In the literal translation from the Chinese “sunhua” means “flowersof pine” (“dan” – “Eggs”).
As after removal of the shell you can see hardened and semi-transparent, visiblemesh pattern, reminiscent of pine needles.
The richer the pattern … the higher the quality of eggs.
To prepare sunhuadan they commonly use duck eggs. According to popular recipe they are soaked in a mixture of burnt lime, salt and water.
Now they leave the eggs for 40-60days in a fluid consisting of caustic soda, salt and tea leaves. In some regions people prepare them differently: they wrap them in raw shelled eggs separately in a mixture of caustic soda, salt and wheat husks, and after 2-3 weeks they are ready for use.
Some foreigners strain at this wonderful, truly Chinese dish, because sunhuadan also called the “hundred year” or “millennial” eggs, which, of course, an exaggeration.
Ready-preserved eggs are soft, smooth, elastic at the same time, the yolk becomes adark and gelatinous. Because of sodium hydroxide and ammonia emissions during cooking of the eggs, they can have an light alkaline smell and taste to be viscous.
A small amount of a mixture of vinegar, minced ginger root and soy sauce will help toneutralize these effects and improve the taste of a dish.