WHAT ARE SALTED DUCK EGGS?
Salted duck eggs are duck eggs that have been preserved in a salt brine and then coated in a salted charcoal gritty mix for storage and for additional curing. It is most commonly found in Asian cuisines and has a very wide range of usages in both sweet and savoury dishes.
HOW IS IT USED?
Salted duck eggs are not usually eaten directly as a protein, like you do with a normal chicken egg. It is VERY salty, and it is most commonly used as a condiment to enhance flavours of dishes.
A simple way and common way to use it would be to boil it as is, and eat it with a plain bowl of rice congee or plain white rice.
A few other ways they are used in savoury and sweet dishes are:
- The egg yolks can be stuffed into sticky rices or moon cakes
- Stir fried with meats and veggies
- Made into a creamy sauce for crispy foods or stir fries
- Mixed into a sweet filling and stuffed into a dessert pastry or bun
- …the ideas are endless as long as you are adventurous! 🙂
The Salted Charcoal Coating Must Be Removed Before Using
If you buy the salted duck eggs with the coating of salted charcoal, you must wash it off and rinse it very well before using it.
I have not found a good substitute for salted duck eggs. There is something about the richness and flavour in the salted egg yolk that cannot be replicated with any other ingredient – not that I found anyways 🙂
WHERE DO I FIND IT?
This is most commonly found in Asian grocery stores. I highly recommend buying it locally if you can since they are a bit fragile and can arrive damaged if you purchase them online.
They are packaged in a variety of ways:
- They sometimes can be packaged in a hard plastic box in a set number (4s, 6s, 8s etc). Salted duck eggs packaged in hard plastic boxes sometimes are still coated in the salted charcoal coating but can also be found pre-washed without the salted charcoal coating as well. You can usually find these in between the aisles, stored in room temperature.
- They can also be found in loose form in a giant pile in a box. I usually find these closer to the open areas of the Asian supermarket – by the produce or close to the produce section. This is convenient if you only want to purchase a few eggs and not a big box of it. I personally like to buy it this way because I get to pick and choose my salted duck egg individually by shaking them one by one to find the big jiggly egg yolks. A neat trick my dad used to teach me was to gently shake each egg to see if you can clearly feel a solid yolk knocking around in there to make sure there is a solid hunk of yummy egg yolk. 🙂 I have come across watery egg yolks that have melted into the egg whites, the shaking test prevents you from getting those duds.
- They can also be bought pre-boiled/cooked. I honestly do not know why you would buy those since you don’t really know how long ago they have been boiled and how long they have been sitting in the shelf that way. I highly recommend buying the raw ones only. Raw salted duck eggs are a lot more versatile as well.
The salted duck egg yolks are rich, buttery and salty with hints of umaminess. It is usually the most popular part of the egg. The salted egg whites are a lot saltier than the egg yolks and tastes slightly eggy.
If you boil it, the texture of the whites are slightly less rubbery than a boiled chicken egg. It is almost slightly spongy and more airy. The yolks are creamy and can be slightly grainy as well (in a good way).
In its raw form, the egg white is watery and doesn’t have the same slimy viscosity as an average chicken egg. The egg yolk is almost always solid and somewhat gelatinous. When you cook the solid yolks in a sauce, it melts into it very easily and gives it an extra creaminess as well as umami flavour.
I have never seen an expiry date for salted duck eggs but they are heavily salted so they should last a for a while. It does still have a shelf life. Shake the egg before cracking it open, if you feel a solid yolk rattling around then chances are it’s still good but always crack the egg into a separate dish to check in case it has gone bad. A bad salted egg will smell bad, and you will know it. I like to keep mine in the fridge when I bring them home from the store.