Salted eggs can be bought ready prepared. It is sometimes sold in the Oriental shops salted but uncooked. In the Philippines, it is sold already cooked and coloured a very deep pink to differentiate it from chicken eggs. We call it itlog namaalat which simply means salty eggs. They are traditionally buried in salty clay for several days after which they absorb the salty taste through their porous shells. The egg whites are salty and creamy and the egg yolks are firm, bright yellow and rich tasting, with oil exuding from them after boiling. The whole egg yolks are prized by the Chinese and are used as filling for mooncakes to symbolize the moon.
It is a very common side dish by itself or can also be mixed with diced tomatoes as a kind of salsa to accompany fried dishes or added to salads to add a salty creamy taste similar to feta cheese. It is also used as a topping for rice cakes. Commercial salted eggs are sometimes far too salty for my liking. I sometimes make it at home so I can make it less salty.
up to 12 duck eggs 5 cups of water 1 1/2 c. salt red or dark pink food colouring 1 tbsp. vinegar
Bring 5 cups of water to a boil. Add 1 1/2 cups of salt and stir until most of the salt has dissolved. Leave the solution to cool, then transfer to a glass or plastic jar with a lid. Make sure that the eggs are free from cracks. Add the eggs. The eggs has to be completely submerged in the liquid. Put a cup on top of the eggs and let it fill with liquid to weigh down the eggs and prevent them from floating to the surface. Keep in a cool dark place (such as a cupboard) for 21 days. You can boil one egg at this point and taste it. If you want it saltier, you can keep it in the salt solution for a day or two more. Drain the water off and rinse the eggs with water. You can store the eggs in the fridge like this and boil them before serving. You can also boil them all and keep in the fridge. They are preserved by the salting process and can last for several months in the fridge.
To cook, put eggs in a sauce pan, cover with water and simmer on low heat for five minutes. You can add a few drops of food colouring if you want an authentic bright pink colour. Add 1 tbsp. of vinegar to make the colouring adhere to the egg shells.
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