皮蛋 Emerald Preserved Egg

Emerald Preserved Egg

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Emerald preserved egg is a dark green egg made by duck eggs that undergo chemical reactions. Its unique smell and chewy texture has made it a great snack and ingredient in creating distinct and delicious dishes.

Where is it from?

It was believed the origin of emerald preserved eggs could be traced back to the Ming Dynasty. There is a teashop in Jiangsu province and the owner usually pulled tealeaves into ashes where ducks loved to lay eggs. One day, while he was cleaning ashes, the owner found many omitted eggs and thought they were uneatable. However, he then found out that not only did they smell uniquely but tasted delicious.

How do you prepare it?

In recent years, the method of making emerald preserved eggs is to steep duck eggs into maceration extract for 45 to 60 days. By fully using the respiration of eggshells, the chemical action would turn the egg white into dark green and make it taste smooth.

Where do you buy it?

You can buy emerald preserved egg at grocery stores and supermarkets. Due to their special flavor and taste, emerald preserved eggs are said to increase the appetite, and they could even be used as a treatment for a sore throat. On the other hand, emerald preserved eggs are commonly used in a variety of dishes, such as being served with tofu or being cooked with chili. These are two famous dishes you would not want to miss.

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皮蛋

相傳明代泰倉年間,江蘇一家生意興隆的小茶館,因人手不夠,店主在應酬客人時便會隨手將泡過的茶葉倒在平時鴨子喜歡下蛋的爐灰中。有天當店主在清除爐灰的茶葉渣時,發現不少被遺漏的鴨蛋。原以為不能吃的蛋,剝開一看,卻發現裡面黝黑光亮並伴隨著一股特殊的香味,嚐起來更是鮮滑爽口,而這也是最初皮蛋的由來。

現今皮蛋的做法則是將鴨蛋浸泡在含有氫氧化鈉、氯化鈉鹼等其他微量元素的「浸漬液」中,透過蛋殼的呼吸滲透作用,使浸漬液中的鹼性元素與蛋白經化學變化產生硫化氫,呈現出墨綠色的蛋白。一般夏天大約需浸漬四十五天,而冬天則是六十天左右。

皮蛋具有的特殊風味不但能促進食慾,在坊間更有治療喉嚨痛的功效,時常被運用於各式料理中,最常見的莫過於「皮蛋豆腐」與「燒椒皮蛋」。

參考資料來源:

新華網 http://big5.xinhuanet.com/gate/big5/news.xinhuanet.com/food/2006-10/20/content_5223821.htm

皮蛋的介紹 http://www.sces.chc.edu.tw/data1/country/web/3-2-6/32.htm

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