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Pi-Dan Zhou

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Source: Me
Yield: 10 Cups
Serving Size: 1 Cup
Servings: 10

Pi-Dan is the Chinese name for Thousand Year Old Eggs and Zhou is the Chinese word for a congee/rice porridge dish. Traditionally Pi-Dan Zhou is made with pi-dan and salted pork.

After I posted a blargh about Pi-Dan and Balut I had a huge craving for Pi-Dan Zhou and I decided to see if I could come up with my own recipe.

In this case, I'm using salt chicken that I picked up in Chinatown. You may be able to find salt pork if you prefer that. You may be able to use soy pork or chicken. Tsa-siu/BBQ would probably not match pi-dan but it is pretty good without the pi-dan (tsa-siu zhou).

Pi-dan Zhou should probably have fresh garlic and ginger but I did not have any. Instead I used the salt-dip that the bbq house provided which I have listed as oil, salt, pepper and MSG, though I'm just guessing the ingredients.

Lastly, I think some restaurants remove the pi-dan yolks but I just tossed it all in.

Ingredient Amount Calories Fat (g) Carbs (g) Prot (g)
Oil, Vegetable
1 Teaspoon 41 4.6 0 0
Rice, short grain
6 Ounce (about
1 rice cup)
606 0.9 0 0
Chicken Breast
8 Ounce (about
1/4 Chinese Salt Chicken)
379 8.1 0 71.2
Mono Sodium Glutamate (MSG)
1 Teaspoon 0 0 0 0
1 Teaspoon 0 0 0 0
10 Cup approx. 0 0 0 0
Egg, Duck, Preserved, 1000 Year Old (Pi-Dan)
4 396 23.2 0 0
Pepper, White
1 Teaspoon 7 0 0 0
Total: 1429 36.8 0 71.2
Per Serving: 143 3.7 0 7.1


    click for a larger image

Wash and drain your rice (I usually do it three times) then pour all the water into the rice and let it soak while you prepare the chicken and pi-dan


I picked up 1/2 a salt chicken in Chinatown. After deboning, it came to about 17 ounces, so I used half of that.

Note the sauce they provided, which I think is made of oil, salt, white pepper and MSG.


Debone the chicken. The easiest way is to use your hands. It may be easier to ask the restaurant you get the chicken from not to pre-slice the chicken for you.

Once deboned, chop the chicken tin 1/4"-1/2" pieces.


Since I got the chicken in chinatown, they literally gave me half a chicken, which includes one leg, half the head and some neck and wing end pieces. You don't have to eat these, but I recommend cooking them whole with the rest of the congee to get the flavor out, kind of like a stock.

Dump the chopped chicken and these extra parts into the rice and stir.

Now for the pi-dan. When you buy the pi-dan, I recommend avoiding eggs from China where some companies still use a quicker method for preserving the eggs that makes use of Lead Oxide, which is very toxic. I'm sure they claim no lead makes it into the eggs, but I don't know if I trust them (this is actually the same for a lot of Chinese food products including eel and mushrooms).

So, to be safe, look for products from Taiwan or that have a lead-free symbol. In this case, these eggs have both.

Once you open the box, you'll see your grey spotted eggs. Rinse, then crack and peel them.  

I found that the inner membrane is often stuck to the egg "white" (which is black after being preserved) so after you crack them, run them under water to help the membrane separate from the white before peeling.  

Chop the pi-dan into 1/4"-1/2" pieces.  

Mix the eggs in with the rice and chicken and then set your rice cooker to cook.

When the cook cycle is complete, let it rest for 10-15 minutes so the steam decreases, then mix and check for taste and consistency (depending how thick you want it). Add more water and salt if necessary.

Reset your cooker and cook for another cycle and let it rest. For me this means re-filling the bottom of mine with water. If you have an electric cooker, you may need to figure out the best way to do this.

If you had any extra chicken parts, fish them out and throw them away.

Ladle the congee into bowls and serve while hot. Garnish with finely chopped green onions (scallions) if desired.

Note that as the rice sits, it may absorb more water and thicken even after the second cooking. If this happens, simply add more water and cook just until it boils.

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