastic bag, one by one.
Repeat the process with the next one.
If the batter is thick enough, some will drip off by itself, and leave just the right amount of coat on for you.
After you roll, wait for the excess batter to fall off.
Also, we won’t put all of them into the same bag.
We’ll be placing about three eggs per bag.
Let’s tie the bag closed.
Be careful so that it doesn’t touch the batter.
Let’s tie off the opening.
If you feel like it’d be confusing later, you can always mark down what it is that’s inside.
Let’s try with black tea now?
It’s the same as before.
When it’s cooled, it hardens up a bit.
But it’ll be fine once you give it a stir.
We’ll be using eggs (chicken) this time.
Roll it around once,
Lift it up, and wait for a bit,then put it in the bag.
Write down what it is so you don’t forget.
Something like “Green tea duck,” or “Black tea chicken”.
Now lets place these prepared eggs into a box.
You can use any box you find around the house.
Also, take some leftover fabric; Take a throwaway piece of clothing and cushion the inside of the box.
We will now carefully place the eggs inside.
Duck eggs, quail eggs, and chicken eggs each require a different amount of time to ferment.
So it’s easier to place them in separate boxes from the start.
So that it wouldn’t be confusing later.
I’ll be placing the duck and chicken eggs on the bottom, and place the quail eggs on top.
Add another layer of fabric before placing the quail eggs.
The quail eggs go on top, because they ferment most quickly.
Lastly, cover the top with fabric.
The fabric is placed to cushion the eggs, and to counter sudden temperature changes.
It’d be helpful if I wrote on the box the date it was made.
Afterwards, make sure you store it somewhere cool, and where there’s no direct sunlight.
Where there are no major temperature shifts and away from stoves and heating equipment.
Inside a kitchen cupboard will be just fine.
There’s other methods, too.
You can find different sorts of pidan powder out there.
This clay-looking one will seem different to the eye, But it’ll be the same process. It’s even made in a similar way, too.
Most pidan powders you can purchase from stores won’t contain lead in them.
So you don’t have to worry too much.
It’ll all be similar, no matter what you buy.
The most crucial factors in pidan making are temperature and time.
In other words, don’t get them right, you fail.
The ideal temperature is 20-25 degrees celsius.
I’ve waited a long time to do today’s video.
It was mid-summer; the temperature was hitting like 35 degrees,and would drastically drop at nighttime.
Such an environment is cause for failure,so I was waiting for it to reach an condition.
And now that it’s perfect,I can finally upload this video.
I’ve also experimented with different temperatures and time periods.
I’ll show you a chart for your reference.
Average temp. 15℃ / Quail 7 days, Chicken 18 days, Duck 21 days
Average temp. 25℃ / Quail 4 days, Chicken 12 days, Duck 14 days
In a room that’s 25℃,
I’ve let these quail eggs to ferment for 5 days.
5 days is enough, so stop fermenting them.
Rinse the batter off the eggs completely with water.
Dry off the moisture, and place them somewhere well-ventilated.
FYI, just-fermented pidan smells quite a bit, but the smell goes away after a few days of ventilation, so it tastes even more delicious.
If you take a look at these cross-sections, you can see that the black-tea one and the green-tea one look different.
However, how it looks tastes inside isn’t all that different.
Next, let’s see how the chicken eggs look.
This is how they look after 12 days of fermentation.
You can see how much drier the clay is than when it was first applied.
But once you break it off, you can see that it’s still retaining moisture on the inside.
Let’s wash these off too.
Let me show you a just-fermented pidan.
While the white has solidified completely, it still seems soft, right?
This is completely normal.
Cut it in half, and you’ll see that the yolk’s been fermented just right.
It looks so enticing.
Like you did with the quail eggs, wash the chicken eggs.
Then, let them sit somewhere ventillated for a few days before you start eating them.
This is to get rid of that very particular scent.
During this time, the moisture of the whites evaporates, allowing for a bouncier texture as you can see on the screen right now.
Lastly, it’s time to do the duck eggs.
Since these eggs are the largest, they take the longest time.
Also, since the fermenting process starts on the outside moving inwards, so while it may look finished,it could be that the yolk isn’t quite ready yet.
This one was fermenting for 13 days, and the yolk still looks raw.
This means it still needs more time.
This is after 14 days of fermentation.
The yolk is still fluid, but now it’s semi-translucent.
This is when the yolk isn’t quite completely raw, so this is the perfect amount of time.
Now let it sit for a few days, and the yolk will solidify even more.
When the fermenting period exceeds that, this one has been fermenting for 16 days, and as you can see, the white is sticking to the shell.
This is because, during the initial alkalizing process, a solidified form of proteins formulate.
And when the egg is kept in such alkaline environment,the protein ends up,being liquified from its original solid state.
After 17 days, while the yolk is ripened perfectly,you can see that the white has ripened too much.
After 18 days, it’s become even softer.
It’s starting to lose its original shape.
After three weeks, it’s completely turned.
Goo comes out as soon as I open the shell.
The white has been decomposed.
The decomposed white is the most common sign of a failed pidan.
If your pidan looks something like this,
Please re-watch my video to see if you haven’t been fermenting it for too long.
Wash your duck eggs the same way and let them vent for a few days.
The duck eggs have been fermented perfectly.
This is the result after letting it sit for a few days.
The yolk on the inside isn’t quite gooey anymore.
I think that’s it for all the pidan tips and info.
Did you find it complicated at all?
I personally think pidan making is a process that requires scientific methods and chemical reactions.
So you need to keep your eyes on the details.
Before I wrap up the video, I’ll do a quick summary.
First, the most important factor is temperature.
The ideal condition I recommend is room temperature around 25℃.
I’d keep that under 30℃.
If it’s over 35℃, the chances of failure goes up drastically.
And in winter, if the eggs are fermented where there’s no heat,the temperature will be too low for it to work.
So I suggest you do it when it’s cool out, like in spring or fall.
Like around this time, no?
The next crucial factor is the viscosity of the pidan batter.
Like I’ve mentioned before, if the viscosity varies, so does the alkaline density.
This affects the amount of time it takes for the alkaline substance to penetrate the shell.
Third factor is the size of the egg.
Like the chart says, quail eggs, duck eggs, and chicken eggs all require different fermentation times.
Also, chicken eggs and duck eggs you usually find at stores can widely vary in size.
Free-range chicken eggs duck eggs from different breeds.
All have different sizes.
So you’d have to feel each egg by hand to determine how long it’d take to ferment.
Factor four: Yolks and whites.
One ferments more slowly than the other, So keep that in mind when allotting the time.
When the white is ripened too much, it turns to liquid.
This is the most common fail factor.
So once enough time passes, take them out every day to check on the eggs.
Five: Once the pidan looks almost ready, it’s best to stop fermenting it immediately.
If you’re a beginner, it’s best if you wash away the coat completely.
This makes it easier to control how ripe they are.
Once you start getting the hang of it,remove them just before the point of no return,and let them sit ventilated.
This’ll stop the alkalizing process.
Lastly, “Pining” isn’t necessarily the ultimate sign of succeeding. (*Pining: Pine needle-shaped marks that appear on the ripened whites)
It’s rare to see pining on a just-fermented pidan.
The natural drying process must ensue.
It’ll only happen once the sodium inside has subsided.
So don’t worry too much if it’s pined or not.
If it didn’t, so be it, If it did, it’d be like a little treat.
Now, I think that’s all I can tell you about making a pidan.
If you keep these details in mind,I have no doubt you’ll succeed.
I hope you succeed in making your own pidan at home!
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