My good friend Prisca started an edible garden in her Puchong home last year. When her 5 year old son Adrian told her that eggs come from the supermarket (much to Prisca’s horror), she’s just had to convert part of her garden into a mini farm with 3 chickens, a duck & a geese. The minute I step into their house, her 3 excited kids brought me on the farm tour. I’m so amazed with their enthusiasm in educating me about their farm and pets, on how to recognise when their pet chickens and ducks lay eggs. Adrian would scour the garden daily for eggs, usually finding 2-3 eggs a day.
Together with loads of leafy green, I requested to bring home some duck eggs to make salted eggs. The duck eggs are brined into salted duck eggs, a common ingredient in Chinese cuisine and also in Malaysia. Cook salted eggs by boiling and they can be eaten by itself with rice or congee, like with Nasi Kerabu
. Besides cooking with dishes, Chinese use the eggs to make moon cakes (月餅) and glutinous rice dumplings (粽子).
Commercial salted eggs are easily available here, but nothing beats homemade salted eggs from fresh organic duck eggs. The process is a mere 10 minutes and the rest is waiting time. The best salted eggs should have a briny aroma, translucent egg white, with bright orange-red yolk. Most recipes just use salt and water to brine, which gives the egg a flat salty taste. I used the recipe
from Christine’s Recipes
that adds spices to give deeper flavours to the eggs and according to Christine, shaoxing wine turns the yolk into bright orange-red colour. The colour of the yolk on the photos here have not been enhanced. Isn’t the bright hue gorgeous?
If you can’t find fresh duck eggs, chicken eggs can be used as well.
Recipes with salted eggs:
• Stir Fry Spinach with Salted Eggs
• Roasted Pork Salted Egg Congee
• Salted Egg Prawn
• Salted Egg Crabs
Homemade Salted Eggs
Author: Shannon Lim
- Add water, salt in a saucepan. Add star anise and Sichuan peppercorns. Bring it to a boil. Once the salt completely dissolves, turn off the heat. Let cool completely, then add in Shaoxing wine and stir well.
- Meanwhile, rinse the eggs and wipe them dry with teatowel.
- Carefully arrange the eggs in a clean glass container. (Note: check every egg to make sure there are no cracks on it.) Pour salted water into the container and cover the eggs. If your container is large, some eggs above would float to the surface, place a little sauce plate or something on top of the eggs to get all eggs submerse completely in the brine. Tightly cover the container and place at room temperature.
- The brining process takes 30 to 40 days. Label the start and finish dates on the container, or set a reminder on your phone or calendar. After 30 days, take one egg out to cook. If the egg is not salty enough, let the rest to brine for a few days more. If you’re satisfied, drain all eggs out and wipe dry. Keep them in the fridge, they can be kept for a few weeks. Mine was kept for a month.
Before placing the eggs in the container, do make sure all the eggs are not broken or have any cracks. If you don’t have star anise and Sichuan peppercorns, you can replace with any tea leaves you like when cooking the salted water. The egg shells would look darker, infused by the fragrance of the tea you used. The egg yolks would turn orange-red beautifully because of the effect of adding Shaoxing wine. The recipe can easily be doubled or tripled