"Kusina" = Kitchen; "Manang" = older sister

A Filipina's unabashed chronicle of her adaptations in the American kitchen. Includes step-by-step photos on how to make pan de sal, ensaymada, pan de coco, siopao, hopia, pandelimon, pianono, atsara, crema de fruta,etc., and if you are lucky, you will find videos too!

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Monday, November 08, 2004

Itlog na Maalat (Salted Egg in Brine)



Do you miss salted eggs? Those eggs in the Philippines that are colored deep red, and which we often eat with diced fresh tomatoes? I do. We don't have it here. Well, I do see some "pickled eggs" displayed in jars on the grocery shelves, but I guess those are prepared as described on this home food preservation page. The technique is obviously different.

Thanks to Bernice for giving me a link to the DOST's TeknoTulong website, I found the method to make salted eggs (which are commonly sold in the Philippine grocery stores and wet markets, even in small stores, distinguised by its red color).[Note as of 1-17-09: Seems like DOST does not want to share their information anymore. Don't they realize if they posted their how-to's online with google adsense, they might have more revenue than waiting for people to purchase their ebooks?]

As instructed in the Tagalog version, the eggs should be submerged for weeks in a supersaturated salt solution. What I did was I tried to fit in as much eggs as I could in a wide-mouthed quart jar. Then I filled it with water and poured it off to a small saucepan to approximate the amount that I will need to boil (of course I added a bit more water for allowance).

I boiled the water and continuously added canning salt (I used Morton) by 1-2 tbsp increments to fully dissolve it up to a point when it could no longer dissolve (which is called the supersaturated salt solution). I let it cool down. Since heat increases solubility, it was expected that some salt re-crystallized as the solution cooled.

Then I poured the solution into the jar with the eggs (I used chicken eggs as I do not have access to duck eggs), making sure that the eggs are fully submerged. (If eggs tend to float as the saltiness increases buoyancy, you should add some weight to it). I covered with a cheesecloth like so and used the screw band to secure it in place (you may use rubber band for the purpose). Notice that I placed the label containing the date of start. I noted on the calendar the 12th day when I should try boiling 1 egg. Which I did, but did not find it quite salty enough. So I waited some more, until the 25th day, when my friend Ana was here and we shared pinangat that she cooked.

I boiled the eggs in the brine itself for 10 minutes then submerged them in cold water, and cubed them, then mixed with diced fresh red ripe tomatoes. So, as a side dish, my contribution was the salted eggs with tomatoes as pictured above. Ana said she felt like she was back in the Philippines, and those eggs really tasted like the ones we used to buy in the nearby sari-sari stores. My boys were so delighted it was almost like a treat to them (and as you would expect from a child, they favored the salted eggs with tomatoes over the pinangat, especially that Ana used a small finger-sized type of fish.) The four eggs that we shared (there were four of us) were not enough, despite the pinangat. Bitin! My sons asked me to prepare some more. Isn't that something? I could now make my own salted eggs, and I am assured of the cleanliness and freshness!x

I am now on my second batch of salted eggs. Problem is, I will have to buy fresh tomatoes from the grocery stores next time.

UPDATE as of 1-17-09:

From Minnie's comment below: An alternative recipe:

Hi Manang, I'm Minnie V. Acosta of Malabon City, Philippines. Im a Food Technologist & a Fd. Demonstrator in our City I want to share a simple procedure of Salted Egg Making.
Ings :
Duck egg 12 pcs
Coarse Salt 1 1/4 cups
Water 4 cups
Red granna crystals (for coloring eggs) 1 tsp.
Procedure:
1. Boil 1 1/4 cups coarse salt in 4 cups of water. Cool & strain the
dirts.
2. Put 12 pcs eggs in a glass jar then pour the salt solution. Reserve atleast 1/2 - 1 cup of the salt solution and place in a plastic bag (para hindi lumutang)then cover.
3. Soak in Salt solution for 12-15 days.
4. Wash the eggs thoroughly then boil for atleast 20 minutes without cover. Remove from water then cool.
5. Making color solution : Dissolve 1 tsp. red granna crystals in 4 cups of water. Soak the eggs for atleast 60 seconds.

