Cured Egg Yolks

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I love a bit of preserving, and these cured egg yolks are genius!

Now I’m certainly not the first person to cure an egg yolk, but until recently I’d never heard of it.  I use a lot of egg whites in meringues etc, and would always try and plan another meal to incorporate the yolks.  I use them in pasta, mashed potato, sauces and mayonnaise, but I wanted to be able to keep them and do something a bit different without worrying about them going off in the fridge.  I don’t like food waste.

So I had a quick Google and found these!  I don’t think this is widely known about in the UK, you can correct me if I’m wrong, but we’re missing out.  When cured and left to dry for a while, you end up with a solid egg yolk that can be grated, and is the very essence of umami.  It’s savory.  That’s the only way I can explain it.

Used as a seasoning, it can be grated over salads, pasta dishes, soups and fish to name but a few, and in doing so adds a really unique flavour profile.  And it’s so simple to do!

I’m going to base the recipe on using 3 egg yolks.  Just alter the amount of cure depending on the number of yolks you use.

Ingredients and equipment

4 tbsp fine sea salt

4 tbsp caster sugar

3 large free range egg yolks

A shallow glass or plastic container which just accomodates the number of yolks to be cured, leaving a little space between each (see the main image)  This cuts down on the amount of cure needed.

Cheese cloth or muslin.  You’ll need a small square per cured yolk.

String

Method

Place the sugar and salt in a bowl and mix together really well.  Place a 5mm layer of cure in the bottom of your container.

The yolks need to be as clean as possible, and by this I mean you need to remove as much of the white as you can without breaking the yolk.  Your fingers are the best tool for this.  Once you’ve initially separated the main white from yolk, place the yolk in your cupped hand and tease any stubborn bits of white from the yolk by opening your fingers very slightly and then squeezing them together to pinch off any stragglers.

Now gently lay your yolks onto the bed of cure, leaving a space between each one.  Cover with the remaining cure so that they’re completely covered.  Don’t worry if you find you need a bit more cure, just mix a little more.

Place the container in the fridge, uncovered, for a week.  After this time the yolks should be nice and firm.  I used large chicken eggs, but you can use any type of yolk.  The larger they are though, the longer they’ll need.

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After a week I refreshed the cure and left them for another 3 days.  Thereafter I rinsed the cure off, loosely tied each yolk in a square of muslin and hung them in the fridge to dry for at least a week.  I just fashioned a little washing line in there and used some clothes pegs.

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After this time the yolks will be dry and you’ll be able to grate them.  Pretty cool!!!

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Give it a try.  I plan on cold smoking a few to see how that affects the flavour.  I’ll pop on an update with the results once I’m done.

7 thoughts on “Cured Egg Yolks

  1. Superb Kelly, I’d have never thought of the idea of curing egg yolks in a thousand years or cold smoking.! Waiting in anticipation for the results on how the cold smoking goes. Your hard work and time is very much appreciated.. 😃

    • Wrote this one pretty quickly, so I hope it all makes sense! They really are pretty special and I reckon a gentle smoke will only improve them. Thanks for the lovely comments x

    • It’s a really old technique James, but I don’t know if it’s ever been popular in the UK. I’d never heard of it until recently and I know a couple of fabulous chefs who hadn’t either. It works and it really adds value to them I think. A nice gentle cold smoke over some of your dust will be amazing I think.

  2. I’ve wanted to try this for a while! Every recipe I’ve found calls for sugar. Do you know if the sugar is necessary for the curing process? I would assume the sugary is just for flavour, and the salt is to dry it, but I’m no chef.

    • Hi Steve! Thanks for your comment. I’ve only dipped my toe into curing with the likes of smoked salmon, egg yolks and brining, and I’m no expert. However I believe that the sugar helps to alleviate the harshness of the salt used. In this recipe it certainly doesn’t add sweetness, but I believe it is necessary. Let me know what you think…

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