As a kid, I have always loved to eat the salt cured duck yolks in Chinese dumplings (zhongzi, lotus wrapped sticky rice) and mooncakes. For some reason, as an adult living in the U.S., I have an immense craving for it constantly. Buying them in Chinatown, you don’t know what kind of chemicals are preserving them because they come in styrofoam packages (which also makes me angry).
Traditionally, and when things were more innocent back then (without the use of harsh chemicals), these duck eggs were covered in salted charcoal. I remember going to the wet markets in Hong Kong and having to dig through a heap of black rub (the salted charcoal) in order to find the eggs.
This method, brining, gives the same flavor, just not the same pizazz. I have added a couple of quintessential Chinese spices to this recipe too!
- 12 duck eggs
- 4 quarts water
- 4 cups salt
- 2 TBS Sichuan peppercorns
- 6 star anise
Place water, salt, Sichuan peppercorns, and star anise in a pot. Bring to a boil, simmer for 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely and then place eggs into brine. Eggs need to be fully submerged, use plates as weights. Make a note in your calendar for 30 days!