Have You Tried A Salted Egg Yolk? Know About It

According to hypothesis, those with Chinese or Southeast Asian descent who grew up eating salted egg yolk in congee or mooncakes should be best able to describe its flavour. Even individuals who are familiar with the food's qualities could find it challenging to describe it in more detail than "it is excellent and necessary to some recipes" It is comparable to asking a French person to describe the flavour and significance of butter. 

Because salted egg yolk likewise has a "je nais se quois" (I know not what) quality, the comparison is appropriate. Now that more people are talking about it, 2023 is even being dubbed "The Year of Salted Egg Yolk" by several US media outlets. So what precisely is it? 

Similar to a condiment prepared from preserved duck eggs is salted egg yolk. We can trace the history of salting eggs back to China in the fifth century A.D. You can accomplish this in one of three ways: brine the food in a salt solution, dry-brine it with a layer of coarse salt, or cover it with a sand, mud, or clay paste. The most effective technique today is to brine the eggs in a salt solution that is concentrated. The salted yolk can even be purchased separately or in powder form. 

What then makes a salted egg so alluring? First, it shouldn't just taste like a salted egg. It shouldn't remind you of sloppy egg sandwiches either. It ought to have the complexity of a salted-modified preserved food, like the distinction between pickles and cucumbers. The egg yolk should have a rich, buttery, and creamy aftertaste whereas the egg whites may taste identical to a conventional boiled egg after being cooked. The yolk should also be a bright yellow-orange hue, crumbly, gritty, and still ooze with a jelled, sauce-like consistency. 

The evolution of salted egg yolk is the second point. It began as a method for people to preserve food using materials that were easily accessible, much like its fellow cured dishes like sauerkraut or pickled prawn. Today, though, individuals use it to add umami or intensify various flavours. This explains why a salted egg or a salted egg yolk isn't actually a stand-alone food, unlike an ordinary boiled egg. The flavour is overwhelming when consumed alone, equivalent to consuming anchovies or a block of parmesan straight from the jar. 

The best approach to think of salted egg yolk is to use it in a variety of classic and cutting-edge dishes, from ice cream to boba beverages. People in Hong Kong and Singapore go to restaurants that specialise in dishes containing a lot of the highly sought-after ingredient, like salted egg crabs and the renowned croissants with molten yolks. These foods are moderately rich and should only be had ocassionally. 

Yet, occasionally the flavour might be mild, especially in the snacks or desserts that are frequently seen in Asian supermarkets. For instance, the yolk behaves similarly to MSG in terms of flavour enhancement in potato chips, crackers, or even salmon skin coated with salted egg. It has also been utilised by certain creative bakers in cakes and pastries, such as Kitsby's molten salted egg cake. 

It seems that whenever a dish calls for an egg or egg yolk, there may be a chance to substitute a salted egg yolk. The options are nearly unlimited, such as topping smashed avocado or a garden salad.