The salted egg has long been a prized ingredient in Asian cuisines, enhancing sweet and savory dishes with bursts of umami. Its buttery, salty yolk, which glows vibrant shades of yellow and orange, is commonly found in Chinese mooncakes, rice porridge, and zongzi (sticky rice dumplings). It’s the hottest ingredient in Los Angeles: chefs have even stuffed it on French toast and topped with fried shimeji mushrooms.
The first record of salt-cured eggs dates back to the 5th century in China in a historical text called Qimin Yaoshu, according to the michelin guide. Usually made with duck, but sometimes with chicken eggs, the whole egg or just the yolk can be salt-cured or soaked in brine for days or months. The result is a dense orb that is sometimes considered Asia’s answer to Parmesan cheese. When the yolk is crushed and heated with butter or oil, it transforms into a grainy, creamy sauce that earned it the nickname “golden sand.”
Its versatility is seemingly endless: it sticks well to fried foods or can be made into custard for desserts. Singapore-based snack brand irvins is an international sensation with its salted egg covered chips, which can be purchased at stores like 99 Ranch and Costco. Find salted egg in a variety of dishes at Hong Kong-style cafes and in Filipino sweets, where it often serves as a springboard for new recipes. From Silver Lake to Pasadena, here’s a guide to the best salted egg dishes in Los Angeles.