Thursday, April 14, 2011

Salted Duck Eggs

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
400gm salt
8 cups water

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Leave in a cool, dark place, undisturbed for about 21 days.
  5. 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.
  6. 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. 


  1. Very nice idea !!! my beloved friend !!!
    Thank you !
    Greetings and kisses

  2. i got no more salted eggs left in my fridge!!

  3. Hi, thanks for the recipe. I wonder can we use chicken eggs instead of duck eggs? I am sure there are some countries that duck eggs are not available.

  4. Hi magda,
    Thank you! Nice to see you. Have a lovely weekend!

    Hi petite nyonya,
    Hint! Hint! Will pass over when I make the next batch. Be patient! :)

    Hi Anonymous,
    Thank you for visiting. Yes, chicken eggs can be used, I have made with chicken eggs before, it is very good too, but duck eggs are always the preferred choice! Start off with 6 eggs first, if you are OK with it, then do a bigger batch the next time round. Thank you!

  5. Very impressive, you actually make your own salted duck eggs! When we buy them here, it's hit and miss. Sometimes you get bad eggs. I like salted duck eggs with congee but in big pieces. :)

  6. Nice! These looks scrumptious! I wouldn't be able to share one those. I wouldn't be able to have just ONE! I'd need at least three. Soooo good. Thanks for sharing :)

  7. Hi Joy,
    What a neat way to cook an egg. That is such an interesting process and the result is amazing. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and hope to see you next week!

  8. oh i never had duck eggs like this...always the chinese style!

  9. What a wonderful idea!
    Tasty appetizer.

  10. I am amazed! Thought only eaten among Chinese and it's an acquired taste! Well done and thanks for sharing the recipe ;)

  11. I really loved your post today. We have had salted duck eggs on our travels but I never knew how to make them. Thanks so much for the tutorial. Have a great day. Blessings...MAry

  12. Lovely idea!
    I didn't know it!

  13. I love salted duck eggs! My mum used to make them when we ran out and couldn't get to a Chinese supermarket, but sometimes we'd leave them marinading for 2 months, so they went a bit funny when we did finally boil them :S But yours looks amazing! I love them in congee :)

  14. I never had these before! Thanks for showing us how to make them. They take a lot of patience!

  15. Hi KY,
    Yes, sometimes when I bought some, the eggs will be all pale yellow. So, I have been making my own for sometime now.

    Hi Parsley Sage,
    Having three at one go is way too much! We would usually only have a half each as it is salty, though homemade is usually less salty than store bought. The maximum that we usually have, is one each!

    Hi Jay,
    Thank you. Have you tried salted eggs before

    Hi Miz Helen,
    Thank you. It is fun to link up.

    Hi mr. pineapple man,
    I hope that you will be able to give this a try one day, I think that you will like it!

    Hi kitchen stories,
    Thank you for visiting. Have a nice day!

    Hi Food Glorious Food,
    Thank you for stopping by and your lovely comment. Yes, salted eggs can be seen in Malay and Indian restaurants too! Have a nice day!

    Hi Mary,
    Glad that I've posted this! Have a lovely day!

    Hi Barbara,
    Salted eggs are really an Asian delicacy! But it is really good, especially the yolks. Have a lovely day.

    Hi Xinmei,
    Thank you for visiting my site. Nice to see you. We love salted eggs in congee too, it is also great in vegetable soup. Hope to see you again, have a nice day!

    Hi Reeni,
    They are easy to make and yes, must be very patient to wait for 3 whole weeks! But they are worth it!

  16. I've always been puzzled as to how salted eggs came about! My childhood imagination of burying eggs beneath a secret seaside lagoon amidst a beautiful sunset will always remain a fond image in my mind :)

  17. ooh i had no idea you could make these yourself! my mom would looooove if i tried this.

    my email is starrysugar {at} hotmail
    i wonder why it didn't work... :(
    I would have loved to have your copycat recipe. sorry for the trouble...

  18. Thanks bought it today out of curiosity, will try to make it now after reading your blog.

  19. Hi! Does it have to be stored in a glass jar? We don't have any glass jars but only big plastic containers. Will that affect the outcome and taste of the salted duck eggs? Thanks!

    1. Hi Grace,
      I have never stored the eggs in a plastic container, so I have no idea whether it will affect the outcome and taste of the salted duck eggs. You could give it a try starting with just a few eggs first? It could depend on the quality of the plastic container as some containers have the plastic smell to it! Hope you have success with your homemade salted eggs.

  20. how many days can I stocked the salted duck egg???

    1. I keep the salted eggs in the refrigerator, and use within three to four weeks