That's we how we make our salted eggs (Brine solution)here in the
Philippines. Hope this will help our kababayans. Thanks also to you manang I enjoyed reading comments and your advices


BELOW is the DOST Teknotulong's recipe for salted eggs, both in clay and in brine. I copied these when their website was back online (it tends to be changed often and sometimes not available).
SALTING EGGS IN BRINE:

Materials: Eggs (chicken or duck), Salt

Utensils: Wide-mouthed glass jar, Measuring cups, Cheesecloth

Procedure:

1. Boil 12 cups of water and 3 cups of salt. Cool.

2. Carefully place 12 chicken or duck eggs in wide-mouthed glass jar.

3. Pour the salt solution in the jar. Weigh down eggs with plate or cup to keep them from floating or use a sealed plastic bag filled with the salt solution.

4. Cover mouth of jar with perforated paper or cheesecloth. Keep in a cool, dry place.

5. Try one egg after 12 days by cooking below boiling point for 15 minutes. Soak again if eggs is not salty enough. Test for saltiness by cooking one egg after a few days until desired level of saltiness is attained. Duck eggs may need to be soaked longer.

6. Cook salt eggs below boiling point for 15 minutes.

Source: Technical Information and Documentation Division ITDI (DOST)

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SALTING EGGS IN CLAY

Materials:

Eggs (chicken or duck), Clay, Salt

Utensils: Measuring cups, Palayok

Procedure:

1. Mix 12 cups of clay and 4 cups of salt, adding water gradually until well blended.

2. Apply generous portion of this mixture at the base of a clay pot or "palayok."

3. Coat each egg with the mixture.

4. Arrange in layers and allow 2.5-5.0 cm. in between to prevent breakage.

5. Cover with extra mixture and store.

6. Try one egg after 15 days by cooking below boiling point for 15 minutes. If not salty enough, extend storing period.

7. When ready, cook eggs below boiling point for 15 minutes.

8. Color eggs, if desired.

48 comments:

  1. That is great Manang! And I thought that the eggs are hard boiled BEFORE storing in salty water. So approx how much salt did you put in? Why do you have to put cheesecloth, will it spoil if you don't?

    Thanks for this recipe now my husband do not have to wait for us to buy one in a Pinoy store.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ang galing manang. I will definitely try this.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Celia,
    I'm not sure if it really needs a cheesecloth; I just followed the instructions (but that is usual naman even for fermenting patis or vinegar, though I don't see any similarity in the two processes).
    Ting-aling,
    it's really worth making them! Magkano ba ang salted eggs sa Filipino store? One tray of egg is just about $1, di ba? How much are salted eggs? Even in PI they are more expensive! Sometimes I even got ones that smelled almost rotten already.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Lalo mong pinatigas ang tuhod ko. Oo nga ano, 3 for $5 ang red eggs sa Filipino Store.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Manang! This is a good idea. Thanks for posting the how-to, I will definitely try to make it. My vegetarian hubby doesn't want to try to red salted eggs from the asian store because not only is he not familiar with them, he is grossed out as well. If I will make it myself, maybe he will be inspired to try it. BTW, did you mention a tray of egg is $1? Man, I would love to buy a crate of that :-) We only buy cage free brown eggs and they cost $3.98/ tray of 12 eggs at the grocery store. I buy them at Trader Joe's for $1.79/ tray of 12 pieces. And I tell you they are tiny so a tray will only last us a week. Thanks for sharing your recipes! BTW, baka pwede maka ambush ng pickles me, just let me know :-)

    ReplyDelete
  6. CosM0gurl here by the way.

    ReplyDelete
  7. CosMOgurl,
    Actually I have been receiving free fresh brown eggs from my in-laws since last spring, though the production at present is not as profuse as those times. BTW, what pickles were you referring to? BBP? Dill? or the eggs? Email me your address. I'll see what I can do.

    ReplyDelete
  8. HI Manang! You are soooo lucky to get fresh brown eggs for free. MY husband and I love these eggs and they are expensive where we are. We are so psyched up that we even drive further if needed just to visit a Trader Joe's store and pick up a tray. We normally get 3 trays at a time.

    I will email you about the pickles. Thanks a lot! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  9. kahit regular egg ba puwedeng gamitin? o dapat duck egg?

