Steamed Pork with Salted Eggs is an easy and tasty dish using just a handful…
Homemade Salted Eggs using only chicken or duck eggs, kosher salt, Shao Hsing cooking wine, and water. The hardest part is the waiting.
Salted Eggs are preserved eggs packed in salted charcoal paste or soaked in brine. You can find them at Asian grocery stores either covered in a thick, black layer of paste or vacuum packed in plastic. The raw egg white is almost gelatine-like with a round, yellow-orange yolk that is firm to the touch. When cooked, the white is soft and salty while the yolk is fatty with a slightly grainy texture.
A Poor Man’s Food
In Malaysia, Salted Eggs are rather inexpensive and easily available. It is considered budget food and is popularly served hard boiled with plain rice porridge or congee. The salty whites and rich yolks are the perfect complement to the bland gruel.
When I was a kid, my Grandma used to make this Minced Pork and Salted Egg Congee which was very tasty. It was and continues to be one of my favorite congees.
As Flavoring and Ingredient for Other Dishes
People often use Salted Eggs as a flavoring for appetizers, steamed meats, and clear soups like this Chan Choy Tong (Malabar Spinach Soup) and Steamed Pork with Salted Egg. You can also find the round yellow-orange yolks in traditional bak chang (glutinous rice dumplings) and mooncakes. They provide a counterpoint of taste, texture, color, and are symbolic of the full moon in mooncakes.
Commercial versus Homemade Salted Eggs
These are usually packed in a layer of salted charcoal paste which must be scraped and rinsed off before cooking. Remove homemade ones from the brine once it has cured and reached the desired level of saltiness.
Salted Duck Eggs
I managed to buy duck eggs this time as my health food store finally brought them in. They are only available in the summer and are not cheap. I paid USD5.00 for 6 eggs. You can always use chicken eggs if you can’t find duck eggs. I have made them successfully as seen in this post on Roti n Rice. The yolks were just as beautiful and they took a slightly shorter time to cure, about 3 to 4 weeks.
Similar Tools Used in Making These Salted Eggs
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- Bring 4 cups (960ml) water in a medium sized saucepan to a boil. Add salt and stir until dissolved. Remove and allow the salt solution to cool completely.
- Rinse eggs and place in a jar with lid. Set aside.
- When salt solution is completely cool, add Shao Hsing cooking wine.
- Pour salt solution into jar containing rinsed eggs.
- Filled a small Ziplog sandwich bag half full with water. Squeeze as much of the air out as possible. Gently stuff bag with water into the jar to weigh down the eggs so that they are totally submerged.
- Cover jar with lid and place jar in a cool spot at room temperature for 4 to 5 weeks. Chicken eggs will take 4 weeks while duck eggs should be left in the brine for 5 weeks.
- After 4 to 5 weeks, do a test to see if eggs are ready. Remove an egg from the brine and crack into a bowl to check its yolk. It is ready if the yolk is a bright yellow-orange color and is quite firm to the touch. The white should be a little cloudy but still runny.
- Alternatively, remove an egg from the brine and place it in a small saucepan covered with cold water. Boil over medium heat for 15 minutes. Egg is ready if it is salty and the yolk is a bright yellow-orange color.
- If eggs are not ready, leave them in the brine for another week. Finally, remove all eggs from brine and store in a container in the refrigerator.
- Consume salted eggs within a month.