Make Your Own Cured Salted Egg Yolks

Everything old is new again! Salted egg recipe is a centuries old way to preserve egg yolks. Use salted egg yolks to give your foods a pop of color, a boost of protein and calcium along with lots of flavor.

Make Your Own Cured Salted Egg Yolks

Raising chickens for eggs allows me to be pretty free with creating new recipes. But one trendy recipe I had yet to try was cured, salted egg yolks. The whole process of preserving egg yolks in a salt/sugar cure intrigued me, so I did my due diligence. Researching this centuries old, yet trendy, egg preservation method was a fascinating lesson in food chemistry.

I was surprised at how easy it was to preserve yolks in this manner and was delighted with the result. If you’ve never salt cured anything before, let salted egg yolks be your first attempt. The process couldn’t be more simple. Separate yolks, place them snugly in a salt/sugar mixture, let them cure in the refrigerator to remove moisture, then complete the drying process in the oven or dehydrator. What you’ll wind up with is a sunny disk with the consistency of a wedge of Parmesan cheese, firm yet easily grated. Salted egg yolks add a savory, complex flavor to a lot of different foods. From soups to salads and more, salted egg yolks belong in your arsenal of good things.

CURED SALTED EGG YOLKS

The beauty of this recipe is its versatility. This recipe is for four to six eggs. Make as few or as many as you like, adjusting the salt/sugar ratio and size of the pan. If you like a less savory yolk, use equal amounts of salt and sugar.

Ingredients

  • 4 – 6 eggs (I’m using 4)
  • 8×8” or other small ceramic or glass pan
  • 1 and ¾ cups Kosher, sea or Himalayan pink salt, fine grind
  • 1 and ¼ cups granulated sugar

Instructions

  1. Place half the salt in an even layer in the pan.
  2. Use a whole egg to make four indentations in the salt.

    salted-egg-yolks
    Make indentations with whole egg
  3. Separate yolks from whites. Freeze whites for later use.
  4. Gently lay yolks in the indentations in the pan.

    salted-egg-yolks
    Nestle each yolk in curing mixture
  5. Gently pack remaining salt/sugar mixture on top, making sure to cover each yolk completely.

    salted-egg-yolks
    Yolks completely covered with salt
  6. Cover tightly with plastic wrap.
  7. Place in refrigerator for four to seven days. This starts the curing process, removing moisture from the yolks.
  8. Gently remove yolks from curing mixture, brush as much salt off of each as possible, and carefully rinse under cool water to remove all salt.
    salted-egg-yolks
    Rinse gently

    Yolks will be semi-firm, bright in color, and translucent. They will feel smooth in your hand when all salt is removed. Pat dry.

  9. Finish curing by drying completely in dehydrator or in oven.

To dry in dehydrator:

  1. Spray plastic mat and place on dehydrator shelf.
  2. Put yolks on mat, spacing them an inch or so apart so air can circulate.
  3. Turn temperature to 140 degrees F and dry until opaque, and texture is like a wedge of Parmesan, about 1 and ½ hours. You should be able to cut through the cooled yolk with a knife or grate it easily.
  4. Store, covered, in the refrigerator up to three months.

To dry in oven:

  1. Follow instructions above for removing all salt.
  2. Preheat oven to 150F. (If your oven only goes down to 170/175, prop it partially open with a wooden spoon).
  3. Spray a wire rack and place on a baking pan.
  4. Dry until opaque and texture is like a wedge of Parmesan, 1 and ½ to 2 hours. You should be able to cut through the cooled yolk with a knife or grate it easily.

    salted-egg-yolks
    Salted egg yolks ready to use
  5. Store, covered, in the refrigerator up to three months.

You can swap duck eggs for chicken eggs in salted egg yolks. Duck eggs vs. chicken eggs take longer to cure, do to their size.

How to Use Salted Egg Yolks

One of many egg facts is that they give a protein boost to many foods.

  • Use instead of grated cheese on crostini appetizers.
  • Add to herbed butters. Salted egg yolks give the butter a bright golden color and a sharper flavor.
  • Grate over pastas, curries, and soups.
  • Add zing to your mixed green salad by topping with a shower of grated salted egg yolks.

    salted-egg-yolks
    Salad topped with grated salted egg yolk

What Is Salt Curing?

The oldest naturally-occurring food preservation technique known, salt curing is just covering food in salt and sometimes sugar to draw out moisture and transform its flavor and texture.

History of Salted Egg Yolks

The ancient Chinese, in their salting food preservation techniques, included egg yolks cured in salt for long-term storage and use. Remember, there was no refrigeration at the time.

Today, salted egg yolks are a traditional pantry ingredient in Chinese and Malaysian cuisines. They hit mainstream here in the U.S.A. several years ago, when adventurous and frugal chefs discovered this ancient technique to flavor their special dishes.

Salted Egg Yolks = Umami!

My foodie friends describe the flavor of salted egg yolks as an “umami” taste. Umami is a savory kind of taste and is one of the tenets of the five basic tastes, which include sour, sweet, bitter and salty. But the only thing you really need to know is that the flavor is darn good. A nice swap for Parmesan as a garnish.

Are Salted Egg Yolks Too Salty?

Surprisingly, salted egg yolks are more eggy and savory-tasting to my palate. Yes, the salt flavor comes through, but not too aggressively.

Have you made salted egg yolks? Let us know! 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *