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Monday, March 25, 2013

Homemade Itlog na Maalat (Salted Eggs)

Been wanting to make salted eggs since I started the blog, but I just couldn't find fresh duck eggs anywhere. Duck eggs are a lot better to use in making salted eggs because of their tough shells which give them a longer shelf life. They also have larger yolk to white ratio compared to chicken eggs. As you know, it's the yolk that matters most in salted eggs so the large duck egg yolks would be better...but I'm not sure if I will ever find duck eggs here, so I decided to just use chicken eggs. As expected, the yolk of my salted chicken egg didn't turn out as creamy, granular, and oily compared to that of store bought salted duck eggs...but I tell yah, my daughters who weren't so fond of eating salted eggs, love it! Why? Because they weren't too salty. That's actually the best thing about making your own salted eggs at home. You can always control how salty you want them to be by doing a taste test starting at the 21st day after soaking them in brine. 
In the Philippines, the traditional way of making salted eggs is by the salted clay method, but using clay is a bit tricky, so I would not recommend that for homemade salted eggs. Brining method is more convenient and is the most commonly used way in making salted eggs at home. The only difficult part is waiting for 3-4 weeks to complete the brining process. I've read that Shao Hsing cooking wine could help produce brilliant colored yolk --- that, I gonna try next time. For now, I will enjoy the goodness of my homemade salted chicken eggs. Holy Week is here, so I could use some salted eggs to accompany the fish that we'll be eating the whole week. :)

  • 1 dozen chicken eggs (if available, duck eggs are better)
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 cup salt (I used canning salt)
1. Wash eggs then dry them using paper towels. Carefully place them in a clean large jar. In a pot over medium heat, bring water to a boil. Add salt while stirring until water is already saturated and salt can no longer dissolve. Remove from heat. Allow the brine solution to completely cool down before pouring it in the jar. To help the eggs stay submerged, fill a small plastic bag with water, seal it and put it on top of the eggs before placing the jar lid.
2. Store the jar in room temperature for 21-25 days. Do a readiness test on the 21st day by boiling one egg. If you think it is salty enough for you, and the yolk is already dark yellow, then wash eggs then boil for 20 minutes or until fully cooked. Run the eggs under cold water then drain. If you think the eggs are not yet ready, leave them in the brine for 4 to 6 more days. 
Hardboiled salted duck eggs can be used in recipes like this Shrimp and Salted Eggs Pasta, or serve with Sinaing na Tilapia or with fried fish or meat. You can store boiled salted eggs in the refrigerator for up to one month.