Trying to Be Trendy: Heard any Good Yolks Lately?

Yes, I am trying yet another foodie trend. This one caught my attention because I have the most wonderful problem a chicken tender can have.

BEHOLD! My egg sorter is full.

What is one to do with so many eggs? The trendy cooks are making salt cured egg yolks. Just like the name suggests, egg yolks can be preserved with salt and used in a multitude of dishes. It is not actually a new idea. Salt cured egg yolks (duck, chicken, and quail) have been popular in Asia for a long time. The yolks are grated onto noodle dishes and stir-fries, used in fried rice, and are a popular filling in sweet cakes made for Lunar New Year Celebrations. However, any dish that is improved with grated hard cheese (like Parmesan or Cotija) can be topped with grated salt cured egg yolk instead for extra flavor. Best of all, they are simple to make, and require minimal hands-on time. Here is how it all went down:

I put a layer of salt in the bottom of a food storage container. The instructions I followed called for a depth of 2 cm. I eyeballed “not quite an inch”. I only had crystal salt, and fine salt is recommended, so I gave it a whirr in the food processor first. I made six dents in the salt with a spice jar. A spoon, a small glass, or even a thumb would work just as well.
Next, I selected six eggs and separated the yoks from the whites. This process required the use of both hands so I do not have photos of it. One yolk went into each dent in the salt bed. I added more salt to completely cover the yolks. The whites became an omelet, although angelfood cake, meringues and macarons are also good uses for egg whites.
That is all the work these delicacies require, until tomorrow. The instructions I followed noted the yolks should go into the refrigerator for at least eight hours. Other recipes suggested they cure for up to three days. I waited about 24 hours before the next step.
This felt like a real test of the salt cured yolk concept. Would the liquid yellow egg core really be solid, translucent puck? I carefully dug into the salt with a spoon.
Would you look at that? It worked! I used a slotted spoon to make rinsing off the extra salt easier.
I carefully arranged the rinsed yolks on a baking rack over a cookie sheet. I gave the rack a spritz with cooking spray. Most recipes suggest drying the yolks at 150 Fahrenheit/ 60 Centigrade for about three hours. The lowest temperature my oven can manage is 175 Fahrenheit, so I checked on them after two hours. They were not yet opaque and hard, so I let them go the last hour.
Here is one dried, cured yolk. It really does have a texture like cheese.

I took a taste of one of the yolks. It was very salty, but the flavor of the yolk was also strong. This is certainly an adequate substitute for Parmesan. I can’t wait to try them on different dishes. If you find yourself in possession of a multitude of eggs, check some of these links out:

I am very happy I tried making something new to me with my over abundance of eggs. Sometimes a very simple treatment of a very common food can yield something extraordinary. What is the most amazing way you have used up some extra…something in the kitchen? Share in the comments!