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Join Me on My Journey to Salted Egg Yolks

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Two days ago I embarked on a month-long journey to salted egg yolks. Unlike the methods outlined on Epicurious and Bon Appétit and Saveur and Tasting Table, where yolks are essentially laid out to dry in a blanket of sugar and salt, these salted eggs from the blog Just as Delish are brined whole in a salt water solution.

I dissolved salt in hot water (1 cup salt to 4 cups water), added 2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine to the cooled solution, and poured it over whole raw eggs snuggled into a jar. I put a water-filled plastic bag on top to keep the eggs submerged, then sealed the container. Now it's a waiting game.

I'll crack one open on November 11, and I ask you to keep your fingers crossed that the yolks are cheddar-orange, shiny, and slightly squishy (like in the Pin above)—and ready to roll up into a babka or, my real motivation, mash into a sauce for fried pumpkin.

Please excuse that pile of books in the background.
Please excuse that pile of books in the background.

Even though salted egg yolks have gotten attention in U.S. food media in the past year, Wei Tchou points out in Saveur that there's nothing new about them: "in fact, people have been fawning over salted egg yolks for centuries—just on the other side of the world."

For Tchou, the daughter of Chinese immigrants raised in the American South,

home wasn’t home without a jar of duck eggs preserved the traditional Chinese way, whole and raw in brine. Over the course of weeks, the salt water drew out moisture, concentrating the egg’s rich flavor and rendering the whites creamy and as saline as the brackish water the egg is set in. The yolks hardened into bright orange spheres, the fattiness thick and concentrated, cut through by a whisper of salt.

Now I'll try my hand—and my patience—at a cooking technique people have been practicing for centuries. Your advice and suggestions are welcome!

My first question: One of my eggs has already cracked: Am I doomed? Should I start over?

Have you made salt-cured egg yolks? If so, which method did you use? Tell me in the comments!

Tags: Egg, Pickle & Preserve