Chinese Salted Duck Yolks (Easy Preserved Duck Eggs) 咸鸭蛋

This recipe for easy Chinese salted duck yolks is the simplest way to create the flavors of traditional preserved duck eggs at home using everyday ingredients and equipment.

Preserved duck eggs are incredibly rich with remarkable umami flavor. They’re salty, but not overly salty. They’re complex, but not overly heavy. They’re great in traditional dishes, but also make a fantastic base for sauces or grated like an aged cheese over fresh ingredients. I would highly recommend giving this salted duck yolk recipe a try.

Chinese salted duck yolks are a classic component of many iconic Chinese dishes, including:

  • Preserved duck egg yolks are the symbolic moon in Chinese mooncakes
  • The treasure in Chinese lo mai gai (sticky rice parcels steamed in lotus leaves)
  • A delicious topping in breakfast congee or jook (rice porridge)
  • The “golden dust” component in Chinese wok stir-fry and other seafood entrees

Preserved duck eggs are also an important part of many other East Asian food cultures, such as in Filipino cuisine.

Despite the popularity and deliciousness of Chinese salted duck yolks, they aren’t always easy to find in grocery stores.

If you’re located in North America, prepared cartons of salted duck eggs and salted duck yolks are generally only found in East Asian specialty grocers in large metropolitan cities.

It can also be difficult to distinguish between varieties of pre-packaged duck yolks (raw, cooked, preserved, salted, charcoal, aged, etc.) unless you know exactly what you want.

However, even if you can’t find Chinese salted duck yolks in grocery stores, you can make them at home using raw duck eggs from a farm or specialty market. I used local duck eggs from a farm in British Columbia, but any raw duck eggs would work.

If you’re looking for raw duck eggs and you can’t source them from local farmers or Craigslist, East Asian or Italian specialty grocery stores would be your best bet.

While the traditional method of packing duck eggs in damp salted charcoal works, it isn’t really the easiest way to preserve duck yolk for most people. Using this recipe for the dry brine salted duck yolks below is much faster, easier, and achieves the same authentic flavor in less than a week.

If you can’t find raw duck yolks, you can also follow this recipe using chicken egg yolks. Chicken eggs taste similar to duck eggs, but preserved duck yolks are significantly richer tasting.

Chinese salted duck yolks can be used in many different ways, such as:

  • Grated over grilled or roasted vegetables to add dimension and depth
  • Grated over fresh pasta like cheese
  • Forming the base for sauces in seafood and meat dishes
  • Traditional Chinese recipes, such as congee, “golden dust”, or mooncakes

Keep reading to get the recipe for easy Chinese salted duck yolks (preserved duck eggs).

Preserving Chinese Salted Duck Yolks

Measure equal parts pickling salt or kosher salt and white sugar in a bowl to form the dry brine. I started with 5 cups of pickling salt and 5 cups of white sugar, adding more salt and sugar as necessary, but the exact amount you need will depend on how many duck yolks you have.

Mix salt and sugar well to combine. Line a muffin pan or any sheet pan or casserole dish with the dry brine so that it is approximately 1/2″ to 1″ in height.

There should be enough salt-sugar dry brine to rest the duck yolks on, instead of having the duck yolks resting on the bare metal of the muffin pan.

Pat a light indent into the mixture using a tablespoon for the duck egg yolks to rest in.

chinese salted duck yolks preserved

Carefully crack the raw duck eggs on a flat surface and separate the egg yolk from the egg white. Place each raw duck yolk in the indent in the dry brine mixture.

Put duck egg white aside in a separate container and use in any egg white recipe, such as a meringue or omelette.

chinese salted duck yolks preserved

Cover the raw duck yolks with the dry brine so that they are fully covered. This salt-sugar mixture will preserve and salt the duck yolks.

Cover the duck yolks with saran wrap and rest in the refrigerator for 6 days.

After 6 days, you can carefully uncover the Chinese salted duck yolks from the dry brine. The duck yolks should be semi-hard and relatively firm to the touch.

To uncover the Chinese salted duck yolks, remove the saran wrap, carefully dig the duck yolks out with a spoon, and lightly rinse the salt-sugar mixture off of the duck yolks under cool water using your hands.

Pat the salted duck yolks with a clean kitchen towel. Place them in a single layer in a dehydrator and dehydrate at 150° for 2 hours.

When the Chinese salted duck yolks have a texture similar to dry aged cheese, they’re ready to eat. Store in the refrigerator in a covered container lined with a kitchen towel or paper towel until ready to use.

Chinese Salted Duck Yolks (Easy Preserved Duck Eggs) 咸鸭蛋 Recipe

Chinese Salted Duck Yolks (Easy Preserved Duck Eggs) 咸鸭蛋

Chinese salted duck yolks (easy preserved duck eggs) are an essential component to many traditional Chinese dishes. Preserve raw duck yolks using everyday ingredients to achieve authentic flavors in less than a week at home. 

Course Preserving
Cuisine Asian, Chinese, East Asian, Pacific Northwest
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 12 duck egg yolks
Author The Homesteading Huntress

Ingredients

  • 12 raw duck eggs
  • 5+ cups pickling salt or kosher salt (equal parts salt and sugar)
  • 5+ cups white sugar (equal parts salt and sugar)

Equipment

  • dehydrator
  • muffin pan or shallow dish

Instructions

  1. Combine equal parts salt and sugar in a bowl and mix well to combine into a dry brine. Line muffin pan or shallow dish with dry brine up to 1/2" to 1" in height. Use a spoon to create an indent in the dry brine for the duck yolk to rest in.

  2. Crack raw duck eggs on a flat surface and carefully separate the egg yolk from the egg white. Place each duck yolk in the dry brine indent on the pan. Put egg white aside for future use. 

  3. Cover duck yolks with dry brine mixture until no duck yolks are visible. Cover with saran wrap and refrigerate for 6 days or until the duck yolks are semi-firm. 

  4. After 6 days, take the duck yolks out of the refrigerator. Remove the saran wrap and uncover the duck yolks from the dry brine mixture. Rinse any remaining dry brine mixture off the yolks under cool water using your hands. Pat duck yolks dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towel. 

  5. Place duck yolks in a single layer in the dehydrator and dehydrate at 150 degrees for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. The Chinese salted duck yolks are finished when they have the same texture of a firm aged cheese. 

  6. Store Chinese salted duck yolks in the refrigerator in a sealed container lined with a clean kitchen towel or paper towel. 

 

Posted by Arielle

Arielle is a passionate urban homesteader and hunter located in Vancouver and the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia.

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