If you've come across what look like vacuum-packed eggs, or even eggs covered in a thick layer of damp charcoal paste in the supermarket, you've probably been looking at salted duck eggs.
Commonly found in Chinese grocery stores, these 'preserved eggs' may look unusual to the uninitiated, but once tried the eggs' superior richness and saltiness and versatility in the kitchen keeps those in the know coming back for more.
What are Chinese Salted Duck Eggs?
These special eggs are raw duck eggs that have usually been preserved inside their shell in brine for around 30 to 50 days, or packed into damp salted charcoal paste and left for a duration, following which the egg is usually boiled before eating.
The magic happens during the curing process when the moisture is drawn out of the egg inside yielding a deep bright orange yolk which has an oily and crumbly texture as a result.
Properly salted, the duck egg yolks are considered a specialty with their creamy, granular, and oily texture and rich and salty flavour making them a tasty addition to many a recipe.
If you have trouble finding them in your local store, or want to try making your own salted duck eggs, it's a simple job that just requires factoring in that lengthy curing time to work that magic.
How to Make Salted Duck Eggs
Here's an easy instruction on how to make up a batch of salted duck eggs using the salted version. All you will need are the duck eggs, chinese cooking wine, fine sea salt and a ziploc bag.
This recipe uses the brining method, where the eggs are left to cure in a large vessel of salted water:
Recipes with Salted Duck Eggs
The yolks of salted duck eggs are commonly found at the centre of mooncakes, particularly during the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival where the golden yolk resembles the full moon.
In savoury cooking salted duck eggs can be used in a number of ways, from mixing into stir-fries or with minced pork, to being boiled and eaten with congee or even enjoyed for breakfast in glutinous dumplings.
Lady and pup also has a very enticing recipe for the "red diamonds," as she calls them, in her spaghetti carbonara recipe.
How do you eat your salted duck eggs?