Last Updated on June 16, 2022 by Share My Kitchen
Salted egg fried chicken is a classic Chinese fried chicken. If you are a fried chicken fan, this salted egg yolk fried chicken is a must-try.
If you love fried chicken in all its variations, you will enjoy this addictive salted egg yolk fried chicken. It is crunchy, juicy, and filled with savory umami flavors.
These might be your thoughts right now:
- You want to have salted egg yolk, anything! Yes, please!
- What is salted egg yolk anyway?
What is salted egg yolk?
For those who are yet to taste, salted egg yolk is the yolk of a salted duck egg. Salted duck eggs are a prevalent ingredient in Chinese cuisine. The eggs soak in salt brine, which helps preserve and enhance the creative flavor. They are cured duck eggs. The duck eggs get a salty aroma due to brining. They also get a firm gelatinous egg white and a perfectly round, firm golden orange yolk. You can purchase the eggs at Asian grocery stores, both cooked (steamed or boiled) and uncooked.
The eggs are usually served with congee, added to stir-fries, and sometimes steamed dishes. Perhaps you have seen them in mooncakes? They symbolize the full moon in lotus paste and red bean mooncakes because they are so round and golden.
What does salted egg yolk taste?
Salted egg yolk tastes like parmesan. However, they aren’t anything like parmesan. They are rich and punchy, with a salty-sweet flavor that is difficult to describe. They take on a slightly grainy appearance when cooked (usually steamed). It almost looks like the crystals in a perfect cheese, which is why the parmesan comparison is so popular.
Why use salted egg yolk?
Salty egg yolks, just like parmesan, are amazingly versatile. To add extra flavor to your food, you can grate the cooked yolks onto pasta, toast, or any other food. You can add it to sauces for extra creaminess or stir-fries for additional umami.
These salted egg yolks can also be a sweet addition. So, they can be found molten and golden in Liu sha bao (egg custard buns), cookies, croissants, breads, ice creams, French toasts, macarons, and more.
In Asia, particularly Singapore, salted egg yolks are a popular choice. Salted egg yolk foods have been abundant. While some may think this is a trend, it’s something that will not be going away soon. It’s great that this traditional ingredient, first written down in the 6th Century, is still very much loved.
Salted Egg Yolk Fried Chicken
Now, we can move on. This salted egg yellow fried chicken is crispy deep-fried chicken nuggets tossed in a savory-sweet salty egg yolk sauce. Golden orange salted egg yolks are steamed and mashed before being cooked into a rich, creamy, and crumbly salted yolk sauce that coats every part of the crispy fried chicken bits. If you have never tried salted egg yolk fried chicken, you’re in for an excellent treat. It is so delicious, especially the tiny salted egg yolk nubbins.
What you need to know about the ingredients
It is the best choice to use chicken thighs. They are juicy and take longer to cook, unlike chicken breasts that tend to become dry when deep-fried. Also, to ensure that everything cooks at the same rate, cut the chicken into equal-sized pieces.
To make a batter for deep-frying, use egg whites (just regular chicken egg whites). In Chinese cooking, egg whites complement cornstarch in a technique called “velveting.” This technique makes the meat more tender and creates a crispy deep-frying batter.
A little soy sauce is enough to give the marinade umami.
This wine gives off that traditional aroma you find in Chinese cuisine. You can skip it if you don’t have some. However, it adds an extra layer of flavor.
It is used for the batter and as a dry coating for the chicken before it’s deep-fried. Cornstarch does not contain gluten, which will make your fried chicken pieces extra crispy and golden.
Deep frying requires oil with a high smoke point. You can use grapeseed or safflower oil.
Salted Egg Yolks
You can purchase these at your local Asian grocery store in the same section as regular eggs. You should try to buy the “raw” eggs. If you find them, crack the egg open and remove the yolks. Then, gently rinse them under cold running water before you steam them to cook thoroughly. However, if you can only find cooked salted egg yolks, you can simply crumble the whites. It will ensure that you only have the yolks for the sauce.
This ingredient is the backbone of salted egg yolk sauce. It gives it fluidity and viscosity. You may opt to buy unsalted butter so that you can control the salt content.
Although this is not a mandatory ingredient, it will give your dish an extra level of flavor. You can still add chilies to a dish if you are not a fan of spice, but make sure you de-seed them before you do. You can also skip them.
To balance the saltiness of the salted egg yolks, add a little or so of sugar. Although you don’t need to add sugar, the salty-sweet combination is irresistible.
To add more aroma and crunch, fry the curry leaves and them to the dish. Thai basil can substitute for curry leaves if you don’t have them.
Salted Egg Fried Chicken Recipe
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
- One egg white (read the recipe note)
- 1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1/2 tbsp Shaoxing wine
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- High heat oil for deep frying
Salted Egg Yolk Sauce
- Four salted egg yolks
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1-2 Thai bird’s eye chili, de-seeded and finely chopped (optional)
- 1-2 tsp sugar
- 10-15 curry leaves or Thai basil
How to Prepare Salted Egg Yolk Fried Chicken
- Prepare the salted egg yolks. First, separate the egg yolks and whites. If you have raw salted eggs, separate them like a regular egg. After removing the egg white, steam the yolk on high heat for 10 min. The yolk should be firm and cooked through. On the other hand, if you have cooked, store-bought salted egg yolks, remove as much of the egg whites. After the yolks have been cooked, use a fork to break them up until very fine, then set aside.
- Prepare the chicken. Cut the chicken into even bite-sized pieces. Whisk the egg whites and a bit of cornstarch in a bowl until they are light and fluffy. Then, add the chicken pieces, Shaoxing wine, and soy sauce to the bowl. Allow this to marinate for approximately 15 minutes.
- Fry the chicken. Let the chicken marinate while you heat the oil in a large deep pan. Also, place a wire rack over a baking tray or plate. Once the oil is hot, coat the chicken with cornstarch, and cook the chicken in the hot oil until it is golden brown and crispy. Take the cooked chicken and let it rest on the wire rack.
- Make the sauce. Melt the butter in a saucepan over very low heat. Once the butter melts, stir in the crumbled salted egg yolks. The butter and egg yolks will bubble up. Then, add some chopped chilis (if you are using them), a pinch of sugar, and Thai basil or curry leaves. Add the sauce to the fried chicken, and toss to coat them. It’s time to eat!
- Separate the yolks and whites of the salted eggs. The yolks should be steamed for about 10 minutes on high heat until it’s cooked through. Then, crumble the yolks with a fork to make them very fine. Set aside.
- Marinate the chicken. Whisk together egg white and one tablespoon of cornstarch until the mixture is light and fluffy. Then, add the chicken, soy sauce, and Shaoxing wine, and let it marinate for 15 minutes.
- Next, put a rack over a baking sheet lined with paper towels or a plate. Heat 2 inches of oil on a heavy-bottomed, high-sided pot over medium heat until it reaches 350°F.
- Toss the chicken in the remaining cornstarch. Then, use a pair of tongs to add the chicken gently to the hot oil in batches. Be careful not to crowd the pan. Cook the chicken until crispy, golden brown, and cooked through. It takes approximately 3-4 minutes. Flip as necessary. Then, drain the chicken on the rack, and keep them warm in the oven.
- Once the chicken is ready, keep it warm in the oven. Then, make the sauce. Melt the butter in a frying pan over very low heat. Add the mashed yolks into the melted butter, and cook until it begins to foam up.
- Add the sugar, chili, and basil/curry leaves. Then, add the cooked chicken and toss to coat them properly. Enjoy immediately!
- The egg white used in the chicken batter is regular, not the salted ones.