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.
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.
- 6 duck eggs (use more if you want)
- Buy some fresh duck eggs (I found some in Whole Foods).
- Then wash the outside of the eggs in cold water well, removing any dirt. (Don't cook the eggs!)
- 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).
- 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.
- Let the brine cool to room temperature. Then carefully place the uncooked washed eggs into the container and fill with the cool brine.
- Place a lid on the container or place a plate or something that will keep the eggs submerged in the brine.
- 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.