Tong zi dan

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Tong zi dan or Tongzidan , also known as spring  eggs , ( Chinese  童子 蛋 , Pinyin tóngzǐdàn - "children's eggs") are specially prepared, hard-boiled bird eggs . It is a local specialty from the Chinese city ​​of Dongyang and the region there, in which the eggs are placed in children's urine and then boiled.


For Tong zi dan, urine is first collected, preferably from boys under ten years of age. The eggs and their shells are first placed in the urine and then boiled in it. After the egg whites coagulate, the shell is broken and the eggs are returned to the cooking container, where they continue to be cooked over low heat. After a while, fresh urine is poured in, which is repeated several times. In total, the tong zi dan are cooked for around a day.

Position as a local tradition

The eggs are said to have a health-promoting effect; They should help against tiredness, protect against heat strokes, promote blood circulation and counteract a deficiency in Yin . Urine of young boys has long been considered a remedy in traditional Chinese medicine , which is why it is still used today to prepare eggs. The alleged healing properties of Tong zi dan, however, are controversial; Chinese medicine experts also warned of possible health problems associated with handling urine.

The tong zi dan are traditionally cooked in spring and often sold on the street. Urine for large-scale preparation is collected in schools in Dongyang, among others. The tradition may have come from the history of the rural area, where eggs were once one of the few animal foods available. The city of Dongyang declared the Tong zi dan a national intangible cultural heritage in 2008. The egg specialty has been known since at least the end of the 19th century and was then seen more as a fortification than a food; The first mentions in English publications can be found for the year 1891.

See also

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d Franziska Voegeli: Exotic food. Urine eggs for the whole world . On: , March 14, 2012. Accessed April 2, 2012.
  2. ^ A b Royston Chan ( Reuters ): 'Virgin Boy Eggs' Cooked In Urine Are Spring Delicacy In Dongyang, China . From: Huffington Post ,, March 29, 2012. English, accessed April 2, 2012.
  3. Un snack délicieux: des oeufs couvés à l'urine . In: Le Nouvel Observateur ,, March 30, 2012. French, accessed April 2, 2012.
  4. Christine Hsu: China's Popular Urine-Soaked "Virgin Boy Eggs" Are Touted As Having Medicinal Benefits . In: Medical Daily,, March 29, 2012. English, accessed February 8, 2016.
  5. The Bulletin of Pharmacy 5, 1891. p. 363.