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Salted egg yolk prawns – recipe

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Salted eggs were almost certainly created as a way to preserve an abundance of eggs to eat when times were leaner. The best ones are duck eggs, because they are larger and have a richer, more oily yolk than those from chickens.

It’s not difficult to make them – it just takes time. You put the uncooked whole eggs – shell and all – in a heavy saltwater brine in a tall jar or container, so the eggs have plenty of room to bob around.

The brine penetrates the porous shell, and as the egg gets heavier from the absorbed salt, it sinks to the bottom of the container.

I prefer to buy them, though – almost any shop that sells Asian ingredients will carry them. Salted eggs are often coated in a layer of ash, which needs to be scraped off before the eggs are cooked. In some Southeast Asian countries, salted eggs are dyed pink, to differentiate them from unsalted ones; and often, they are cooked. This recipe calls for uncooked salted eggs.

Salted egg yolk prawns is a popular Cantonese dish, but I’ve given it a Southeast Asian touch with the addition of curry leaves and fresh chillies – an idea I got from eating salted egg yolk crisps and fish skins. The curry leaves and fresh chilli are optional ingredients, but they add a lot of fragrance to the dish.



Salted eggs were almost certainly created as a way to preserve an abundance of eggs to eat when times were leaner. The best ones are duck eggs, because they are larger and have a richer, more oily yolk than those from chickens.

It’s not difficult to make them – it just takes time. You put the uncooked whole eggs – shell and all – in a heavy saltwater brine in a tall jar or container, so the eggs have plenty of room to bob around.

The brine penetrates the porous shell, and as the egg gets heavier from the absorbed salt, it sinks to the bottom of the container.

I prefer to buy them, though – almost any shop that sells Asian ingredients will carry them. Salted eggs are often coated in a layer of ash, which needs to be scraped off before the eggs are cooked. In some Southeast Asian countries, salted eggs are dyed pink, to differentiate them from unsalted ones; and often, they are cooked. This recipe calls for uncooked salted eggs.

Salted egg yolk prawns is a popular Cantonese dish, but I’ve given it a Southeast Asian touch with the addition of curry leaves and fresh chillies – an idea I got from eating salted egg yolk crisps and fish skins. The curry leaves and fresh chilli are optional ingredients, but they add a lot of fragrance to the dish.

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