Our traditional Chinese salted duck egg recipe is the result of many tests & experiments. They're the perfect salted duck eggs––way better than storebought!
A large food grade plastic or glass container with a tightly sealable lid
1quartwater(about 1 L, depending on the size of your container and the size of your eggs)
1/2cupbaijiu(120ml, 55 proof Chinese hard liquor; can substitute whiskey)
First, wash the eggs in plain water until clean.
Carefully arrange the eggs in the container they’ll be brined in. Add enough water to cover the eggs so they are completely submerged. This step is to find out how much water you need, so do not discard the water.
Carefully remove the eggs from the water, and let them sunbathe for 3-4 hours in the early morning sun; reduce the sunbathing time to 1-2 hours if the temperature is higher than 65F, but it should still be early morning sun! Turn the eggs every hour. The late morning hot sun may result in cracked eggs during the salting process.
Meanwhile, transfer the water in the container to a clean pot—I used about 1 quart of water (if you’re using aromatics, it’s time to add them now!). Stir in ¼ cup salt and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat, cover, and cool completely to room temperature. In the meantime, take the container, and let it dry out completely in the sun.
Pour ½ cup of Chinese baijiu (or whiskey) into a large bowl, carefully take the eggs, and turn them over in the baijiu. ½ cup of baijiu isn’t enough to submerge them, so you’ll have to roll them around every 10 minutes so they are soaking at all times. Soak the eggs in the baijiu for 1 hour.
Once the salt water is completely cooled and your container is dry, add the eggs back to the glass container one by one. Pour in the baijiu used to soak the eggs along with the cooled salt water. Arrange the eggs with a clean utensil to make sure they are all completely submerged.
Cover tightly so that the container is thoroughly sealed, and store in a cool, dry place for 30 to 60 days. Egg sizes vary, so brining time will vary as well. You can cook one after 30 days to see if it’s done. Try again in 10-15 days if it's not quite there!
To cook the duck eggs for your morning congee and other uses, submerge the salted duck egg in a pot of water, and cook over medium heat for 10-12 minutes.
If using free-range chicken eggs, remember to reduce the brining duration by at least 10 days, because they’re smaller and require less time for the salt to penetrate.
Eggs break easily, so handle them with care during the entire process; any micro-cracks will ruin your salted eggs.
This is a morning recipe. You should only use early morning sun to sunbathe the eggs (yes, the eggs need to sunbathe. Sounds crazy!). This morning’s temperature was around 50-55 degrees F. I left the eggs in the early morning sun for 3-4 hours. If the temperature is higher, reduce the sunbathing time to 1-2 hours.
All utensils or containers must, must be clean and grease-free. Boil your cookware and dishware (glass only) ahead of time if needed. You may also use a heavy-duty, air-tight plastic container.
The salt water must be boiled, do not use “raw” water.
You can also get fancy by adding a couple of star anise, a stick of cinnamon, and 2 tablespoons of Sichuan peppercorns, but they must be boiled in the saltwater and cooled prior to adding.
The use of Chinese baijiu (白酒), a strong clear liquor, is important, as it brings out the natural oils in the egg. Whiskey is a good substitute if you have trouble finding baijiu, which still isn’t that widely available outside of China.
Once the duck eggs reached the ideal state, remove them from the salt water to avoid them becoming too salty. You can store them in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 1-2 months.
Start testing after 30 days, depending on the egg size. Small eggs takes less time.
Salted Duck Eggs by The Woks of Life. Recipe URL: https://thewoksoflife.com/salted-duck-eggs/