Salted duck eggs, are a favourite among the Chinese, though now it is commonly eaten by others too. These salted eggs are sometimes sold, covered with a thick layer of charcoal salted paste. For homemade salted eggs, we soak the eggs in prepared brine solution. Salt is boiled with some water, left overnight till completely cool, then the whole eggs are put into a glass jar, covered with the salted brine, the jar is then covered lightly with a slight opening gap, and leave to preserve, undisturbed in a cool, dark place for 21 days.
These are hard-boiled salted eggs. Really good as a side condiment with congee.
At the end of 21 days, I would usually test an egg to check whether they are ready to be eaten. An egg is taken from the jar, rinse it clean and boil it in plain cool water for about 10 minutes, same as the regular hard boiled eggs. Remove it from the boiling water and let cool to room temperature. Once cool, cut the egg in half lengthwise, the yolk should be orange red, a little oily and firm. The white part would be more saltier than the yolk. If the whole yolk is pale in colour, then the eggs are not ready, and need to be preserved a little bit longer, maybe another few days or so. The oiler the yolk, the tastier it will be, then you will know that you have been really successful at making homemade salted eggs.
Make sure the eggs are completely submerged in the brine solution. I placed a small teacup to keep the eggs in place as they tend to float to the surface.
Keep it covered, leaving a small gap to allow air to circulate. Place the jar in a dark and cool place, undisturbed, and leave for 21 days.
Salted duck eggs can be boiled or steamed, still in their shell, and once cooked, peel off the shell and can be eaten with congee and also be used to prepare other Chinese dishes. Salted eggs are usually prized for their yolks, the deeper the colour and more oily it gets, the tastier it will be. During the Mooncake Festival, the price of salted eggs would usually increase, as the yolks are used to represent the moon in the mooncakes.
The white part of the raw salted eggs would be runny and clear, whereas the yolk would be a bright orange-red and firm. The raw yolks can be mashed and use to flavour soups along with the whites.
I have made Salted Duck Eggs many times and have given most of the eggs away to my sisters and friends. Salted duck eggs are high in cholestorel and sodium, therefore this is not consumed frequently. We only have this once in a while, and at moderation. Usually an egg is shared by two persons, each gets a half!
Even though chicken eggs can be used, duck eggs are preferred for its richer and creamier taste. There are many ways of using salted duck eggs, either in savoury cooking or sweet desserts. I will be posting some recipes using salted eggs when I do use them.
Have you eaten salted duck eggs before?
I'm sharing this with Full Plate Thursday over at Miz Helen's Country Cottage
Salted Duck Eggs
12 medium sized duck eggs, wash and scrub shell gently to remove dirt, wipe dry
8 cups water
- Place salt and water in deep stockpot and let boil till most of the salt dissolves. Tip, if the brine is salty enough, the salt won't dissolve completely, you can still find the salt grains in the pot. Let cool completely, preferably overnight.
- Wash eggs clean, gently scrub the shell to remove dirt. Wipe dry and place in a glass jar. I would prefer to use medium sized eggs rather than large, as it takes a shorter period of time to preserve them. If you're using bigger sized eggs, increase the preservation by another 3 to 4 days.
- Place a sieve over the jar of eggs, and slowly pour the salted brine solution into the jar until the eggs are fully submerged in the solution. Because of the density of the salt, the eggs will float. Place a mug or a small bowl over the top of the eggs to submerge the eggs in the solution. Cover the jar loosely, leaving a gap for the air to circulate.
- Leave in a cool, dark place, undisturbed for about 21 days.
- At the end of 21 days, there are two ways to check whether the eggs are ready. First method is to break open the uncooked salted egg, the whites should be clear and runny and the yolk should be firm that you can lift it up with a spoon and the colour is orange red. Now I prefer the second method, boil it in an open small pot for about 10 minutes, let cool to room temperature, unpeel or just cut it across lengthwise, the yolks should be orange-red and a little oily. If the yolk is really pale, leave the rest of the eggs to preserve for another 3 days or so, and do the test-check again.
- Do not allow the eggs to soak in the brine solution for long periods as they will get saltier the longer they sits in the salted solution. Once the test check is done, and the eggs are ready, simply drain them dry in a colander and place them in a covered container, and store them in the fridge.