When it comes to cooking, I am a believer in using every ingredient to the max. In my posts, I have often spoken of the difficulties in cooking for a home of two — especially being a Southerner with a large family who is used to eating large meals. The concepts of a meat and three and eating everything on your plate was instilled in me at a very young age.
Another southern part of me loves to keep a cake on the counter at all times, and my husband’s mother is the same way. With all of the baking I do, I so often have leftover egg yolks and nothing to do with them. For most, we think nothing of tossing the egg yolk into the sink after separating eggs for a mix. To be honest, I have done the same countless times, often without even blinking. Thinking back on it now, it is kind of silly to waste such a delicious fat-filled staple. Egg yolks are so versatile; they’re essentially nature’s mayonnaise. Personally I feel as though a runny egg can be eaten atop of almost any dish, taking a dish from normal to out of this world. So why would we throw away something so delicious?
All of that changes now. After reading up a bit on salt curing, a cooking technique that predates most, I thought why not apply this technique to my egg yolks. If you don’t know what curing is, it is a way to preserve food by applying salt.
Cured egg yolks, often time duck yolks, are popular with traditional Japanese cuisine.
The result of curing the yolk is a bit strange. The finished product is not runny, instead the texture of the yolk is that of a soft gummy. Many people treat the yolk as a soft cheese, grating it over a finished dish. The flavor is like a creamy umami salt bomb.
For my recipe, I wanted to expand on the idea of Asian cuisine, adding Korean chili powder known as Gochugaru. You can find it in any local asian grocery store.
As for the color of the yolks pictured, they are much more orange than those cured in a traditional salt cure. The chili powder adds a vibrant orange tint to the yolks.
Do not be scared of curing something. The process itself is rather foolproof. Simply tightly cover and let sit untouched in the fridge for one week.
Korean Cured Egg Yolk
- 6 Egg Yolks
- 3 Cups of Salt
- 3 Tablespoons of Korean Chili Powder
- 1 Tablespoon of Garlic Powder
- 1 Tablespoon of Sugar
- In a mixing bowl combine together salt, pepper, garlic, and sugar.
- In a sealable container (at least 8×8), pour 2/3 of the mixture into an even layer on the bottom of the container.
- Create six indentions in the mixture, large enough to nest an egg yolk.
- Gently place each egg yolk into each indention, being careful not to break.
- Gently pour, preferable with your fingers, the remaining 1/3 salt mixture over each egg yolk. Be sure each egg yolk is fully covered.
- Tightly cover and store in the fridge for one week.
- After one week, remove from the fridge.
- Gently rinse each yolk with water.
- Grate onto anything you want.