Reading articles like these scares me. Do we really know what is in our food? Especially when there are countries & companies who are willing to go through the unscrupulous methods to produce more quantity while completely dropping the quality of their products. After all, in this hurried society we are in now, not many can tell the difference.
Since young, we are used to hearing rumors that preserved eggs are made with horse urine, or some weird salty residue from some weird creature. Then left to infuse for months before being sold so cheap on the market. Eeks!
The last trip to USA as I was starting to be more conscious with whatever I ate, the salted duck eggs was something I was really reluctant to buy. The fears of drinking the waste of an animal or the possibility of them using some chemicals to quickly make them at a shorter period of time was high. I’m also quite sure they would cut costs by getting the cheapest eggs, therefore sacrificing quality and probably adding more GMOs and chemicals to it.
I started fermenting in 2011 while we were still in USA. but was only making the basic salt brines to make pickles and sauerkrauts. Whenever I made porridge I added the salted, fermented vegetables to my bowl to add layers of flavors instead of seasoning it with the usual soy sauce/salt. The husband however, was craving for salted eggs, and wanted me to get some from the Asian Market. After some debate on what might have gone into the eggs at the factories, and how it might have been processed, and whatever preservatives was added to it for them to last so long…. I did a quick search and decided to make my own salted eggs.
I had no access to duck eggs, so I replaced them with chicken eggs instead. I experimented for awhile with different brines and methods, and this is the easiest way to make with the least wastage. There are a few recipes online whereby they create a paste out of salt and wrap the eggs in it to make salted eggs. I find that that creates alot of wastage, creates a mess, and does not really create a big difference. While experimenting, I cut it down to the 2 main steps of preparing the eggs for the final product!
1) Make the brine.
2) Soak the eggs in the brine for 30 days.
After 30 days, you can take 1 and steam/boil it to use in recipes.
The brine is created in a ratio. Depending on the container you are using to soak the eggs, and the number of eggs you are soaking, you may need more or less brine.
The basic ratio for salt to water is 1:4. So for every 4 cups of water you are using, you will need 1 cup of salt.
I used kosher salt in this recipe, but you can also use sea salt. I bought Morton’s salt for this particular usage since I usually cook with Himalayan/Pink salt.
For the 12 eggs I am using today, this is the brine I used.
1 cup kosher salt
4 cups boiled water
3 star anise
a dash of cooking wine/Shao Xing Rice wine
1) Take the eggs out of the fridge and leave on counter to warm to room temperature.
2) Once water is boiled add all ingredients for brine in a heat safe container and stir until salt is dissolved.
3) Set aside and leave to cool.
4) Put eggs in container that you will be using to soak them in, and fill with brine until covered. My eggs started floating so I used a plastic wrap to cover the surface and added plastic spoons to hold the eggs under the brine.
5) Cover and set aside for 30 to 50 days.
6) When ready to use, boil the eggs as you would hard boiled eggs and add them to your favorite recipes!
You can also play around with how you want your eggs to turn out. Add a generous pinch of tea leaves if you want your eggs to have a slight smokey flavor. I’ve tried black tea and lichee tea and they both turn out fine. The tea leaves don’t leave a strong taste, it just gives it a hint of flavor.
I used deep dish containers for soaking this time as I was making a bigger first batch to use. The container I was using is similar to this:
GladWare Deep Dish Containers with Lids, 8 Cups (64 oz) 3 containers
You can easily half the recipes and fit them in a quart size mason jar like this: Ball 67000 Quart Wide Mouth Mason Jars, Silver Lids pack of 12
Yes, its that simple to make your own Salted Eggs and the best part? You know what goes into it and it took me less than 15 mins of work! Have fun!
Check back in 30 days to see what recipes I use them in!
Till then, be happy and get savvy!
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