Salt-Cured Egg Yolks

These salt-cured egg yolks are as simple as they come and are a unique and flavorful garnish to shave or grate with a microplane over salads, pastas, vegetables to lend a nuanced, umami flavor. You can even use it to garnish desserts like ice cream or mousse for a sweet and savory combination. From start to finish, it takes 14-17 days to fully cure and dry the egg yolks, but once they’re finished they will essentially keep in the fridge indefinitely. They only require two (!!!!!) ingredients, twine, cheesecloth, and a little patience.

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Fill half of an air-tight container (I prefer to use glass) with kosher salt. Using a spoon, create two wells in the salt (not so deep that they become holes, or the yolks won’t cure properly).

Using the same spoon, gently place the yolks into their wells. You will see the little chalazae attached to the yolk (or little white strings that tethers the yolk to the shell)- that’s okay, you want to leave it there or you will break the yolk sac trying to remove it.

Gently pour more kosher salt over the eggs until they are completely covered. Lock the container’s lid in place to prevent any air from getting in and refrigerate for 7 days.

After 7 days of curing, remove the container housing the yolks from the refrigerator and gently excavate the top layer of salt to reveal one egg yolk and gently lift it out of the salt. Keep in mind that the yolk will be firm and easy to handle, but not unbreakable if you were to squeeze or pinch it. Repeat with the 2nd egg yolk.

Brush off as much of the salt as possible, bearing in mind that you will NOT be able to remove all of it (nor do you want to). Remove the chalazae from the yolks. Fold a piece of cheesecloth in half and lay it down on your worktop. Place the egg yolks about 2 inches apart on the cheesecloth. Fold or roll the eggs into the cheesecloth until they are wrapped nicely.

Using 3 small pieces of baker’s twine or other string, make a knot around the ends of the yolks and one in between the two yolks so that they are both securely encased in the cheesecloth. Hang the yolks in your refrigerator for 7-10 days.

After the yolks are properly dried out, remove them from the cheesecloth and either use immediately to grate or shave over your dish of choice, or place into a small air-tight container and keep in the fridge.

Salt-Cured Egg Yolks

Becca Gallick-Mitchell
These little umami bombs are delicious grated over salad or pasta in place of parmesan cheese, but they work just as well as garnish for ice cream or other sweet treats to give a little hint of savory flavor to balance out the sweetness.
Prep Time 2 mins
Curing and Drying Time 14 d
Total Time 14 d 2 mins
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 2 yolks

Equipment

  • cheesecloth
  • baker's twine

Ingredients
  

  • 2 egg yolks
  • kosher salt

Instructions
 

  • Fill half of an air-tight container (I prefer to use glass) with kosher salt. Using a spoon, create two wells in the salt (not so deep that they become holes, or the yolks won't cure properly).
  • Using the same spoon, gently place the yolks into their wells. You will see the little chalazae attached to the yolk (or little white strings that tethers the yolk to the shell)- that's okay, you want to leave it there or you will break the yolk sac trying to remove it.
  • Gently pour more kosher salt over the eggs until they are completely covered. Lock the container's lid in place to prevent any air from getting in and refrigerate for 7 days.
  • After 7 days of curing, remove the container housing the yolks from the refrigerator and gently excavate the top layer of salt to reveal one egg yolk and gently lift it out of the salt. Keep in mind that the yolk will be firm and easy to handle, but not unbreakable if you were to squeeze or pinch it. Repeat with the 2nd egg yolk.
  • Brush off as much of the salt as possible, bearing in mind that you will NOT be able to remove all of it (nor do you want to). Remove the chalazae from the yolks. Fold a piece of cheesecloth in half and lay it down on your worktop. Place the egg yolks about 2 inches apart on the cheesecloth. Fold or roll the eggs into the cheesecloth until they are wrapped nicely.
  • Using 3 small pieces of baker's twine or other string, make a knot around the ends of the yolks and one in between the two yolks so that they are both securely encased in the cheesecloth. Hang the yolks in your refrigerator for 7-10 days.
  • After the yolks are properly dried out, remove them from the cheesecloth and either use immediately to grate or shave over your dish of choice, or place into a small air-tight container and keep in the fridge.
Keyword garnish, Salt-cured egg yolk, salt-cured egg yolks, umami

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