Leng Pan

Tomato and Egg Summer Salad

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Serves

    4

    as Part of a Chinese Meal, or 2 as a Single Dish.

Appears in

Without a doubt, the Qu family cooked the best meals I had in Beijing. Made from the freshest ingredients, the dishes were simple and traditional, yet burst with flavour. We enjoyed them in a warm, friendly ambience, with a hospitality that comes only with homecooked food. One early, warm summer evening, Mrs. Qu prepared a quick and easy salad that was unusual but delightfully refreshing. It consisted of fresh tomatoes and two types of eggs, hard-boiled chicken eggs and preserved duck eggs, also known as thousand-year-old eggs. Buried in fine ash, salt, and lime for one hundred days, the eggs emerge with an aspic-like blackened jelly surrounding a greenish yolk, having been slow cooked by the action of the lime. Their distinctive, pungent flavour and aroma is reminiscent of strong cheese.

Ingredients

  • 2 fresh eggs
  • 2 preserved (thousand-year-old) eggs
  • 450 g/1 lb ripe tomatoes
  • tablespoons sugar

Method

Boil the fresh eggs for exactly 10 minutes. Remove them from the pan with a slotted spoon, immerse them immediately in cold water, and crack them lightly with a back of a spoon. Let them sit for at least 10 minutes in the cold water, changing the water two or three times. Gently peel the eggs. With a sharp knife, cut them in half.

Rinse the preserved eggs in cold water, peel them, and cut them in the same manner.

With a sharp knife, cut the tomatoes into thin slices. Arrange them, slightly overlapping, in the middle of a large round platter. Sprinkle them evenly with the sugar.

Then arrange a boiled egg half alternating with a preserved egg half around the edge of the platter. Serve at once.

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