Salted Eggs

Salted Eggs are preserved eggs soaked in brine or packed in a thick layer of salted charcoal paste. They are traditionally made with duck eggs for a richer taste and texture. The egg white has a sharp salty taste and the yolk is rich and fatty. They are often boiled and eaten as a condiment with congee or used as a flavoring to other foods. Salted chicken eggs are lighter overall.

Homemade salted eggs are usually made using the brining method with a simple salt solution. The curing process takes anywhere between 3 to 4 weeks depending on the size of the eggs and the thickness of their shells. When cured, the egg white is slightly cloudy but remains runny while the egg yolk turns a bright yellow-orange-red color and is firm. The yolks are prized by the Chinese and are used in glutinous rice dumplings and mooncakes to symbolize the moon.

When I was growing up, store bought salted eggs came packed in crates filled with damp, salted charcoal. The grocer will pick out the number of eggs requested into a plastic bag. Each egg was packed with a thick layer of the salted charcoal that needed to be scraped off and rinsed before cooking. Salted eggs were very inexpensive and easily available. Hence, they were seldom made at home and as I recall, Mom only made them once. They were much less salty and really tasty.

Salted Eggs

Before we proceed to the recipe, I would like to thank you all for your kind comments on my Lavender Madeleines guest post. Sorry I was not been able to respond as we were on a college search road trip at that time and were constantly on the move. I will be sharing pictures of the road trip in my next post on Wednesday. As for the triple flavored castella post, I have decided to reschedule it to Friday in favor of this egg theme post for Easter. Thank you for your patience.

Now, back to the salted eggs. Unfortunately I had to use chicken eggs as duck eggs were no where to be found. The curing process took 4 weeks as the eggs were large and their shells were a little thick. The brine used was probably a little diluted with ¾ cup kosher salt. The recipe below has been adjusted. At any rate, a readiness test should be done at the end of three weeks to avoid over curing. I also read that some Shao Hsing cooking wine would help to produce a more brilliant colored yolk but I am not sure if that worked. Perhaps I should have used 2 tablespoons instead of one. Nevertheless, the eggs turned out well after 4 weeks and the saltiness was just about right. Do stay tuned for recipes using these salted eggs in the days ahead.

Salted Eggs
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 12 salted eggs
  • 12 large organic cage-free white chicken or duck eggs
  • 1 cup (280g) kosher salt
  • 4 cups (960ml) water
  • 1 tbsp Shao Hsing cooking wine
  1. Rinse eggs and place in a jar. Set aside.
  2. Bring water in a medium sized saucepan to a boil. Stir in salt until dissolved. Remove and allow to cool completely. Add Shao Hsing wine.
  3. Pour salt solution into jar containing rinsed eggs. Filled a small Ziplog sandwich bag half full with water. Squeeze as much of the air out as possible. Gently stuff it into jar to weigh eggs down. Eggs should be totally submerged.
  4. Put the lid on and place jar in a cool spot at room temperature for 21 days.
  5. After 21 days, do a taste test. Remove an egg from the brine and place it in a small saucepan covered with cold water. Boil over medium heat for 15 minutes. Egg is ready if it is salty and the yolk is a bright yellow-orange color.
  6. Alternatively, crack an egg into a bowl and check its yolk. Yolk should be a bright yellow-orange color and quite firm. The white should be a little cloudy but still runny.
  7. If eggs are not ready, leave them in the brine for another week. Finally, remove all eggs from brine and store in the refrigerator.

Since it is Easter Sunday today, I would love to share this special egg with you. While grocery shopping yesterday, we encountered this fundraiser by some youth from the Association of American Youth of Ukrainian Descent selling and demonstrating how these beautiful Pysanky Ukrainian Easter Eggs are being colored. The process is pretty tedious.

Pencil guidelines are first drawn on a raw egg (symbolizing new life). The egg is then subjected to repeated wax masking and dyeing in stages starting from the lightest to the darkest colors to build the design. Finally, the wax is removed to reveal the multi-color design and a layer of varnish is added to protect the egg and add a beautiful shine.

These eggs should be kept out of direct sunlight and displayed in a place with adequate air circulation. They should be rotated a few times a year to help uniform drying of the egg yolk within the egg.

Easter is a joyous celebration commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the end of Lent in the Christian calendar. In the Northern Hemisphere, it also marks the beginning of spring. May you have a Blessed Easter! 8)

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  1. says

    I really enjoyed reading about this method of salted eggs. It was very interesting and I have never seen anything like it before. Beautiful pictures and really well demonstrated. ~ Hope you had a wonderful Easter!! ~ Ramona :)

    • Biren says

      Salted eggs are considered a poor man’s food but it is quite a popular condiment. Thanks for the compliments. I had a quiet Easter. :)

    • Biren says

      Thanks Marsha! Salted eggs are easily available in Singapore and Malaysia and I am glad you got to try it.

  2. denise @ singapore shiok says

    Oh wow! Good thing my mum didn’t see this lol She would be running to the grocery shops to buy some! She loves salted eggs, about the only thing her family could afford to eat, while she was growing up, but has avoided them for a long time now, because of sodium and cholesterol issues. They are yummy with muay or chok, definitely! Thanks for sharing the recipe and the Pysanky Easter egg – btw, the method for dying them sounds a lot like batik dying, doesn’t it?

    • Biren says

      I love eggs but also try to limit my intake because of cholesterol. There is always something to think about… Yes, the dyeing method for the Pysanky eggs are similar to batik dyeing. Even the tool used looks similar.

