by Sara Germanotta
The new “cheese” in town?
Salt-curing egg yolks has become a bit of a trend in the culinary world, and they’re also being touted as a dairy-free substitute for Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. I was skeptical about replacing the king of cheeses in a recipe, but there were enough rave reviews about salt-cured eggs to convince me to give it a try.
Like many people, I’m always a little hesitant when a recipe calls for raw eggs. Salt-cured eggs are safe to eat because they are brined in a mixture of kosher salt and sugar, which soaks up all the moisture from the yolk and kills any bad bacteria. After being brined for up to one week, the egg yolks are then baked at a very low temperature for several hours. The end result is an egg yolk that is surprisingly firm enough to grate over pasta, with a deep salty and nutty flavour. They’re also delicious sprinkled over soups and salads.
• 2 cups kosher salt
• 1½ cups sugar
• 4 egg yolks
In a bowl, mix together the salt and sugar. Place half the salt mixture into a glass baking dish. Using the back of a spoon, make four shallow indentations in the salt mixture. Carefully place an egg yolk into each indentation. Completely cover the yolks with the remaining salt-sugar mixture. Tightly cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for five to seven days, until the yolks are fairly firm. Remove the egg yolks from the salt brine, carefully rinse them with cold water and pat dry. Preheat oven to 170°F and grease a wire rack set inside a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Place the yolks on the prepared wire rack and bake for two hours. Cool completely. Salt-cured egg yolks can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one month.