Salted egg is a delicious treat in Chinese cuisine, prized for it’s bright, orange-red colored yolk. The egg white has a salty taste to it, while the yolk has a less salty, but rich, fatty and firm textured taste. It could be eaten hard-boiled with congee for breakfast, or be used as an ingredient in steamed minced pork, mooncakes (the yolk symbolizes the moon), glutinous rice dumplings and many other dishes. (You can find a number of salted egg recipes online, or wait for a later article from me)
You can buy salted eggs in many Chinese markets, or in the World Section of many supermarkets as well. However, it is extremely easy and fun to make at home, and it is dirt cheap to do so.
What You Need:
- Half a dozen or a dozen Eggs, depending on the size of your container (could be regular chicken eggs or duck eggs, for the larger yolks)
- Sea salt or rock salt
- Any clear glass or plastic container of sufficient size to contain the eggs
- Boil the water and let it cool down. I do not like using tap water directly, regardless where I am at in the world. It’s just an extra step that gives me the peace of mind.
- Rinse and wash the eggs then let them dry (check and make sure there are no cracks on the eggs).
- Pour the cold water into your container and continue adding salt until it no longer dissolves and begin to accumulate on the bottom of the container.
- Add the eggs into the container. Because of the high salt concentration in the water, the eggs on top will float to the surface. In order to make sure all eggs are necessarily submerged in the brine, you can fill up a small Ziploc bag with water, or use a sauce plate as a place holder on top of the eggs to keep all the eggs submerged in the brine.
- Cover the container with a few layers of Seran Wrap and hold it tightly in place with elastic bands, or just screw the lid on top of the Seran Wrap tightly. Place at room temperature away from the sun for about a month. Label the start and finish dates of the container to remind yourself.
- After a month, take one egg out (make sure the remaining eggs are still fully submerged in the brine) and hard boil it to see if it tastes salty enough. If not, brine the rest for another week. (My experience was six weeks.) If you were satisfied with the taste, take out all the eggs and wipe them dry. Put them in an egg carton and store in the fridge. They could be kept for about a month. If boiled, they could be kept for about a YEAR refrigerated!!!
That’s it. Pretty simple.
- You can reuse the brine a few more times, just add boiled water to it as necessary as some might have evaporated. Some people suggest to re-boil the brine before reusing it for the next batch.
- There are a few recipe variations out there. Some of the more common ones are adding peppercorn and/or rice wine or even tea leaves to the brine to add flavor.