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Three unique egg recipes from Asia

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Tired of having plain old fried or boiled eggs with your meals?  Asia is too, which is probably why it has a bunch of variants on this popular breakfast item. From eggs infused in tea and spices, to eggs preserved in clay, wood ash, quicklime and salt for months before consumption, Asia’s where it’s at when it comes to eggs with a difference.

 

Century Eggs

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A popular food in Chinese cuisine, century eggs are made by preserving duck, chicken or quail eggs in a mixture of clay, wood ash, salt, quicklime and rice hulls for several weeks or months. 

During this process, the yolk turns a dark green or grey, with a creamy consistency, while the white becomes a dark brown, translucent jelly. The complex, flavourless proteins and fats in the egg are broken down into smaller, flavourful compounds, which is why the century egg is said to be tastier than regular eggs.

Century eggs do not require any cooking, and are regularly used in congee for breakfast or served as part of a cold dish platter.

To make century egg porridge, simply boil rice in a pot with lots of water, stir in chicken stock and salt to taste. When the rice is cooked, lower the fire to a simmer until it reaches a milky and creamy consistency. You should not be able to see the individual grains of rice at this stage.  Or simply use a rice cooker like the Electrolux ERC2201 for a fuss-free cooking experience.  This fully automated rice cooker comes with built-in settings to cook both rice and porridges with ease and with the least amount of time.

 

For a classic take on the traditional Chinese breakfast, just add in minced pork balls that have been marinated with soy sauce, pepper and sesame oil with the diced century eggs.

 

Tea Egg

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A savoury snack that originated in China, variants on tea eggs have been developed throughout Asia. Tea eggs are prepared by cracking pre-boiled eggs, then boiling them again in tea, sauce and spices. This allows the spiced broth to seep into the cracks and marinate the eggs in their shells. It also creates darkened lines with marble-like patterns, making it visually appealing. 

The perfect spiced tea egg should strike a balance between the egg’s natural flavour and spices. To make it at home, bring the sauce to a boil, then steep the pre-boiled eggs in them. Gently crack the eggs with the back of a spoon before simmering them in the sauce, but do not break the shells.

Given that a proper steeping process can take hours, a portable induction hob like the Electrolux EIH600 may be the most energy efficient option to keep the sauce at a steady simmer.  The longer the eggs are allowed to steep, the more flavourful they will be.

 

Ajitsuke Tamago

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A popular topping for any bowl of ramen, Ajitsuke Tamago, or soft boiled ramen eggs are a semi-solid treat to eat with noodles or on its own. Browned by a soy sauce marinade on the outside and a soft, almost runny yolk on the inside, these eggs can be cooked at home, but require very precise cooking temperatures and times. You can store the eggs for up to three days in an airtight container.

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