Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Recipe: Chicken with Million Year Eggs (Northern Thai)

I was flipping through an old issue of Flavours magazine, when this recipe for chicken with million year eggs caught my eye. The recipe was contributed by Maple Loo, the marketing director/ co-owner for Samadhi Group who owns a chain of Thai restaurants in Malaysia. She discovered this Northern Thai regional speciality on one of her many trips.

Million Year Eggs in this recipe actually refers to what we know better as century eggs 皮蛋. It is also known as preserved egg, hundred-year egg, thousand-year egg, thousand-year-old egg, and millennium egg but whatever name it is called, you will recognise it when you see it - the yolk is a dark grey colour while the white is dark brown to black in colour. It is made by preserving duck, chicken or quail eggs in a mixture of clay, ash, salt, quicklime and rice hulls (mud crust) for several weeks to several months. 

Chicken with Million Year Eggs


When you buy century eggs from the shops, it is usually still coated in the hardened mud crust. You just peel it off using your hands or use a sharp knife to scrape it off. Then, wash the eggs and peel it as you would a normal hard boiled egg. You either love or hate century eggs - and I believe if you have tried a good one, you will love it. My definition of a good century egg is like the one served at Din Tai Fung, with a super creamy centre.

Century egg is the one with the brown outer crust

Back to the recipe. The century eggs are pan fried in a little oil and served on the side with the stir fried chicken. Incredibly easy dish and quick to cook too. The chicken is very flavorful and a little spicy, the century egg is creamy and I love the crispy, fragrant fried basil leaves. Overall, this is a great dish in terms of flavour, texture and colour.


Quick, easy stir fry dish


Northern Thai stir fried chicken with century eggs and crispy Thai basil leaves


Chicken with Million Year Eggs (Northern Thai)
Recipe adapted from Maple Loo, Flavours Mar-Apr 09 issue
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 8-10 minutes
Serves 2

Ingredients
1 century egg, shelled and quartered 皮蛋
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
4 stalks Thai basil, leaves plucked
1 red onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red chilli, sliced
1/4 chicken, cut into pieces (or use 1 piece of chicken breast meat)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp Thai fish sauce
1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
1/8 tsp sugar
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 bird's eye chillies (cili padi), sliced


1. In a wok, heat 1 tbsp of oil over medium high heat and pan fry the century eggs, yolk side down, for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.

2. Place half the basil leaves in the wok and fry until crisp, about 45 seconds. Remove and set aside.

3. Add remaining olive oil and add the garlic, onions and red chillies and fry for about 2 minutes, until fragrant. Add chicken and cook for 3 minutes, then add the fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar and chicken stock. Stir to mix well, cover with lid and cook for a further 2 minutes over medium heat, until chicken is cooked. Remove the lid, add the remaining basil leaves and cili padi, and stir well. Season with salt and pepper, as necessary.

4. Place the chicken in the centre of the plate, then arrange the century egg around it. Garnish with the crisp, fried basil leaves. Great with a bowl of white rice.






*I am submitting this to the Little Thumbs Up "Egg" event organized by Bake for Happy Kids, my little favourite DIY and hosted by me (Baby Sumo of Eat Your Heart Out). You can link your egg recipes here.


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23 comments:

  1. Wow, So yummylicious! Beautiful contrasting colours between the chicken and the million year eggs

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    Replies
    1. Very pleasantly surprised by this dish. So easy to cook but yet so full of flavour!

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  2. Unique dish - I think I will like this cos I love century eggs and Thai basil.

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  3. ivy sew http://simplybeautifulhealthyliving.blogspot.comAugust 20, 2013 at 10:19 PM

    With fresh basil, this is just delish and tempting :)

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    1. Next time I gotta fry more of that basil.. crispy basil is just so yum.

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  4. mmmm, i really love these eggs, and i'll eat them anywhere, anytime. usually they don't look so good in photos though, but you've managed to capture them as a very nice accompaniment to the chicken on your plate. and i bet this recipe tastes great too ... contrasting the creamy eggs with the spicy meat =)

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    Replies
    1. It's really tasty, so glad I discovered this recipe in that very old magazine issue!

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  5. Looks delicious, never know that century eggs has so many names until i read your post, thanks for sharing :)

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    Replies
    1. Hehe I usually call it century eggs also.... only after I did some research only I knew about all these names too. :)

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  6. I love century eggs! This chicken recipe looks so good!

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  7. Century eggs and chicken, interesting combination! And looks yummy too. :D

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    Replies
    1. Very very easy to prep and cook, try it in your weekend kitchen :)

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  8. I love century eggs! Probably i'll go grab some this weekend since i still have chicken meat at home :)

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  9. So Thai cuisine also used century egg? I've learned again today from your place! Yen, I found out that Sydney has a Laduree shop now, will try it in the future!

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    1. I also didn't know until I read the article and saw this recipe. Lucky you, can get Laduree easily there ;)

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  10. I really like century eggs and for a moment I thought that there was a new kind when I read million year eggs! I didn't realise that Thai cuisine used them though, that's interesting to know! :)

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    Replies
    1. We all learn something new everyday, don't we? The recipe owner called it million year eggs cos she feels it has an air of "antiquity" about it :)

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  11. Hi Yen,

    This northern Thai cuisine sounds very exotic to me. Pardon my ignorance that I didn't know that Thai eats century eggs too... Tortoise me! Now I know - LOL!

    Zoe

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    1. Haha I'm also a tortoise then, didn't know until I saw this article :)

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  12. Yen , this dish looks very appetizing and for sure interesting - love the flavor contrast ! Yeah , you either love or hate century egg , luckily , I do love it lol

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