    ReplyDelete
  10. I used the regular chicken eggs.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Manang,
    Where do you store the jar while the eggs are soaking in salt- in the fridge or out in room temp?
    Thanks,
    Cristy

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi Cristy,
    Room temp lang... :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. manang i'm a college student and i have a research on making salted eggs. i wish you could help me. i was wondering why it is necessary to use cheese cloth and a wide mouth jar.
    thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi Sofia,

    Sorry for this late reply. I have tried doing without cheesecloth (just the lid of the cover, loosely screwed). Not sure why cheesecloth, but there was no problem with my lid-covered eggs. The wide-mouth jar is simply so that I could put in eggs easily (hindi masikip). You can use banga if you want (the jar is ideal for 5-6 pieces only, as I do not make them in big batches, usually 1-2 dozens lang, para I can cook after one month and have another batch processed again. I don't want to cook many then store them in the fridge for a long time).

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi Manang.
    Do I have to soak the egg glass jar?I was resently in Los Angeles and my brother bougth a tray of salted egg(6 pieces in a tray) for $5.50.They are expensive.I'm glad you share you recipe because where I am I don't get salted egg.I live in rural part of Ontario,Canada.Thank you

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi liza,

    Right now I am soaking 2-1/2 dozens of eggs in the ceramic pot of the slow cooker, and covered by the glass cover of it.I do not think there will be a problem. Maybe the thing is make sure they will not rot nor invite fungal colonization by keeping them in dark and tightly covered containers. I doubt they would if you use supersaturated salt solution anyway.
    This reminds me that I can cook some of them anytime this week! :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. It took a long time to soak in salted water because you didn't boil it first. Heat makes the eggshell more permeable. If you boil the eggs first, it'll only take 24 hours to soak in salted water. More info @ http://www.chemistryquestion.com/English/Questions/ChemistryInDailyLife/17c_salted_boiled_eggs.html

    Hope this helps.

    ReplyDelete
  18. http://www.chemistryquestion.com/
    English/Questions/
    ChemistryInDailyLife/
    17c_salted_boiled_eggs.html

    Sorry. That's the complete link. I wanted to make salted eggs because we suddenly have too much eggs, so I went searching on the 'net about how to go about it. I found your blog and the link above. More power to your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi Jean,

    Thanks for the link. I will try to experiment as well. Have you tried? How was the consistency of the egg? Was it the same as the traditional "itlog na maalat?" (that is, I am presuming you were a Filipina too?).

    ReplyDelete
  20. good day, in the philippines ive seen some salted egg that is oily in the inside and it taste much better than the those egg w/c is not oily, can you please tell me why and how to make an oily one, thanks...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
  21. Hi Anonymous,
    I am not sure how to make it oily inside. Probably the mtehod (like using clay instead of brine) and the type of egg (duck eggs versus chicken eggs)have to do with that, or maybe even the length of storage (the freshly ones made probably have no oil yet).

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hi Manang,
    Thanks for posting this recipe. I will try it today as my chickens laid so many eggs. I really missed our Filipino "Itlog na Maalat", it definitely taste different from American "Pickeled Eggs with Beets". --Eliza

    ReplyDelete
  23. hi Eliza,
    Wow, I envy you! I wish I also knew how to raise chickens and had a place for them.

    ReplyDelete
  24. hello! glad i found this site. so helpful as i've enrolled in culinary classes now. ask ko lang sana, how do we color the egg shells? what specific dye to use and where can this be bought? thanks so much!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi anonymous,

    I am presuming you live in the USA...you can find food color/egg dyes along with some baking items in the grocery stores. They usually come in small boxes containing 4 plastic bottles of different colors (usually green, blue, red, and yellow).

    I do not use dyes on my salted egg, though.

    Enjoy your culinary lessons! Maybe you too can share your experiences through blogging?...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. pls. its so hard

      Delete
  26. hi manang,we r here in qatar,i'm a chef here in hamad hospital,but i don't know how to make itlog n maalat... thnx u so much,ngayon mkakakain n ako ng itlog n maalat.more power po!!!

    ReplyDelete
  27. hi manang,tnx po at may paglilibangan nnman ako d2 sa qatar,chef po ako d2...more power po...

