Century Egg Congee with Pork (Cháo Trứng Bách Thảo)
Century egg congee is a super comforting rice porridge made with pork and infused with the bold, rich, and creamy flavor of a thousand year old egg. This is a Chinese dish that is also popular in Vietnamese cuisine and known as cháo trứng bách thảo.
What is a Century Egg?
A century egg is also known as a thousand year old egg. The Vietnamese word for it is trứng bắc thảo.
Despite its name, a century egg is not actually that old.
This type of egg preparation originated from China and is enjoyed in many different Asian cuisines.
It is typically made by preserving duck eggs in clay, ash, salt, tea, and quicklime for several weeks to months.
Century eggs can also be made with other types of eggs like chicken or quail eggs.
Century Egg Taste & Appearance
Century eggs are ready-to-eat. You do not need to cook them. Simply peel to eat like you would a hard boiled egg.
Once you peel the shell, you will see the egg whites are a translucent amber black color with a firm jelly-like texture.
Inside, the century egg yolks are a grayish green color with a creamy texture similar to a medium or soft boiled egg.
The smell can be pungent like ammonia. Similar to blue cheese, century eggs are an acquired taste.
They are rich, earthy, and umami with a hint of saltiness.
To me, it has a metallic taste but also super creamy and buttery.
Like a stick of butter, century eggs are not meant to be eaten whole but rather as a component of a dish.
My favorite way to have it is in Century Egg Congee with Pork, also known as Cháo Trứng Bách Thảo in Vietnamese.
What is Congee?
Congee is a rice porridge that is popular in many different Asian cultures. In Vietnamese we call it cháo.
For me, it is a comfort food and something that my mom would make for me anytime I am sick.
There are so many different ways you can make it – plain congee, chicken congee, and century egg congee to name a few.
At the most basic level, congee is just water and rice.
It has a velvety texture and a plain neutral taste which makes it the perfect vessel for adding ingredients with strong flavors such as century eggs.
Century Egg Congee Ingredients
Before you begin making Century Egg Congee (Cháo Trứng Bách Thảo), you will need the following ingredients:
- Rice: Congee is made with white rice. It’s great with long, medium, or short-grain rice, whatever you have on hand. My favorite to use is long-grain jasmine rice.
- Century Eggs: You do not need to add a lot since it has a strong flavor. I recommend about half a century egg per serving, cut into small pieces.
- Water: Congee is essentially a rice soup. You need a 1:8 ratio of uncooked rice to water, which is about 4 times more water than you would need to make normal rice.
- Ginger: Ginger adds a distinct flavor and warm spice to the congee. There are also a lot of health benefits and makes this dish even more comforting.
- Chicken Bouillon: A common substitute for MSG to add more savory, salty, and umami flavor. My favorite is Knorr‘s chicken bouillon.
- Salt: Congee by itself is very plain so you need to add some saltiness. This also helps to bring out the flavors of the other ingredients.
- Pork: Century egg congee is often made with pork. I like to use ground pork and turn them into little meatballs. You can also substitute for other types of pork, cut into bite sized pieces or chicken.
- Black Pepper: Another spice element to add a different type of warmth to the congee.
How to Make Century Egg Congee
Century Egg Congee is pretty easy to make and the best way to eat century eggs in my opinion!
This dish is a common item at dim sum. I grew up eating it home a lot when I was sick or whenever it was cold outside.
Century egg congee is light yet rich, flavorful, and so comforting all at the same time.
Let’s walk through this century egg congee recipe step-by-step so you can make this perfectly at home!
As always there is a recipe card at the end that you can print out, pin to Pinterest, or save for later.
Step 1: Create the Pork Mixture
In a bowl, combine ground pork, chicken bouillon, and black pepper to create the pork mixture.
Mix well so all the seasonings are even throughout the pork mixture, then set aside.
Step 2: How to Make Congee
In a pot on medium heat, add rice, water, ginger, chicken bouillon, and salt to make the congee.
Bring it to a boil and cook for about 20 minutes uncovered.
Step 3: Add Pork & Century Egg
Add small spoonfuls of the pork mixture into the simmering congee.
These are kind of like little pork meatballs. They do not need to be perfect circles.
If you don’t want to make the little meatballs, you can also just add in the whole pork mixture and break it apart in the congee with a wooden spoon or other cooking utensil.
The pork is in small pieces so it will cook quickly in the congee.
After you add the pork, add the chunks of century egg, and mix to combine all ingredients.
Step 4: Adjust to Your Liking
Finally, cook and simmer the congee for 10 more minutes or until the congee is to the consistency of your liking.
If the congee is too thick, add more water as needed to loosen it up.
If the congee is too liquidy, continue simmering until it thickens up.
Taste test and adjust the seasonings to your preference.
The richness of the pork and century egg will infuse into the congee.
This turns a light rice porridge into something a little more luscious and decadent.
Century Egg Congee Toppings
Right before serving, top each bowl of congee with these toppings:
- Century Egg: Since the century eggs in the congee are cut into chunks and mixed in, I like to garnish with a couple thin slices when serving to make it more visually appealing.
- Green Onions: Add a sprinkle of sliced green onions upon serving to add a mild onion flavor and a little bit of a crisp bite.
- Cilantro: A sprinkle of chopped cilantro adds a fresh, herby taste to balance out the richness of century eggs.
- Black pepper: An extra pinch of black pepper for the finishing touch adds the perfect hint of spice and warmth to the congee.
Leftovers & Storage
Century egg congee keeps well in the fridge for about 3 to 4 days.
Store any leftovers in a sealed container.
To reheat you can either put it in a pot on the stove on low heat or put it in the microwave.
The rice may soak up the liquid more and the liquid may evaporate as you reheat.
As a result, the congee may become thicker but it is an easy fix.
Add water to loosen it up as needed to get it back to your desired consistency.
More Vietnamese Comfort Food
I grew up eating Century Egg Congee so it is a definite comfort food for me. Here are some more of my favorite comforting Vietnamese dishes:
Save This Century Egg Congee Recipe!
I hope this tutorial for how to make Century Egg Congee with Pork was helpful and that you try to recreate this unique comfort food at home!
Be sure to save this recipe so you remember to make it later and share with your family and friends!
Please leave a rating and comment below if you try it. I’d love to know what you think!
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Century Egg Congee with Pork
- 1 cup jasmine rice, uncooked
- 2 century eggs, chopped
- 8 cups water
- 1 inch ginger, smashed
- 2 tsp chicken bouillon
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ lb ground pork
- ½ tsp chicken bouillon
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 2 green onions, sliced
- handful cilantro, chopped
- black pepper
- 1 century egg, sliced into 8 wedges
- In a bowl, mix together ground pork, chicken bouillon, and black pepper to make the pork mixture then set aside.
- In a pot on medium heat, add rice, water, ginger, chicken bouillon, and salt to make the congee. Boil and cook for about 20 minutes.
- Add small spoonfuls of the pork mixture and chunks of century egg into the simmering congee.
- Cook for 10 minutes or until the congee is to your desired consistency. Add more water as needed if it is too thick. Taste test and adjust seasonings to your liking.
- Top with green onions, cilantro, black pepper, century egg slices, and enjoy!