How long can century eggs last for refrigerated and unrefrigerated? I have some slightly cracked eggs from a friend who has stored it for months in his refrigerator.

A few comments from this blog have suggested people have eaten unrefrigerated century eggs stored in a pantry for half a year with no ill effects.

Edit: It tasted great.

  • 1
    100 years? :-) ...
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Commented Feb 22, 2014 at 16:45
  • 2
    As if the picture of the century egg wasn't strange enough, keep reading. Virgin-boy urine egg?
    – Jolenealaska
    Commented Feb 23, 2014 at 14:00
  • 1
    Actually guys, I went ahead and ate them anyway; they tasted great.
    – Jason
    Commented Feb 23, 2014 at 21:33
  • 3
    @BlessedGeek If you want to talk about whether you like century eggs, try Seasoned Advice Chat. Comments aren't really meant for debating whether the OP's taste in food is good, and there's no place on the site that's meant for being rude to people.
    – Cascabel
    Commented Feb 23, 2014 at 22:55

4 Answers 4


Was the limestone and hay wrapper cracked or the egg shells? Century eggs are really only a few weeks-months old, actually. Though they do keep for long periods at room temperature. They're also damn tasty and have a lot of ammonia i.e. Very high PH (basic) so unlikely to spoil.


Century eggs are a preserved food. Unopened, they can last for a very long time, possibly years, without refrigeration. They are sold at my "local" Asian supermarket in the dry stock aisles. Once opened you can keep them in the refrigerator for a few days. Or make chok or congee and have the left overs for breakfast.


My friend in Taiwan says they will keep refrigerated for up to 5 months - possibly longer but why risk it?

  • 2
    Hello new user. Welcome to Seasoned Advice. Because we value expert advice on this website, we tend to dismiss hearsay rather quickly. Simply living in Taiwan isn't enough. If your friend has some credentials that validate this claim, we could consider it a good source of information.
    – Preston
    Commented Apr 23, 2014 at 22:54

According to a risk assessment conducted by the government of Australia — Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) — advises that the shelf life of pidan (under the modernized processing methodologies for shelf stable production at ambient temperatures) should be about one year from production date stored at ambient conditions per labeling instructions and intact (they cite "USDA, 2006" as their reference).

In an informal context, I have personally been told by relatives (I am an ABC, of Taiwanese descent) that the shelf life is roughly as reported when stored in dry, ambient conditions, and that it can be extended "indefinitely" when refrigerated (with packaging intact).

Additional Reading

Effect of different alkali treatments on the chemical composition, physical properties, and microstructure of pidan white (backup)

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