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Salted Duck Eggs Recipe

Written by Louise Hendon on May 29
Salted Duck Eggs

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then keep reading, because these are delicious!

What are salted duck eggs?

The photo above shows my own homemade salted duck eggs, but you can actually buy them from some Chinese grocery stores too. It’s duck eggs aged in brine, which makes the yolks turn oily, slightly salty, and amazingly delicious! And it’s really easy to make at home as I’ll explain.

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How are salted duck eggs eaten?

This is something that’s eaten in many Asian countries – it’s actually very common. The yolk is often placed in mooncakes or used as a sauce in stir-fries. Or, the egg is boiled and eaten with congee (a sort-of rice porridge) for breakfast. I personally love just eating it by itself. I especially savor eating the yolk, which is really odd because I’m not a big fan of chicken egg yolks. The photo below shows a store-bought salted duck egg.
Salted Duck Eggs

How to make salted duck eggs?

Detailed steps below – but basically, the uncooked eggs sat in this salty brine in my fridge for over a month.
Salted Duck Eggs

5 from 1 reviews
Salted Duck Eggs
  • 6 duck eggs (use more if you want)
  • salt
  • water
  1. Buy some fresh duck eggs (I found some in Whole Foods).
  2. Then wash the outside of the eggs in cold water well, removing any dirt. (Don't cook the eggs!)
  3. Find a glass or ceramic container that would fit all the eggs and clean it well (you can sterilize it with hot water if the container won't crack with the heat).
  4. In a saucepan heat up enough water to fill the container (or at least cover all the eggs). When the water starts boiling, add in salt until the water is saturated (i.e., if you add in any more salt, the salt won't dissolve into the water anymore). You can also add spices at this point (traditional spices include star anise and Szechuan peppercorns). Traditionally, Shao Xing wine is also added to turn the yolk a redish color. I personally didn't find a need for anything other than salt.
  5. Let the brine cool to room temperature. Then carefully place the uncooked washed eggs into the container and fill with the cool brine.
  6. Place a lid on the container or place a plate or something that will keep the eggs submerged in the brine.
  7. Leave in fridge for 30-50 days. The best way to test whether the eggs are done is to take one out and hard boil it and then look at the yolk to see if it's to your liking - I recommend around 50 days to get the yolks really oily.
The photos are from 40 days of aging. As the eggs age, the whites get more salty and the yolk gets more oily. So if you want really oily yolks, then you'll have to put up with saltier egg whites.

Note also that you need to hard boil the eggs and that you should peel the shell off gently as it's not always easy to come off.
Becky - September 21

How long do the salted eggs keep?

Also, I remember my mom keeping it in a dark cool place, like the pantry. Is it like dancing with the devil not to keep it refrigerated? I’ve always wanted to make these, but feel like it may end up with death.

Thanks for the recipe!

    Louise Hendon - September 21

    Hi Becky – I would store them in the fridge for the whole time to ensure they don’t go bad. As to how long they keep…in the salt water, it’ll last pretty long but it’ll of course get saltier. If you take them out of the salt water after 1 month, then you can leave them in the fridge for at least several weeks. Also remember that you’re cooking the eggs until hard boiled before you eat it.

Darlene - January 22

I hope this hasn’t been covered somewhere else. Can you use chicken eggs or is there something special about duck eggs?

    Louise Hendon - January 22

    Hi Darlene – you can definitely use chicken eggs. Duck eggs just give a bit more oil in the yolk, and that makes it taste better, but there’s nothing wrong with using chicken eggs (just a slightly different taste).

Gina - March 10

I s it necessary the salted hard boiled eggs has to be stored in the fridge all the time?

    Louise Hendon - March 10

    I would keep them in the fridge, although I think salted hard boiled eggs can keep outside the fridge.

James Moy - April 13

I have a dozen duck eggs that I would like to brine. I have a glass jar large enough for all the eggs, but not enough space in the refrigerator for the jar. In the past, I’ve brined them on my kitchen countertop. They seem to do OK there. After 30-40 days I remove them and place them in an egg carton in the refrigerator. They seem to do OK there. I use the eggs through out the year. I note that after 12 months the last egg seemed to “dry up” on me. Had to throw it away. Did I keep them too long? Should they be eaten within 4-6 months? What do you suggest?

    Louise Hendon - April 14

    I haven’t ever kept them for that long – I usually finish eating them after a few weeks.

glenn alionar - May 2

Hi, Louise you said to add salt till the water get saturated, what do you mean by saturated explain! how much salt per gallon water.
Thanks, Glenn

    Louise Hendon - May 3

    Hi – saturated just means until no more salt will dissolve (ie, you’ll stir, and the salt will just sink to the bottom and won’t dissolve). At that point, you’ll know you reached the saturation point :) Hope that helps!

khaiti - May 12

Do you do a regular cook time for the hardboil after the salt cure time? Are thy edible without the hardboil, after th cure? Fascinating!!! Thank you for sharing!

    Louise Hendon - May 13

    Yes – definitely boil them for the regular amount after the salt cure time – you want to them to be hardboiled. I’ve never come across anyone eating them without hardboiling them, so I don’t know if it would be good to eat.

Ben10101 - May 18

1. Wine in salted duck eggs is not to make the yolk of the egg red, wine used to cleansing the smell.
2. Most duck eggs the yolk are reddish by nature.

    Louise Hendon - May 19

    Thanks Ben – that’s really helpful! I’ve been eating a ton of salted duck eggs recently, and I’ve found them to be more brownish rather than red.

Jaxon - June 4

Can I ask , is the boiling of the brine to enable the salt to dissolve easily? I made a brine but didn’t boil the water to dissolve the salt.

    Louise Hendon - June 4

    The boiling is for 2 purposes – to kill any bacteria that might be in the water so that it doesn’t make your eggs go bad and also to dissolve the maximum amount of salt into the water.

      Jaxon - June 7

      So should I throw my eggs out and start again?

        Louise Hendon - June 11

        If you’ve only just started on it, then you might want to just cook the eggs and restart. If they’ve been marinating for a while, then you might want to be more careful about whether the eggs have gone bad – I’m sorry, but I don’t know how best to judge.

Aaronnco - June 14

Hi, do you know how to make Century Egg, “pe dan? is that made in the same way? I also love to eat than in plan white porridge. I wish Century egg can also be a bit slightly more salty so it is like salted duck egg. Thanks

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