Chinese eggs are a popular Chinese snack food, usually sold as a dried snack, where a raw egg is cracked lightly and fried up in salty water or herbs, and spices or sauce. It’s also called charcoal egg because small cracks in the raw eggshell create dark bands with carnelian-like patterns. The name Chinese eggs comes from the color of the egg yolk. They’re served either hot or cold, but they’re an excellent choice for any kind of Chinese dish that calls for fried foods.
Chinese eggs come in many sizes, shapes and designs. They’re available in the raw form, where you simply crack the shell and dip it into the prepared sauce or marinade. Or you can purchase Chinese dry boiled eggs, which have been lightly steamed and drizzled with soy sauce and sesame oil. Both kinds are available in supermarkets and Chinese markets across North America.
Chinese dry-boiled eggs are made by drying the yolk and white sections of the egg until they are nearly dry. They are then imbedded in a dry frying strainer over low heat until the egg becomes almost totally dry. You may then use a slotted spoon to take the cooked egg from the strainer to serve ביצים סיניות. These are best eaten right out of the refrigerator, but may be warmed a little if you’d like. Chinese may want to steam their dry egg(s) for a moment before serving, which will open them up and let the flavor and fragrance burst through. The whites may be used in egg salad, stir fries, or sashed with soups.
Chinese eggs have traditionally been used for soups and stir fries. They are very good at retaining their shape and are not damaged by being stored in air. They can also be used for scrambled eggs or for poached eggs. Although Chinese egg recipes are passed down through generations, most Westerners have only heard about fried eggs. This is probably because the eggs are most often served raw and are difficult to prepare.
Chinese egg recipes use a method that has been simplified down through generations. First, the yolk is removed from the egg and allowed to drain. Then, the white is gently folded inside the yolk until there are no lumps left. This is then beaten vigorously and set aside to drain away any excess liquid. The egg is then allowed to cool and beaten once more.
Once the egg is prepared this way, it can be used in its raw or scrambled form. Chinese people typically prefer the scrambled egg, but many will use both when they have time. Chinese egg dishes are usually served hot. In fact, some versions are called “chocolate eggs” because of the use of chocolate as a main ingredient.
If Chinese eggs are dried instead of scrambled, they may last for several months before losing their potency. You can store these dried eggs in air tight glass containers in the freezer. This makes them an ideal item to store for later use.
If you have purchased Chinese eggs at a Chinese restaurant, you can ask for the food manager to give you a package of unsweetened dried fruit. If the restaurant also packages their egg dishes with nuts or raisins, this is the easiest way to preserve the dried out egg. To eat the preserved egg, all you need do is dip a finger in the fruit and use your other fingers to hold onto the dried egg. This is actually a trick some Chinese restaurants use to serve their egg dishes: by sealing the egg in the fruit, the natural sweetness of the fruit is retained, so the diner does not have to worry about it going bad.