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Chinese Salted Egg Recipe: How to Make It at Home

If you're a fan of Chinese cuisine, you've probably heard of salted eggs. These delicacies are a staple in many traditional Chinese dishes, and for good reason. Salted eggs are a delicious and versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes, from congee to stir-fries and beyond. In this article, we'll take a closer look at the Chinese salted egg recipe and show you how to make your own at home.

A hand mixing duck eggs with salt and packing them in a jar

To make salted eggs, you'll need a few key ingredients and tools. Duck eggs are the traditional choice, but you can also use chicken eggs if you prefer. You'll also need sea salt or rock salt, Shaoxing wine, star anise, and Sichuan peppercorns. In terms of tools, you'll need a large pot, a container for brining the eggs, and a sharp knife for slicing the eggs open. Once you have everything you need, you're ready to get started on making your own salted eggs.

Key Takeaways

  • Making your own salted eggs is a great way to add a unique and delicious flavour to your dishes
  • You'll need a few key ingredients and tools to make salted eggs, including duck or chicken eggs, sea salt or rock salt, Shaoxing wine, star anise, and Sichuan peppercorns
  • Once you've prepared your brine solution and cured your eggs, you can rinse and dry them before using them in your favourite dishes.

Ingredients and Tools Required

A bowl of salted eggs, a spoonful of salt, a pot of water, and a pair of chopsticks on a wooden table

Choosing the Right Eggs

When it comes to making Chinese salted eggs, you have two options: duck eggs or chicken eggs. Duck eggs are the traditional choice, but chicken eggs can also be used. If you're using duck eggs, make sure they're fresh and free of cracks. Chicken eggs are a bit more forgiving, but try to use the freshest eggs you can find.

Salt Types and Alternatives

Sea salt is the most commonly used salt for making Chinese salted eggs. However, you can also use table salt, rock salt, or kosher salt. Keep in mind that different types of salt have different crystal sizes, so you may need to adjust the amount of salt you use in the recipe accordingly.

If you're looking for a salt alternative, you can try using soy sauce or miso paste. These ingredients will add a unique flavour to your salted eggs.

Additional Flavourings

In addition to salt, you can add other flavourings to your salted eggs. Star anise, cinnamon, and Sichuan peppercorns are commonly used spices that add depth and complexity to the flavour of the eggs. You can also experiment with other spices such as cloves, fennel seeds, or coriander.

To make your salted eggs, you'll need a large glass jar or container to hold the eggs and brine. You'll also need a pot to boil the eggs in once they've been salted.

If you're feeling adventurous, you can try adding seafood to your salted egg recipe. Shrimp, crab, or fish can be used to create a savoury and flavourful dish. Just make sure to use fresh seafood and adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Preparing the Brine Solution

A bowl of water with salt and lye, next to a pile of duck eggs

To make Chinese salted eggs, you'll need to prepare a brine solution. This solution is made up of water, salt, and other spices and seasonings to give the eggs their unique flavour.

Boiling and Cooling

Start by boiling water in a saucepan. Add salt and stir until it has fully dissolved. Let the brine cool down completely before using it to preserve the eggs. If you add the eggs to the hot brine, they may crack or cook, which will ruin the texture of the egg whites.

Spices and Seasoning

You can add other spices and seasonings to the brine solution to give the eggs a more complex flavour. Some popular options include ginger, soy sauce, and Shaoxing wine. You can also add a small amount of sugar to balance out the saltiness.

If you're feeling adventurous, you can also try adding seafood to the brine solution. Shrimp, crab, and lobster are all great options that will infuse the eggs with a delicious seafood flavour. Just be sure to remove any shells or legs before adding them to the brine.

Overall, preparing the brine solution is a crucial step in making Chinese salted eggs. By following these simple steps, you'll be able to create eggs with a rich, savoury flavour that's perfect for snacking or adding to your favourite dishes.

Curing Process

Eggs submerged in a mixture of salt, clay, and water in a container. The container is placed in a cool, dark area for 30 days

Egg Submersion

The curing process of Chinese salted eggs can be carried out in three ways: by immersing them in a saline or brine solution, covering the eggs with salt and a paste made from clay or charcoal, or by directly covering the yolks with salt. The most common method is the brine method, which involves submerging the eggs in a saltwater solution for a specific period.

To start, you need to prepare the brine solution, which typically consists of salt and water. You can use either chicken or duck eggs, but duck eggs are preferred as they have a larger yolk and a thicker white. Once you have your eggs and brine solution, you can start the brining process.

Duration and Storage

The duration of the brining process depends on the method you choose. For the brine method, it usually takes around 30 days for the eggs to be fully cured. During this period, the eggs should be kept at room temperature and away from direct sunlight. You can also add some spices such as Sichuan peppercorns, star anise, and Shaoxing wine to the brine solution to add some flavour to the eggs.

After the eggs are fully cured, you can store them in the refrigerator for up to six months. It is recommended that you store them in a sealed container to prevent any odours from affecting the eggs.

If you prefer the dry method, you can cure the yolks only in a salt cure. This method takes around 10 days, and the eggs should be stored in a cool, dry place during the curing process. Once they are fully cured, you can store them in the refrigerator for up to six months.

