Sunday, March 20, 2016

Salted Egg & Squash Stir-fry 鹹蛋炒南瓜

Salted eggs (鹹蛋) are one of those Chinese food staples you'll see stocked in the fridge of most Chinese households. What they are, are duck eggs soaked in a brine of water, sugar, and wine for about 1 to 2 months, then boiled when they're ready to be used.

When eaten alone, the egg whites taste like pure salt with a plasticky/rubbery texture. There's not much you can do with salted egg whites other than pairing it with some plain rice congee in a traditional Chinese breakfast. The uses for the salted egg yolk, however, ranges from desserts (like moon cakes 月餅) to savory snacks (like rice dumplings 粽子).  It seems like the yolks are always wrapped inside something, so when I know my food consists of salted egg yolks, I usually just tear it open and go straight for it-- a.k.a Asian kinder surprise. Unlike the normal egg yolk which can be dry ask heck and annoyingly hiccup-inducing, salted egg yolks have a perfect balance of sandiness and creaminess. They're not as salty as the whites and I can basically eat them forever and die of a stroke happily.
Salted Duck Eggs

Other than their individual uses, salted eggs are probably most famous for a dish called 鹹蛋炒苦瓜 (salted egg and bitter gourd stir-fry). The reason this dish is so popular owes it to the salted eggs' magical ability to balance out the bitterness of gourd in a surprisingly complimentary way. I wanted to make that dish this time, but since bitter gourds aren't in season, I opted for a more crowd-pleasing alternative and used kabocha squashes.

Kabocha Squash

Please don't ask me anything about kabocha squashes, all I know is that they're green on the outside, orangey-yellow on the inside. Size-wise, they're small, round, and kind of flat. They're much more firm in texture compared to the typical orange pumpkin and sweeter in taste. Ok, that's about all I know, and to be honest, I pretty much just got whatever the market ladies were selling and it worked. So if you have no idea what kabocha squashes are, I'm sure other types of squashes can work too... They all belong to the same family, don't be too technical about it. Just remember to pre-cook them before stir-frying to shorten cooking time. This can be done by either boiling or steaming them until you can just about make a dent on the squash with your chopsticks. You'll continue to cook them later so don't worry if the squash pieces are still kind of firm. You rather spend more time stir-frying than having the starch dissolve into mush when they're overcooked! And if you're really feeling lazy, just throw the yolk and whites in at the same time. One last thing, don't add any more additional salt! You're using salted eggs for a reason!

Salted Egg & Squash Stir-fry 鹹蛋炒南瓜


INGREDIENTS:
  • 400g squash, pre-cooked (boiled or steamed)
  • 2 salted duck eggs 
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, for frying egg yolks
  • 1 bunch of scallions, chopped
METHOD
  1.  Cut the salted eggs in half and seperate the egg yolks from the egg whites. 
  2. Remove the egg yolks from the shell and chop them up roughly, set aside. 
  3. Mash up the egg yolks and set aside. 
  4. In a head wok, add 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Add in the garlic and fry for a few seconds until fragrant. 
  5. Add in the chopped egg whites and pre-cooked squash. Stir-fry briefly until just mixed. Add in the water and let it cook until half of the water has evaporated and the squashed has softened to your desired texture. Plate and set aside. 
  6. In the same wok, add in 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add in the mashed egg yolks and fry until the foamy and bubbly. Throw in a handful of scallions and quickly fry for a few seconds. 
  7. Spread the egg yolk mixture over the squash and serve. 

Salted Egg & Squash Stir-fry 鹹蛋炒南瓜

7 comments:

  1. AHHH I love salted eggs!!!
    The craze in Singapore now is salted egg croissants, salted egg potato chips...salted egg everything....including the traditional salted egg dishes, like salted egg cuttlefish, but this looks a lotttt healthier hahaha.

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    Replies
    1. Whatttttttt salted egg croissants sounds so good! Whoever thought of that is a genius

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    2. Lauren just showed me that you are back to blogging and have a youtube channel! Looking forward to more recipes!
      Jan

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  2. i left so many comments yesterday, but apparently it didn't work..= = anyway, im happy you revived the blog again and this time even better with videos! so awesome! keep it up. subscribed you already! :D
    Lauren (LoLo)

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