How to Salt Cure Egg Yolks

Curing egg yolks in salt is a quick and easy way to preserve them. You may have heard us discussing them in Episode 13. It’s a practice that dates back several thousand years to Chinese and other Asian cultures. The science behind it has to do with the drying properties of salt and the fact that it creates a hypotonic environment where most bacteria and pathogens cannot survive. For maximum safety we’ll keep our egg yolks in the fridge the whole time.

You will need: a wide, shallow dish about 3 inches deep, a box of kosher salt, and as many egg yolks as you desire/can fit. For the second drying period you’ll need cheesecloth and string or twist ties.

Start by pouring a 1 inch layer of salt in the bottom of your dish. Make shallow indentations where each of your yolks will rest. Try to keep about an inch between them so they’re not touching.

Separate each egg (we used the whites to make almond cookies) and gently lower the yolk into its salt bed. If a yolk breaks, don’t use it. Carefully scoop all traces of the broken yolk out of the salt and then continue. Once you have all of your yolks in place, gently cover with more salt until there’s at least half an inch over top and each yolk is completely surrounded by salt. Place the dish in the refrigerator. It doesn’t need to be covered but if there’s any danger of anything being placed on top of it, a cover would be wise.

After a full week you can remove your dish and uncover the yolks. Brush off the excess salt and, using a strip of cheesecloth, wrap and tie off each yolk individually so they’re not touching within the bundle. Return to the refrigerator for another week.

That’s it! Your salt cured egg yolks are ready to use. They keep for about a month in the fridge. We love them grated over a creamy soup or on top of pasta. Some people swear that they’re at their best over pasta carbonara. You can be the judge of that! Enjoy!

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