How To Make Classic Century Egg Porridge At Home

Century egg porridge, or rice porridge with preserved egg, is a quintessential Cantonese comfort food. The rich porridge contrasted with the unique flavor of century egg makes for an incredibly hearty, savory, and soothing meal. Read on to learn how to make this delicious dish right at home with easy-to-follow steps.


  • 2 cups short-grain white rice
  • 8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 4-century eggs
  • 1 lb lean ground pork
  • 2 tbsp minced ginger
  • 2 tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • Salt and white pepper to taste
  • Chopped scallions, cilantro, and crispy fried wonton skins for garnish

Equipment Needed

  • Large stock pot with lid
  • Wooden spoon for stirring
  • Ladle for serving
  • Small bowls for garnish

Step 1: Rinse the Rice

Rinse 2 cups of short-grain white rice in a mesh strainer until the water clears. This removes excess starch from the rice.

Step 2: Make the Broth Boil

Bring 8 cups of chicken or vegetable broth to a boil in a large stock pot over high heat.

Step 3: Add the Rice

Add the rinsed rice to the pot once it has boiled. Please stir it, put the lid on, and reduce the heat to low. To properly cook the rice, simmer for 15 minutes while stirring occasionally.

Step 4: Prepare the Pork

Cook the meat while the rice is cooking. In a small bowl, combine 1 lb of ground pork with 1 tbsp of sesame oil, 2 tbsp of chopped ginger, 2 tbsp of Shaoxing wine, and a dash of salt and pepper.

Step 5: Cook the Pork

Raise the heat to medium-high once the rice has simmered for 15 minutes. Add the pork mixture to the porridge in small chunks, stirring continuously, until cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Step 6: Prepare the Century Eggs

While the pork is cooking, prepare the century eggs. Rinse and peel 4 eggs. Halve the eggs lengthwise, then cut each half into thin slices.

Step 7: Add the Century Eggs

Once the pork is cooked through, reduce the heat to low. Add the sliced century eggs and stir gently until warmed through about 2-3 minutes.

Step 8: Adjust Seasoning

Taste the porridge and adjust the seasoning with salt and white pepper. If the porridge is too thick, add more broth. If it’s too thin, continue simmering until the desired consistency is reached.

Step 9: Garnish and Serve

Transfer porridge to individual serving bowls. Garnish with chopped scallions, cilantro, and crispy wonton skins. Serve immediately while hot. Enjoy!

Tips for Making the Best Century Egg Porridge

  • Look for high-quality century eggs at an Asian grocer. The egg whites should be jet black with a jelly-like consistency, while the yolks are dark green with a creamy, velvety texture.
  • Use short or medium-grain white rice varieties like jasmine or sushi rice. The starch released helps give the porridge a thick, creamy texture.
  • Simmer the porridge over low heat and frequently stir to prevent sticking and burning on the bottom.
  • Adding the pork in small pieces prevents them from clumping together, so you get tender, evenly cooked meat.
  • Slice the century eggs thin to melt into the porridge beautifully when stirred.
  • Adjust broth amounts based on desired porridge consistency. More broth gives a looser porridge.
  • Garnish with contrasting colors and textures like scallions, cilantro, and crispy wonton skins.
  • Refrigerate leftover porridge and reheat with additional broth or water to loosen it up.

The History of Century Egg Porridge

Century egg porridge has a long history in Cantonese cuisine. The origin of the century egg dates back 500 years to the Ming Dynasty in China. The unique preservation process was developed to extend the eggs’ shelf life without refrigeration.

The resulting egg is distinctive: a dark brown shell, firm black egg white, and creamy dark green yolk. More importantly, the curing process gives century eggs a rich, complex flavor commonly described as savory, earthy, and mineral-like.

While century eggs can be enjoyed independently, cooking them into porridge became a brilliant way to temper their strong flavor. The velvety rice porridge offers the perfect backdrop for the eggs to shine.

Over time, cooks realized that adding complementary ingredients like pork, ginger, and scallions further enhanced the dish. Soon, century egg porridge became a quintessential comfort food, perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It remains an all-time favorite in Cantonese homes across China and Chinese restaurants worldwide.

The Unique Flavor of Century Eggs

If you’ve never tried century egg porridge, the most unfamiliar is the century eggs. Their distinct dark color and unique flavor can be off-putting at first glance.

However, don’t let appearances deceive you. When cooked into porridge, the complex flavor of century eggs is utterly irresistible. The rich, creamy yolks and mineral-y egg whites add a savory umami punch unlike any regular egg.

The curing process modifies the egg proteins, resulting in strong aromatic compounds. You get notes of ammonia, sulfur, cheese, and even smoked meats. It may sound unappealing, but the flavor is out of this world when combined with the soothing porridge.

Health Benefits of Century Egg Porridge

Beyond being rich in taste, century egg porridge offers potential health benefits. These are a few justifications as to why including this food in your diet can be healthy:

Protein – The eggs and pork provide protein to help you feel full and satisfied. Protein also gives you lasting energy.

Probiotics – Curing increases probiotics like lactic acid bacteria, which support digestive and immune health.

Vitamin B12 – Century eggs supply this essential nutrient vital for nerve function and red blood cell formation.

Antioxidants – Compounds in century eggs have antioxidant properties to combat cell damage from free radicals.

Bone health – The eggs’ calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D promote strong bones and teeth.

So feel good about enjoying this hearty and healthy comfort food! It offers a dose of traditional Chinese flavor and nutrients for your body.

Tips for Buying Century Eggs

Looking to recreate century egg porridge? Here are some tips for selecting high-quality century eggs:

  • Check labels and only buy eggs cured without lead for safety.
  • Look for reputable brands from Asian grocers for authentic flavor.
  • Choose eggs with jet-black whites and dark green, creamy yolks.
  • Avoid eggs with white dots or streaks, cracks, or foul odors.
  • Opt for vacuum-packed eggs for longer shelf life unrefrigerated.
  • Refrigerate after opening and use within one month.

Following these simple guidelines will ensure your century eggs contribute their signature flavor, color, and velvety texture to the porridge.

Bring This Classic Cantonese Porridge to Your Table

Century egg porridge is the ultimate comfort food that brings people together. The rhythmic stirring, bubbling porridge, and wafting aromas make cooking this dish meditative and rewarding. Previously intimidating century eggs become approachable and addicting when blanketed in velvety rice porridge.

We hope these step-by-step instructions give you the knowledge and confidence to recreate this recipe home. Adjust it to your taste using different garnishes, meats, or broths. Soon, you’ll have a new favorite meal perfect for any time of day, whether sick, stressed, or simply craving something soothing and familiar. Invite friends and family to gather around a steaming pot of century egg porridge, and you’ll see contented smiles.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of rice is best?

Go for short or medium-grain varieties like jasmine, sushi, or glutinous rice. Long-grain rice will get less creamy.

Can I use brown rice?

Yes, but the porridge will have a looser texture with more bite from the extra bran.

Do I need to wash the rice?

Yes, washing removes excess starch for a smoother porridge.

Should I soak the rice first?

It is optional, but soaking for 15-30 minutes softens the rice to cook faster.

Can I use chicken, beef, or veggie broth?

Yes, use any broth you like. Chicken is traditional, but veggie works too.

What if I don’t eat pork?

Substitute diced chicken, shrimp, or extra century eggs.

Can I use regular eggs?

You can try it, but the flavor will be milder without the century egg nuance.

How long does porridge keep?

Approximately five days when chilled. Add extra broth when reheating, as it will thicken up.

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