Tofu with Century Egg and Spring Onions | Hong Kong Food Blog with Recipes, Cooking Tips mostly of Chinese and Asian styles | Taste Hong Kong

Tofu with Century Egg and Spring Onions

Tofu with Century Egg and Spring Onions

Although I have not timed how long I have to stay in my kitchen for preparing this whole dish, it must not be longer than 10 or 15 minutes. I’m not a fast cook, just to say that it is quick to prepare. And, making this dish is flexible, tofu may be sliced in the way you like; century egg may either be diced or mashed. Then, just assemble the chopped century egg with seasonings and top the silken tofu with green onions after chilled. That’s it!

When chilling the ingredients, It is best to store tofu and mixture of century egg separately before serving, as such the seasonings won’t cloud the tofu for too long.

I have here a shot showing a century egg that is still coated with rice husk and clay, a traditional way of preserving the egg. After the egg is shelled, you shall see pine-like patterns on the jelly-like egg white which actually look brownish black. That is why century egg is often named as pine-patterned egg (in Chinese 松花蛋).

Century Egg with Clay and Shelled

Century Egg Shelled and Divided

  • Ingredients
  • 1 silken tofu (~200g, vacuum pack preferred )
  • 1 century egg (preserved duck egg)
  • 2 springs spring onion (green onions), finely chopped
  • Seasonings
  • 1 tsp black vinegar
  • 1 tsp light soya sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil


Choose vacuum-packed tofu which would not require rinsing and steaming as it is free from infections (In H.K., we still have tofu displayed naked than package). Drain off all water from the pack, if any, and cut it into about 1/2 cm slices or 1/2 cm cubes. Arrange on a plate for serving.

Shell, rinse, pat-dry, dice or mash century egg. Mix it well with seasonings in a separate plate or bowl .

Cover prepared tofu, century egg mixture, green onion separately and chill them in fridge for 3 to 4 hours or until cold.

To serve, again drain off any water exuded from tofu and top it with a layer of century egg mixture followed by a handful of green onions. This tofu with century egg is nice on its own, yet it is also great to be served as an appetizer or side dish. As a variation, sometimes, I will add a handful of Japanese bonito flakes with the green onions. Enjoy!

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  1. TasteHongKong

    Thanks to Malaysia Tourism Centre near the KLCC, where I just managed to use their internet facilities to get this post published : ).

  2. Pepy @Indonesia Eats

    We call this telur pitan. Somehow, I’ve never tried since not a big fan of whole eggs like that. Friends told me that it’s really good with porridge.

  3. the lacquer spoon

    Century egg is a “love-it” or “hate-it” ingredient, right? but I stand for the former. I ‘m sure your recipe is a good company of beer and Chinese wine :)) Great to eat in humid summer!

  4. penny aka jeroxie

    This dish goes well as a side dish for super spicy dishes! YUM!

  5. Okihwn

    So simple but looks so delicious. Love century eggs. Always have with my jook.

  6. Christine@Christine's Recipes

    Oh, this quick dish is very good in summer, very refreshing. I haven’t eaten century eggs for ages though. I just made a quick dish of tofu too, with pork floss 🙂

  7. noobcook

    I love quick recipes, they are life savers during busy nights. and I like the generous pitan and vinegar sauce. bookmarked.

  8. Heavenly Housewife

    I’ve never had a century egg. I think they are beautiful. They remind me of a geode or maybe petrified wood.
    Fabulous dish. Stunning presentation, as always.
    *kisses* HH

  9. tigerfish

    Yes, good for summer! But I wonder if I can take so much century eggs in a serving like this….too “strong” for me :O

  10. Angie's Recipes

    I love the century eggs! Miss them a lot….

  11. XiaoYen

    I prefer packaged tofu over fresh ones sold openly in boxes. People tend to hand pick the fresh ones which is really gross. I’ve never tried fresh tofu with century old eggs. This is truly a nice surprise for me.

  12. TasteHongKong

    @Pepy@IndonesiaEats, Yes, we have here a very popular porridge that cooked with century egg and salted lean pork which is said to be good for healing inflammation inside a body after taking too much frying foods. In a bowl of porridge, usually only a small portion of it contains century egg, which is either sliced or diced, so you might want to try it : ).

  13. TasteHongKong

    @the lacquer spoon, I think it shall be good to go with sake as well. Be honest with you, I haven’t heard it being associated as a ‘hate-in’ ingredient in my place. But my place is so small : ).

  14. TasteHongKong

    @penny aka jeroxie, Great suggestion, chilled foods or drinks always sound nice with spicy dishes. And the vinegar content here shall also help lower burns from the spiciness.

    @Okihwn, I see, jook = porridge. Me too.

  15. TasteHongKong

    @Christine@Christine’s Recipes, Yes, I like it with pork floss too, and with it the dish shall be even quicker to prepare : ).

    @noobcook, Pitan? Another name for century egg? I just learned from you, thanks.

