You Can Salt-Cure THIS?!

One day you think you’ve got a handle on life and then you learn something that just blows your mind. I thought I knew eggs. You’ve got your scrambled, boiled, over-easy, devilled, poached and if you’re really getting fancy you might have something like eggs benedict.

Eggs are simple but diverse. I thought I knew all there was to know about them. Then I saw cured egg yolks. Whhhaaaaaaa????

Yep, you read that right. Cured egg yolks. Now don’t get me wrong, I am a really big fan of cured meats. These include: salami, pastrami, prosciutto, pepperoni and even salmon.

I love all of these! The thought of cured egg yolks just doesn’t work for me. But take my opinion with a grain of salt (pun intended ha!). I am really not a fan of eggs at all, but apparently, for people who love eggs these are heavenly! Just another way to add their favorite protein to their meals.

So what do you do with cured egg yolks?

The traditional way of making them basically turns them into shiny, translucent versions of the egg yolks that become hard to the point they are similar to the texture of a firm Gruyere cheese. You can grate them and add them on top of pastas, asparagus, salads, etc.

There are two ways you can make them. One method will give you a runny yolk that can be eaten right away (this is a partially cured egg yolk)  and the second method cures the yolk until it’s firm all the way through and has a longer shelf life.

Are they really safe to eat?

Salt-cured eggs are safe to eat because they are made the same way other cured meats are made (think prosciutto). The salt gets rid of moisture and kills the bacteria that makes food go bad. The sugar feeds the good bacteria, such as the kind found in kimchi, which also helps fight bad bacteria. Curing is actually a form of controlled fermentation.

To make runny-cured eggs, the yolks are covered in a salt and sugar mixture for roughly an hour and a half. They are then carefully washed off and ready to eat. That’s all there is to it. The short curing time sets the yolks to about the same consistency as a perfectly poached egg.


1 ¾ cups kosher salt

1 ¼ cups sugar

4 large egg yolks

Nonstick Vegetable oil spray


Whisk salt and sugar in a medium bowl to combine. Evenly spread out half of salt mixture in an 8x8” glass baking dish. Using the back of a tablespoon, create 4 depressions in salt mixture, spacing evenly. Carefully place an egg yolk in each depression. Gently sprinkle remaining salt mixture over yolks and tightly wrap dish with plastic. Chill 4 days.

Preheat oven to 150 degrees F. Brush salt mixture off each yolk, then carefully rinse under cold water to remove any remaining salt (yolks will be semi-firm, bright, and translucent). Gently pat dry with paper towels.

Generously coat a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray; place yolks on rack. Dry out in oven until opaque and texture is like a firm Gruyere cheese, 1 ½ hours-2 hours. Let cool. (Alternatively, if your oven doesn’t go that low, you can dry out eggs in an unheated oven for 2 days.)

Finely grate cured egg yolk over soups, pastas, or salads as you would a hard cheese.

Do ahead:

Yolks can be cured 1 month ahead. Place in an airtight container and chill.

Have you ever tried cured egg yolks? What did you think? Please share in the comments below.

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    Mary Richardson
    Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2014
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