Salted Egg Drop Soup - a twist on a popular classic made even more tasty…
Homemade Salted Eggs prepared using the brining method with chicken or duck eggs cured in a simple salt solution. Totally worth the wait!
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.
Salted Eggs Prepared Using Brining Method
Homemade salted eggs are usually prepared 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.
Store Bought Salted Eggs
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.
Using Chicken Eggs
Unfortunately, I had to use chicken eggs as I could not find duck eggs. These were large eggs with thick shells and the curing process took 4 weeks. I suspect the brine was a little diluted with just ¾ cup kosher salt. I have adjusted the recipe below to 1 cup of kosher salt. At any rate, please do a readiness test at the end of three weeks to avoid over curing. I also read that some Shao Hsing cooking wine can help to produce a more brilliant colored yolk but I am not sure if that worked at all. 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.
Tools Used in Making These Salted Eggs
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- Rinse eggs and place in a jar. Set aside.
- Bring water in a medium sized saucepan to a boil. Stir in salt until dissolved. Remove and allow to cool completely. Add Shao Hsing cooking wine.
- 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.
- Put the lid on and place jar in a cool spot at room temperature for 21 days.
- 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.
- 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.
- If eggs are not ready, leave them in the brine for another week. Finally, remove all eggs from brine and store in the refrigerator.
Pysanky Ukrainian Easter Eggs
Since today is Easter Sunday, I would love to share this special egg with you. While grocery shopping yesterday, we encountered a fundraiser by the Association of American Youth of Ukrainian Descent. Their youth were selling and demonstrating how to color these beautiful Pysanky Ukrainian Easter Eggs. The eggs are beautiful but the process appears pretty tedious.
First, they drew pencil guidelines on a raw egg (symbolizing new life). Then they repeatedly mask waxed and dyed the egg 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. Finally, they applied a layer of varnish to protect the egg and give it a beautiful shine.
We are to keep these eggs out of direct sunlight and display them in a place with adequate air circulation. It helps to rotate the egg a few times a year so that the egg yolk within the egg can dry uniformly.
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! 😎