    @Heavenly Housewife, Maybe we shall call it a soft geode, interesting imagination! Thanks.

    @tigerfish, Though I like this, I won’t take too much in one meal as well.

    @Angie’s Recipes, I understand that century eggs are less common outside Asia.

    @XiaoYen, If the tofu is sold openly here, it is the seller than the buyers to hand pick it. And if I buy such tofu, I’ll rinse it and steam it before serving it chilled.

  16. Jun

    You really don’t have to steam this dish? How unusual! It looks great. Yeah we call it pitan too in Indonesia

  17. Mary Moh

    Mmm…looks simple and delicious. I love century eggs. I grew up eating a lot of it, just with soya sauce. Just last week I had it with porridge…very delicious. Wow…you were in KL! We could have crossed path and yet not realised…haha. Mine was an express trip there. Managed to try some lovely food.

  18. TasteHongKong

    @Jun, Stupid me, I should have realized that piten, as you, Pepy and noobcook have all suggested, actually pronounces similar to another Chinese name of century egg. In Cantonese, we call it pi-dan 皮蛋, literally leather egg.

    @Mary, Gladly, we meet again here online : ).

  19. Janet@Gourmet Traveller 88

    Pity I can’t buy nice century eggs in Switzerland. This is a great summer dish. Btw, is it possible to subscribe your blog by email? I can follow blogs better in this way than RSS or by using reader.

  20. Sook

    What a BEAUTIFUL dish! I love tofu! And the green onions on top makes this dish so appealing. Yum!

  21. Carolyn Jung

    Definitely a distinctive and pungent taste. There is nothing else like these 100-year-old eggs.

  22. TasteHongKong

    @Janet@Gourmet, Sorry that I haven’t installed email subscription in my blog, but I shall look into it. For the time being, I’m afraid you have to do it via RSS, thanks!

  23. Maria

    I have a century egg in the fridge and some tofu too so I must give this recipe a go! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  24. Tastes of Home

    I love century eggs but I have never cooked it with tofu – your dish looks great!

  25. sensiblecooking

    That looks so yummy specially for hot summer. And 10- 25 mins in kitchen. I can live with that.

  26. hoo

    It is very common chinese dish, and i like it very much, and specially good to hot summer.

  27. Mommy Ana

    Hello. My experience of eating century egg is always in a resto. I bought a pack from the grocery story and don’t know what to do with it. Is it already cooked (it still has rice husk, much like your pic) or do I sill need to boil it? If uncooked, how long should I boil it? Need your help soon..pls 🙂

  28. TasteHongKong

    @Mommy Ana,
    Hi. Like vegetables, if preserved, century egg can be eaten as it is. That is why, I suggested the steps – shell, rinse (just make sure it is cleaned enough), pat-dry and dice.
    But, it doesn’t mean the century egg can’t be cooked. You may also take a look at this soup recipe.
    Hope this helps and enjoy!

  29. Mommy Ana

    Thanks, did what you suggested. My kids need to acquire the taste so I ended up eating the 2 eggs I shelled. Good thing is I had them with congee and had my chili-lemon-soy for the dip. Yummy!

  30. TasteHongKong

    @Mommy Ana,
    Yes, sometimes tastes are acquired. I know some even regard century egg as a ‘bizarre food’. But glad that you enjoyed.

  31. Simple tofu dish « lady J's musings

    […] Tofu with Century Egg (recipe adapted from Taste Hongkong) […]

  32. Everest

    This recipe is so easy and i cant wait to make it once i get some century eggs as my bf loves century eggs!

  33. lovestoeat

    Black vinegar! That’s a good idea … I shall try that soon. I make a similar dish with silken tofu, century egg, and spring onions, except the seasoning is equal parts light soy, dark soy, oyster sauce, finely chopped fresh garlic (no sugar, no oil) … well received at family gatherings. Next time, I shall do it like yours! Thanks!

  34. TasteHongKong

    Glad to hear you are trying this, let me know how it turns out.

  35. Sue

    hi, may i know what type of black vinegar to use? sweet or sour? tks

  36. TasteHongKong

    Usually, I use Chinese Zhejiang black vinegar (鎮江香醋), which is quite sour but fragrant. Aged vinegar from Shanxi (山西) is another good choice, only that it is not that convenient to buy a good bottle. If not, you may also try using balsamic, but skip adding the sugar in the seasonings (or sample taste before adding the sugar).

  37. lovestoeat

    Hi, Sue! May I contribute my two cents worth? ^^

    I find that with its very strong pungent fragrance, century eggs need a strong black vinegar, and the best black vinegars are supposed to be from the Zhejiang Province (also spelt Chejiang or Chinkiang). There are many brands, but a reputed one is GOLD PLUM .. you can see an image here

    As with most China products, there are always imitators out there, with very similar brand names and even label design and colour, so do look carefully at labels!

    This black vinegar is strong but sweet, with a smokey fragrance. If you can’t find it, balsamic vinegar is close.

    Hope this is of use to you.