Saturday, 4 May 2013

Salted Eggs – Do It At Home!

One of the gifts of age is hindsight. And if there’s one thing life has taught me, it’s not to take anything for granted. Even something as simple as salted eggs.

Good quality salted eggs were a dime a dozen in the market before the 80s. I was taught to shake the egg before buying it. The feel you were looking for was a solid ball bouncing within the shell, because that showed that the yolk was well formed.

When cooked, a good salted egg should display a runny, oily red yolk and a close-to-pure-white egg white. The saltiness of the egg white should also be of the right intensity to allow it to be eaten on its own.

Some time back, there were reports that egg suppliers in China were injecting unhealthy red dye into the yolks. Everyone shunned the eggs with the oily red yolks, to the extent that such eggs have become almost impossible to find these days.  

Which left me no choice but to make them at home… but then another challenge arose. Duck eggs are banned in Singapore, and the yolks of chicken eggs have lower fat content and will produce yolks that were yellow and dry. If like me, you were desperate for the best results, you could always turn to Malaysia, where duck eggs are available, to solve the problem!

Salted Egg Recipe

Eggs                            20
Water                          2 litres
Coarse salt                  500 g
Sichuan pepper          10 g
Bay leaves                   5 g
Star anise                     5 g
Clove                           5 g
Cinnamon                   10 g
Chinese white wine    2 cups, alcohol content above 50%

1.    Wash and wipe eggs until completely dry.1
2.    Boil all ingredients (except eggs) for 5 minutes. Let the mixture cool completely.
3.    Add Chinese white wine and stir thoroughly.
4.    Submerge eggs in the mixture.
5.    Seal container with cling-wrap.
6.    Place the container in a cool and dark corner for 28 days. Drain the eggs and keep it in the refrigerator. 
7.    Boil egg for 7 minutes before eating.

Note: In order to have an oily and more reddish yolk, place the uncooked egg under the hot sun for an afternoon before cooking. 
And unlike the usual salted egg found in the market, this recipe will give the egg a hint of 5-spice fragrance.