    ReplyDelete
  28. hi jhunne,
    u r so welcome! I hope you will enjoy it. Not quite the same as the "oily" salted eggs which we sometimes get in PI, but the taste is close enough.
    Your blogger profile is not accessible...are you not publicly blogging? It will be interesting to see how a Pinoy chef is doing/cooking in Qatar.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hello po manang, Thanks for posting the recipe on how to make salted egg ;) Its been a long time that im craving for this hehe and now I will try to make my own.

    Btw, how long do I have to boil the salted eggs...will I know if its cook na? if I made a dozen, do I have to boil them all and then put away in the fridge?

    Salamat!

    happyrose

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hi happyrose,
    I usually boil them in the brine for 10-15 minutes, or if I have waited too long to cook them, I boil them in plain water (just so they won't get too salty) for same amt of time. If you reach 30 minutes, the edges of the egg yolks turn dark, which I do not like. I store them in the fridge when they are cooked. I am not sure how long they keep, but they do last longer because of the saltiness, as long as they shells are intact. So, eat first the ones with cracks already.

    ReplyDelete
  31. GD day,tnx po talaga sa site nyo. usefull po talaga. tanong ko lng po ano exact name sa pang kulay sa itlog na ma alat. tnx po..

    ReplyDelete
  32. and ano po advantage and disadvantage sa pang kulay.. but po di kayo gumagamit ng pang kulay.. tnx po..

    ReplyDelete
  33. Hi jinggoi,
    I think yung pang-kulay is used only to distinguish it as salted egg. I do not like to use it kasi it's just bothersome to color, then it stains also. if you do want to color your salted eggs, there are food coloring available in the cake section of grocery stores. I have not tried them, though.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Manang,

    Good Day to you, i'm enjoy reading many comments. I want only to share the knowledge in making salted eggs, i remember during my college days. It is good to boil the water before use as a brine to kill the bacteria present to prevent contamination of the brine. Salt is also a meduim to control the organism to grow. Cheesecloth is used as a meduim to sink the eggs so that saltiness is throughout the eggs, eggs that are not sink into brine solution will spoiled. Salinity of the brine should be maintain at 70 saline throughout the fermentation process,you can measure the salinity by using salinometer. Salinity af the brine decreases everyday so that it must add salt everyday depends on the salinity, eggs are easily spoiled when salinity did not maintained. Coloring of your salted eggs is not necesarry it only distinguish that the eggs is salted which traditionally known by filipinos as "itlog na pula". Salted eggs is a product of fermentation, a food preservation method.

    Sharing knowledge is a gift of GOD!

    Thanks,

    erik

    erik_0930@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  35. i tried to make itlog n maalat- i dissloved the salt in a boiled hot water...estimate lng ang salt...rock salt actually ang gamit ko...1/2 cup of rock salt into 1 cup of water...and added a tbsp or more of salt... after a week nkita ko ung water nya may mga nakalutang n white tapos discolored ng ung water nya, un pala natunaw ung balat nung egg...anu po kaya un; di pa saturated ung water or sobrang maalat ung tubig? nakaka spoil b ng egg ang sobrang maalat n ung water...im in qatar ky ng try din ako gumawa ng salted egg at gusto ko ma perfect...meron bng exact amount ng water and salt para ma-meet ung saturation? any one can help, pls...

    ReplyDelete
  36. pwede po bang gamitin ang iodized salt?

    ReplyDelete
  37. hi erik,
    thanks for sharing your knowledge, although I do not think fermentation is the right term for this as there really is no yeast involved in the process; instead, the high salinity prevents growth of bacteria (and molds?).

    anonymous1,
    I would guess that there was not enough salt in it. I think rock salt will be fine to use, as that is what we usually have in PI before iodized salt was the in thing. The best way to estimate if the water is salty enough (without a salinometer) is to keep adding salt by tablespoons into the boiling water until you can no longer dissolve the salt (you should have started with that 1/2 cup salt in 1 cup water then keep adding while boiling).
    anonymous2,
    I have not used iodized salt for this purpose, but I don't see that it will harm the outcome. Maybe you can try on a few eggs.