  3. says

    Biren, Thank you for sharing the making of salted eggs at home. Never thought of making it before as it is very convenient to buy it at the grocery store. Would love to give a try.
    The Pysanky Easter egg looks pretty too.

  4. says

    I will try to make some at home, we use this a lot as a side dish. A simple chopped tomatoes and chopped salted egg would make a real great side.

  5. says

    Wow! You can make your own salted eggs! Awesome! It’s so expensive these days, maybe I too should consider making some since I would need lots for the dumplings festival coming soon!

    • Biren says

      According to my Mom prices of things have really gone up in Malaysia. I guess even the humble salted eggs have been subjected to the price increase as well. Another good reason for homemade ones is that you can more or less control the sodium level.

  6. says

    Hello Biren, we use the same technique to preserve eggs back in Greece although I’ve never tried to do this. Thanks for all the details. thank you so much for visiting my blog, I really appreciate it!

    • Biren says

      How interesting! So many food and techniques are shared by different cultures. You are most welcome and I will try to visit again soon. :)

  7. says

    I have never heard of salted eggs. In the UK we hardboil eggs and then preserve them in vinegar. O have only had one pickled egg and i found it to acidic (even though I love vinegar). However, I do like the idea of salted eggs. I also love the coloured egg. :-)

  8. says

    Terrific post. I’ve read about salted eggs, but have never eaten one. And I never knew they were so easy to make! I’m looking forward to your recipes that use these. Really enjoyable post – thanks.

  9. says

    First of all, a Blessed Easter to you and your family, Biren. Your”salted egg’ post is definitely the right theme linking with the Easter celebration as eggs symbolise rebirth and new life! You’re absolutely right, duck eggs taste much better when salted, but I guess we have to be contented with what we can find. I will try make these salted eggs with chicken eggs one of these days. Thanks for sharing.

    • Biren says

      Thanks and I hope you had a wonderful Easter as well. I tried but could not find any duck eggs and so had to settle for chicken eggs. They turned out really well, just not as rich. I hope to make another batch soon probably with brown eggs. :)

  10. says

    I love the salted eggs, especially the yolk…thanks for the tutorial…
    Hope you had a great Easter weekend and have a wonderful week ahead Biren :)

  11. says

    Biren, what a nice, and interesting post. I have seen salted eggs in some blogs, but have never had one myself. I just used my salt preserved lemons in a dish. I would really like to try these eggs. I must admit though, I am funny about my eggs! :)

    Hope you all had a wonderful Easter!

    • Biren says

      You can try with just a few eggs and see how you like it. I read that pickled eggs with vinegar are a little rubbery but these are not like that at all. They remain very much like the regular hard cooked eggs except that they are salty and their yolks are rich and fatty. I would love to try your salt preserved lemons. Will try to get a few lemons when they are in season.

  12. says

    Love your very Asian way of celebrating Easter…of course, not forgetting our Asian fav way of eating egg, the salted eggs!

    • Biren says

      I have not had salted eggs in a long time and so this is a treat for me. I like homemade ones because I can control the salt level. Store bought ones tend to be too salty. Hope you had a wonderful Easter.

  13. says

    I’ve never made eggs like this – how fascinating. Although when I was a little girl my grandmother would put eggs in vinegar and they would become cooked and rubbery. Not the same method but your story made me think of that.

    Thank you for sharing this. I’d like to try it just because I never have. I hope you had a very Happy Easter!

    • Biren says

      I should have explain that these salted eggs are not rubbery at all. They remain pretty much like a regular hard cooked egg except that they are a little salty. I don’t think I have ever tried pickled eggs in vinegar but we do have a dish where hard cooked eggs are boiled with lots of ginger and pork in black vinegar. Talking about it now makes me want to cook some soon.

  14. Dongxing says

    Oooh, memories! The last time I had these homemade version was back in 2003. My mum made 6 salted duck eggs and the yolks were a brilliant yellow. I recalled the duck eggs were a lucky find then, at a local butcher’s who has since closed down. I must look for duck eggs again, but like you say, chicken eggs are a good substitute too. I like your water-filled-ziploc-bag idea to weigh down the eggs. My mum used a flat bottomed chinese spoon to do the job! Happy Belated Easter!

  15. says

    I’m a huge fan of brines. I would never have thought to brine eggs, but what I great thing. Salted eggs sound SO good and something I know we would enjoy in this house! Thanks for sharing this!

  16. August Pamplona says

    Do these eggs have to be cured for 3 to 4 weeks or can they remain in the brine for a much longer time?

    • Biren says

      The eggs will get too salty if you leave them in there for too long. As soon as they have reached the desired level of saltiness, they should be removed from the brine.

      • August Pamplona says

        Then they must be too salty by now because I totally forgot about them for many weeks. Thanks for the reply!

  17. Robert Allen says

    Absolutely LOVE salted eggs, duck OR chicken. Couple eggs, some lup cheung and a little fried rice + some Chinese mustard and shoyu to dip the eggs in … yum !!! Gonna start a batch from your recipe this week, just was wondering about how long can they be safely stored in refrigerator after the brining is done? i would like to make a bunch, but not if they do not last long in the refer.

    Thanks so much, and great site :)

    • Biren says

      I am glad to hear you enjoy salted eggs. They really are quite tasty. I usually try to eat them within 3 weeks once they are out of the brine.


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