Friday, February 06, 2015

Salty Duck Eggs

Chinese cooks do wonderful things with eggs. Duck, as both eggs and flesh is one of my favorite foods.

Duck eggs are quite expensive compared with hen eggs. A dozen hen eggs is under $3.00 (Feb. 2015 prices), while duck eggs range from 65¢ to $1.50 each. And the $1.50 is by the dozen.

While shopping in Chinatown, I found 5 for $4.00. Expensive, but I'll eat an egg for lunch with some other ingredient and that's going to be a fine meal.

Pleasant Aroma
The duck eggs I have seen come wrapped in a nylon mesh bag. This is far from ideal for transporting them, so I took an empty egg crate into Chinatown and transferred the duck eggs into it. The styrofoam container can hold 5 duck eggs with sufficient space in between the eggs to prevent damage. So my expensive ingredient got home safely.

INSTRUCTIONS
for Salted Duck Eggs

Ingredients and Batterie de Cuisine

duck eggs
liquor of at least 50% or 100 proof
salt
plastic wrap
bowls as necessary

If the eggs have dust or minor debris on them, wash and dry your eggs. In a small bowl, just big enough to hold the egg, put the liquor. In another bowl put the salt. Quantities here are dependent on the size of your bowls or containers. I have a plastic Tupperware storage "jar". I filled it with about 4 fl. ozs. of liquor. In a larger stainless steel bowl, I put about half a cup of fine salt.

Cut a piece of plastic film at least 8 inches long. You can adjust the length after you wrap the first egg. Roll the egg around in the liquor for 10 seconds and then in the salt. Be certain that the entire eggs is moistened with the alcohol. We are sterilizing the surface of the shell. Transfer the egg to the sheet of plastic wrap and put it in a bowl. Repeat with all the duck eggs. Place the bowl in the sun for half a day in summer and a full day in winter. The eggs need some sun to feel the salt.



Now comes the scary part and if you are squeamish about authentically made food, and have read this before starting on making the salty eggs, QUIT NOW!

After the eggs have had a sunbath, put them into the egg crate and set it in a cool, dry place. I'm leaving mine outdoors on the patio, where the squirrels and birds cannot get to them. The eggs must now age for 4 weeks (30 days). Every week, the eggs must be (to use the old technical culinary word) overhauled. In plain English, turn the eggs over so that the top is on the bottom. This helps the salt penetrate evenly. DO NOT REFRIGERATE. Eggs in the refrigerator will have their moisture removed.

At the end of four weeks, remove the plastic wrap. No need to remove the salt from the shell. Put the eggs in a pot covering them by two inches of water. Bring the pot to a boil. When the water boils, immediately remove from the heat, cover and rest for 17 minutes. Remove the eggs from the pot and allow to cool to room temperature. Now the cooked eggs can be refrigerated.

Use within two weeks.