    ReplyDelete
  38. hi manang...thanks for the reply...i will try doing itlog n maalat again...sna successful na....thanks again...God bless

    ReplyDelete
  39. Hi Manang. Can i use plastic jar in curing the eggs?

    ReplyDelete
  40. miss adventure5/15/2008 2:15 AM

    hello manang, i have started also from the tekno tulong website ^_^ the process is osmosis. it involves flow from a high to low concentration (from the salt water to the inside of the egg).
    i wonder what's the difference when i boil the water with salt instead of just dissolving maximum amount of salt in water at room temperature? because i'm imagining the extra salt would just recrystallize out

    ReplyDelete
  41. Hi Miss Adventure,

    Technically this does not involve osmosis (which is the movement of the solvent, in this case water, down its concentration gradient). Since egg retains its volume here, it is not water movement that is happening. It is simply a matter of diffusion of solutes from a higher concentration to an area of low concentration until equilibrium is achieved across the membrane).

    As per the difference between dissolving salt in boiling water versus dissolving in RT, the additional heat by boiling enables the dissolution of more salt, so through this process you achieve a supersaturated salt solution (all H2O molecules are in ionic bond with Na+ or Cl-) and the rest remains undissolved/unbonded. In this case, I think the main reason why we want this is to make sure we are "preserving" the uncooked eggs after the curing process. One of my readers tried making the RT and approximated the amount of salt. She ended up with rotten runny eggs.

    hope this helps!

    ReplyDelete
  42. Hi Manang, I'm Minnie V. Acosta of Malabon City, Philippines. Im a Food Technologist & a Fd. Demonstrator in our City I want to share a simple procedure of Salted Egg Making.
    Ings :
    Duck egg 12 pcs
    Coarse Salt 1 1/4 cups
    Water 4 cups
    Red granna crystals (for coloring eggs) 1 tsp.
    Procedure:
    1. Boil 1 1/4 cups coarse salt in 4 cups of water. Cool & strain the
    dirts.
    2. Put 12 pcs eggs in a glass jar then pour the salt solution. Reserve atleast 1/2 - 1 cup of the salt solution and place in a plastic bag (para hindi lumutang)then cover.
    3. Soak in Salt solution for 12-15 days.
    4. Wash the eggs thoroughly then boil for atleast 20 minutes without cover. Remove from water then cool.
    5. Making color solution : Dissolve 1 tsp. red granna crystals in 4 cups of water. Soak the eggs for atleast 60 seconds.

    That's we how we make our salted eggs (Brine solution)here in the
    Philippines. Hope this will help our kababayans. Thanks also to you manang I enjoyed reading comments and your advices.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Hi Manang, I'm Minnie V. Acosta of Malabon City, Philippines. Im a Fd. Technologist & a Fd. Demonstrator in our City I want to share a simple procedure of Salted Egg Making.
    Ings :
    Duck egg 12 pcs
    Coarse Salt 1 1/4 cups
    Water 4 cups
    Red granna crystals (for coloring eggs) 1 tsp.
    Procedure:
    1. Boil 1 1/4 cups coarse salt in 4 cups of water. Cool & strain the
    dirts.
    2. Put 12 pcs eggs in a glass jar then pour the salt solution. Reserve atleast 1/2 - 1 cup of the salt solution and place in a plastic bag (para hindi lumutang)then cover.
    3. Soak in Salt solution for 12-15 days.
    4. Wash the eggs thoroughly then boil for atleast 20 minutes without cover. Remove from water then cool.
    5. Making color solution : Dissolve 1 tsp. red granna crystals in 4 cups of water. Soak the eggs for atleast 60 seconds.

    That's we how we make our salted eggs (Brine solution)here in the
    Philippines. Hope this will help our kababayans. Thanks also to you manang I enjoyed reading comments and your advices.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Hi Minnie,
    Thanks a ton for your input! I am sure a lot of expats will find that helpful.
    I am not sure where to get the granna crystals, although it would not matter really as it is just for coloring.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Hello Manang,
    I just want to Ask you if once the salted egg already boiled we must eat in the same day or can keep in the Refrigerator for a one week or more,,thanks manang may god bless u always,,,Princess

    ReplyDelete
  46. Hi Princess, you can keep them in the fridge for up to two weeks unopened.

    ReplyDelete

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