Seafood such as shrimp or crab can be added to the brine solution to enhance the flavour of the eggs. The addition of seafood will give the eggs a unique taste and aroma. However, it is important to note that not all types of seafood are suitable for this recipe. It is recommended to use small shrimp or crab that are fresh and have a mild flavour.

Rinsing and Drying

Eggs being rinsed under running water, then laid out to dry on a clean kitchen towel

When it comes to making Chinese salted eggs, the first step is to rinse and dry the eggs. This is an important step because it ensures that the eggs are clean and free from any dirt or debris that may be on the eggshells. In this section, we will discuss the two techniques for rinsing and drying the eggs: Cleaning the Eggs and Air-Drying Technique.

Cleaning the Eggs

To clean the eggs, you need to wash them thoroughly under running water. Use a soft-bristled brush to gently scrub the eggshells to remove any dirt or debris. Be careful not to scrub too hard as this can damage the eggshells and cause them to crack. Once you have washed the eggs, pat them dry with a clean towel.

Air-Drying Technique

After cleaning the eggs, you can use the air-drying technique to dry them. This technique involves placing the eggs on a wire rack or a clean towel and leaving them to air dry for a few hours. The air circulation helps to dry the eggs quickly and evenly. Make sure that you place the eggs in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

It is important to note that you should not put the eggs in the fridge to dry. This is because the fridge can cause condensation to form on the eggshells, which can lead to spoilage. Instead, use the air-drying technique to dry the eggs naturally.

As a suggestion, you can also try using seafood in your salted egg recipe. For example, you can use prawns or shrimps to add a seafood flavour to your dish. Simply cook the seafood separately and add it to the salted eggs when serving.

Cooking and Usage

A hand holding a salted egg, a bowl of soy sauce, and a plate of cooked rice

Boiling Salted Eggs

To cook salted duck eggs, you need to boil them in water. Submerge the salted duck egg in a pot of boiling water and cook over medium heat for 10-12 minutes. To cut the egg open, pierce the egg with the sharp tip of a knife and then in one quick slicing motion, cut the egg in half.

Incorporating into Dishes

Salted eggs can be used in a variety of dishes. They are commonly used to make Salted Egg Yolk Sauce, which is a popular dipping sauce for seafood dishes. You can also use salted eggs in dishes such as Mooncakes, Congee, Fried Rice, Stir Fry, Porridge, and Pastries.

When using salted eggs in dishes, it is important to consider the saltiness of the dish. Salted eggs are already quite salty, so you may need to adjust the amount of salt you use in your recipe accordingly.

If you are looking to add seafood to your salted egg dish, consider using prawns or scallops. These seafood options pair well with salted egg and can be used in dishes such as Salted Egg Prawn Stir Fry or Salted Egg Scallop Porridge.

Overall, salted eggs are a versatile ingredient that can add a unique flavor to your dishes. With a little experimentation, you can find the perfect way to incorporate salted eggs into your cooking.

Frequently Asked Questions

A hand mixing salted egg ingredients in a bowl. Ingredients and utensils scattered on a kitchen counter

How do you make a simple Chinese salted egg?

To make a simple Chinese salted egg, you will need fresh duck eggs and salt. First, wash the eggs and dry them thoroughly. Then, mix salt and water in a ratio of 1:3 and bring it to a boil. Allow the salt water to cool down completely before adding the eggs. Submerge the eggs in the salt water for 20 to 30 days, depending on how salty you want them to be. After the curing process, rinse the eggs with cold water and pat them dry. Now, your salted eggs are ready to use!

What's the best recipe for Chinese salted egg?

There are many different recipes for Chinese salted eggs, but a simple and classic recipe involves using duck eggs and salt. However, you can also experiment with adding other ingredients like spices or herbs to give your salted eggs a unique flavor.

What are some good recipes that include salted duck eggs?

Salted duck eggs are a popular ingredient in many Chinese dishes. They can be used as a topping for congee or added to stir-fries and salads. You can also use them to make mooncakes and other traditional Chinese pastries. For a seafood twist, try adding salted duck eggs to a seafood fried rice or seafood chowder.

How long should you boil a salted egg?

You don't need to boil salted eggs because they are already cooked during the curing process. To use them in a recipe, simply crack them open and remove the yolk or slice them into wedges.

Can you explain the step-by-step process for making salted eggs?

To make salted eggs, you will need fresh duck eggs, salt, and water. First, wash the eggs and dry them thoroughly. Then, mix salt and water in a ratio of 1:3 and bring it to a boil. Allow the salt water to cool down completely before adding the eggs. Submerge the eggs in the salt water for 20 to 30 days, depending on how salty you want them to be. After the curing process, rinse the eggs with cold water and pat them dry. Now, your salted eggs are ready to use!

What's the proper solution mix for curing eggs in the salted egg preparation?

The proper solution mix for curing eggs in the salted egg preparation is a ratio of 1:3 salt to water. Bring the mixture to a boil and let it cool down before adding the eggs. Submerge the eggs in the salt water for 20 to 30 days, depending on how salty you want them to be. After the curing process, rinse the eggs with cold water and pat them dry.