I’ve just returned from my delicious Asian travels and this Singapore-style salted egg sauce recipe pays tribute to Singapore’s proclivity for faddish food trends. Though not entirely a brand-new craze, the humble salted egg has definitely enjoyed a status elevation. For the last couple of years or so it’s become the ‘in thing’ in Singapore. From gourmet snacks to the star ingredient of well-regarded chefs, the salted egg yolk has been tossed and slathered on many a decorated restaurant dish.
To think that most Singapore-born kids (myself included) have grown up eating salted eggs as a simple condiment to congee, wow. I can’t help but be amazed at what else can be done with the bright orangey-scarlet duck’s egg yolk at every turn. My late grandma would’ve been appalled. She who would prod at and pick out the dry, orangey salted yolks for us with her pointy wooden chopsticks would probably raise an eyebrow or two. Tsk, tsk. Salted egg yolks are now even added to gourmet desserts and oh my goodness—chocolate truffles!
The first ever ‘salted egg dessert’ — MOONCAKE?
Come to think of it, the longest -serving ‘dessert’ I can think of that has utilised the salted egg must’ve been the good old mooncake. Incidentally, I was blessed to be ‘home’ in Singapore during the magnificent Lantern festival, or the ‘Mooncake Festival’ where I was able to indulge in so much mooncake goodness. There are few mooncake these days that come without salted egg yolks in them. The rich crumbly texture of the brined salted yolk complements the sweetness of the mooncake fillings so perfectly.
As for savoury pairings, perhaps the most memorable salted egg dishes from my recent travels had been ‘salted egg yolk fried fish skin’ and ‘salted egg yolk mud crabs’. These were both from Crab Party, a seafood restaurant best known for and quite obviously, for their crabs. I’ve also heard of ‘salted egg cereal prawns’ enjoying quite the resurgence, riding on the fame and fortune of the salted egg.
Irvins Salted Egg Fish Skin
Thanks to my great pal Lynda, I was able to bring home to Australia the lingering taste of this delectable star ingredient of the moment. It came in the form of this ridiculously addictive snack craze of the times—the Salted Egg Fish Skin from quirky snack brand, Irvins. They’re not called #dangerouslyaddictive for nothing. I was hooked from the first bite and only wished I’d carried more packets home with me.
As for what they taste like, I’d say it’s really close to the deep fried fish skins you get from the steamboat offerings at J-POT Restaurant. I’m already a huge fan of those. With salted egg added to Irvins’ fried fish skins, it’s impossibly and ridiculously yummy. It’s so good I can’t be in the same room with it or there won’t be any left for my husband or kids.
Irvins also retails Salted Egg Potato Chips for a whopping S$16 (same price as its fish skins). They make salted egg sauce housed in a bottle for S$8. It’s all available online to those located in Singapore (unfortunately for me), however there’s a hefty S$15 delivery charge for local orders. I saw them selling all of these at a kiosk at the Takashimaya food hall. Still kicking myself for not having grabbed a few more while I could.
Salted Egg Sauce – Homemade recipe
Well, the best thing I can do now is to whip up a batch of my own salted egg sauce to slather over my very own homemade deep fried fish skins and seafood. I think it’s what helped me become a better cook since moving overseas. It’s either one learns to make it from scratch or throw up your hands, weep and lament that Singapore is another year away.
As a wrap up from my blog vacation, I did return from my well-deserved chill out break with as much aplomb and rejoicing as before we took off. It must be the mark of a wonderful holiday that’s as inspiring as it gets. Hope you enjoyed the school term break and holidays as much as we did, and continue to make the most of it till next week!
Salted Egg Sauce Recipe
10 to 12 salted duck egg yolks
40g unsalted butter
80-100 ml full fat thickened cream (use less for a thicker sauce)
1 TB caster sugar, or add to taste
1 tsp chicken stock granules or add salt to taste
1- 2 red chillies or 1 chilli padi (or use 1/2 tsp chilli powder)
NOTE: do not blend with above but stir-fry with: 2 bunches of *curry leaves (stems discarded)
Melt the unsalted butter without burning it. I usually do it in a microwave. You can either bring the thickened cream to room temperature or warm it slightly in the microwave oven. After that, blend the above list of ingredients (except the curry leaves) in a food processor for an easy and convenient salted egg sauce. I store mine in a bottle in the fridge for about a maximum of 3 to 5 days. I use it to cook cereal prawns and mud crabs with the addition of the curry leaves and chillies for a spicier kick. Too easy!
If you haven’t got a processor, you could also use the ‘ by hand’ method to make the same sauce. Begin by first mashing the salted egg yolks with a fork.
Then in a frying pan, brown the butter without letting it burn. Add the mashed up egg yolks and stir them till they froth a little.
Add the room temperature thickened cream and mix with the cooked yolks. You’ll find that the processor method yields a silkier sauce.