Chinese Cuisine: Salted Duck Eggs – Itlog na pula

They might look harmless, but be warned. These are the culinary counterparts to the Dead Sea, duck eggs saturated with salt.  To the uninitiated, they can send your tongue curling and cholesterol climbing. While generating less media attention than balut, the flavor if not the appearance of the salted duck egg is far more abrasive. Nonetheless, salted duck eggs are a noteworthy contribution to a national cuisine committed to rich, flavorful foods. The yolks, in particular, are dense, literally mouth-watering and invariably less intense than the saltier whites. The eggs are cured in a salt mixture for several days and then boiled.  The end result is either painted red or wrapped in a red package to distinguish them from the unsalted variety (you can spot them from the opposite end of a grocery store). For those with a suitable palette, salted duck eggs can be enjoyed by themselves, but for the most part, are used in conjunction with other ingredients or recipes, most notably, Chinese moon cakes.

To be found in any Filipino or Chinese grocery.

Here is an article on incorporating the salted duck egg into contemporary Chinese cuisine.

Written by Jason Summerfield


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