In my good old days, salted duck eggs are often sold covered in a thick layer of salted charcoal paste. Nowadays, the producers might know how to do marketing and give the humble salted eggs a nicer presentation. The salted duck eggs I come across here recently almost have the salted paste removed, wrapped in plastic, or vacuum packed. The best salted eggs should have a briny aroma, translucent egg white, with the yolk bright orange-red in colour. The yolk that releases oil after being cooked is considered as a high quality product.
Sadly, here in Australia, it’s quite hard to find fresh duck eggs, yet it’s much easier to get some cooked ones. Weird, isn’t it? If any fresh duck eggs put on rack for sale in any Asian grocery stores, they would be gone very quickly.
As I have been missing and craving this homey food very much, I brined a dozen and then cooked several traditional Chinese dishes with the salted eggs. Would you like to know what dishes I cooked? I'll post them in a series later on.
I was glad to hear that Penny of Addictive and Consuming and Trix of Tasty Trix would host an International Egg Incident Party. Lucky enough I can manage myself to participate this time. Here in this post, I share an easy way to make salted eggs at home. This time I used chicken eggs. If you can find fresh duck eggs, that’s even better. But I found the end result of using chicken eggs was very satisfied. This recipe was tested for many times. Not long before, I shared this recipe with my Chinese readers, all salted egg lovers were fascinated and many of them tried it on the next day they read my recipe with satisfied outcomes. Here’s a picture of my fan's salted egg. She shared her joy with me when she successfully made some delicious salted eggs.
Homemade Salted Eggs (Printable recipe)
- 12 duck eggs (or chicken eggs)
- 1 cup sea salt (or rock salt)
- 4 cups water
- 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
- 1 star anise
- 2 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
- Rinse the eggs and drain well. Set aside.
- Put water and salt in a saucepan. Add star anise and Szechwan peppercorns. Bring it to a boil. Once the salt completely dissolves, turn off the heat. Let cool completely.
- Pour in the wine and stir well.
- Use a clean glass container, carefully arrange the eggs in the container. (Note: check every egg to make sure there are no cracks on it.) Pour salted water into the container and cover the eggs. You’ll notice some eggs above would float to the surface, so place something, like a little sauce plate on top of the eggs. The basic idea is to get all eggs submerse completely in the brine. Tightly cover the container and place at room temperature. The brining process normally takes 30 to 40 days. Label the start and finish dates on the container to remind yourself. (I used google calendar to set an email alert to myself.) After 30 days, take one egg out to cook and see if its taste is salty enough. If not, let the rest to brine for a few days more. If you’re satisfied, drain all eggs out and wipe dry. Keep them in an egg carton and place in fridge. The salted eggs can be kept for a few weeks in fridge.
- Before placing the eggs in the container, do make sure all the eggs are not broken or have any cracks.
- If you don’t have star anise and Sichuan peppercorns, you can replace with any tea leaves you like when cooking the salted water. The egg shells would look darker, infused by the fragrance of the tea you used.
- The egg yolks would turn orange-red beautifully because of the effect of adding Shaoxing wine.