Easter is coming again………
It’s time to hunt for those multi-colored painted eggs.
Talking about egg, there’s a culinary tradition I miss quite a bit from my childhood that has to do with egg. Duck egg….. salted duck egg.
Salted duck egg?
Yes, that’s right! We, Indonesian (and also many Asian) eat salted duck egg.
The egg white has a sharp, salty taste. The orange red yolk is rich, fatty, and less salty. The yolk is prized and is used in Chinese moon cakes to symbolize the moon.
Despite its name, salted duck eggs can also be made from chicken eggs, though the taste and texture will be somewhat different, and the egg yolk will be less rich.
What is salted duck egg?
A salted duck egg is a preserved food made by soaking duck eggs in brine or packing each egg in damp, salted ash or charcoal.
These eggs are sometimes sold covered in a thick layer of salted charcoal paste (source: http://www.laihinsaltedegg.com)
or they may also be sold with the salted paste removed, wrapped in vacuum packed or put in a bamboo woven box.
In Indonesia, there is a small city in Central Java named Brebes which is famous for its salted duck eggs (locally known as ‘telur asin’). People say that the salted duck eggs from Brebes are simply the best. So famous, in fact, that holiday makers seek out these eggs with their uniquely delicious flavor as gifts to take back home.
And here’s what the local Brebes people make their famous salted duck eggs (source: http://www.sleepyblueocean.blogspot.com)
- Fresh duck eggs, washed and rinsed with water
- ‘Abu gosok’ or burnt rice bran (this stuff can be easily found in any traditional market in Indonesia)
- Salt, depending on how many eggs you use (100 eggs: 5 kg salt)
Make the coating mixture: mix ‘abu’ and salt, add water, stir them well until thick but not too watery.
Coat each egg with this mixture, then roll it on the dry ‘abu’, re-coat it tightly to make the coat layer strong and not easily detached during the storage
Keep the coated eggs for 12 days
After 10-12 days, detach the coat, clean the eggs, and boil it. And you’ll get the result like shown in this picture (source: http://www.bebekjombang.blogspot.com):
- ‘Rawon’ or Dark Beef Soup (source: http://www.cara.media)
- Rice porridge (source: http://www.sawanila.com)
Or, we can use the egg yolk of salted duck eggs as a flavoring ingredient to cook vegetables stir fry (source: http://www.seriouseats.com).
During my childhood, my Mom always prepared different ‘animal-protein- source’ in our daily menu for lunch and dinner. The ‘animal-protein-source’ could be beef, chicken, fish or egg.
And for the egg, it’s either chicken egg or duck egg.
And for the duck egg, it must be salted duck egg since this is the best way of eating duck egg.
I was so excited whenever I found hard-boiled-salted-duck-eggs were served on our family dining table during lunch or dinner.
I really wish each of us could get one whole hard-boiled-salted duck egg instead of only half.
However, the economic condition during my childhood was pretty bad that my Mom had to manage her meal budget in such a way so all of us got enough nutrition while still kept everything within her budget. Each of us could only get a half-boiled-salted-duck-egg for lunch and another half for dinner.
Anyway, half or whole, I love the exotic taste of salted duck egg that has brought such sweet memory of my childhood.
So let’s indulge and celebrate Easter with Egg-xotic Salted Duck Eggs!
Sources of information & pictures: