Food In Jars Mastery Challenge – Salting

This month’s mastery challenge was related to salt preserving or curing.  I had already tried many of the recipes that were being suggested (salt preserved lemons, kimchi, sauerkraut, herbes salees) and was beginning to worry that I wouldn’t learn anything new this month.  Then enter salt cured egg yolks.  I had never heard such a thing!  So I went online and did a bit of research to see if this was my project for the month.

What I learned was that when egg yolks are preserved, they can be grated onto foods to add a delicate salty buttery flavour to foods – particularly pastas.  I also learned that preserving eggs has long been a tradition in Asian cultures – curing the egg yolks in soy sauce or miso instead of plain salt.

Before I started I checked out a number of different recipes as there were multiple variations.  Most used a mix of salt and sugar.  I was worried that the sugar would make the yolks too sweet so I stuck to straight salt.

I served the finished yolks grated with a microplane on pasta with a cauliflower based garlic sauce and it was just as I was promised – dairy free salty buttery goodness!  I shared the pasta with friends and dinner and they not only enjoyed trying the eggs on the bit of pasta I had leftover, but they happily grated more egg yolk on their hasselback potatoes as well.

Here’s how I made them:

Salt Cured Egg Yolks

 (For a printable PDF version click here)

Ingredients:

6 egg yolks – chicken, duck or goose

course sea salt (2-4 cups depending on your container)

apple cider vinegar (optional)

Tools needed:

Dehydrator, OR

Oven and small cooling rack

Directions:

  • Find a container large enough to hold all the yolks (approx. double the yolk size). Some have used a muffin tin and put one yolk in each hole.  Cover the bottom of the container with ½ – 1” of salt.
  • Use an egg to make a little divot in the salt to place your egg yolk in.

img_3498

  1. Crack the eggs one at a time, separating the white from the yolk. Be careful not to break the yolk.
  2. Place one yolk in each divot and cover the yolks completely with salt

img_3500

  • Leave the container uncovered and place it in the fridge (Some recipes call to cover the container.  I found the salt to be too wet and took my lid off)
  • Check the yolks at day 5. Remove one yolk from the salt and give it a gentle squeeze.  If it is the consistency of a gummy candy, you’re ready to remove all the yolks from the salt.  If not, put it back and wait 2 more days.

img_3485

  • Remove the yolks from the salt and rinse them in the vinegar to remove the stuck-on salt.
  • If using a dehydrator, place the yolks on a tray and dry them at a low setting overnight until they have lost some “squish” and are the consistency of a stale gummy candy.

img_3523

  • If not using a dehydrator, you can put them in the oven at 150 for around 2 hours or leave them in the oven for two days with the oven off.
  • Store in an airtight container.

Notes:

There are many different versions of this recipe on the web.  Some use only salt, some a mix of salt and sugar.  The timing for curing and drying varies greatly so don’t worry if you leave the yolks in salt longer or dry them longer.