Homemade Chinese Salted Eggs

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Cooked Chinese Salted Egg Yolks

Earlier this week, I posted a recipe for Liu Sa Bao (Chinese Salted Egg Custard Buns).  One of the main ingredients in this recipe is Chinese Salted Duck Eggs.  But what do you do when you don’t have salted duck eggs?  If you have a Chinese Grocery store nearby, you can buy them easily.  If you aren’t able to purchase them, however, you can make them at home using chicken eggs.

Yeah, I know, chicken eggs and duck eggs are not the same thing.  But for making salted eggs… they aren’t really that different.  I made Liu Sa Bao with both store bought salted duck eggs and homemade salted chicken eggs… and both versions tasted the same!

The only hassle with this recipe, is that it takes quite a bit of time.  About 30-40 days to make a batch of salted eggs.  If you like to eat salted eggs a lot, you might keep several batches going at a time so that you always have a fresh supply.

Chinese Salted Eggs:

What do you do if you can't find salted duck eggs to buy? Make your own at home!

  • 12 eggs (chicken or duck)
  • 4 c. water
  • 1 c. sea salt (or kosher salt)
  • 1 Star Anise
  • 1 T. Xiao Xing rice wine

Hardware needed:

  • 1 large glass jar

1.  Heat the water in a saucepan.  Add the salt.

2.  Stir until the salt is fully dissolved, then add the star anise and turn off the heat.  Allow the brine solution to cool.

3.  Inspect the raw eggs for any cracks or defects in the shell – if you find any, do not use that egg.  Layer the eggs carefully in the bottom of a glass jar.

4.  When the brine is completely cool, add the Xiao Xing rice wine and stir.  Remove the star anise.

5.  Pour the brine over the eggs.  If your jar is too large and the eggs float, weigh them down with a small plate or bowl.

6.  Close the jar lid, and set aside in a relatively cool and dark place for approximately 30-40 days.

7.  When done, remove from the brine.  I rinsed off the shells in a bowl of cold water and let them air dry for a few minutes before storing in the refrigerator.

8.  If you need cooked salted egg yolks, it’s easier just to boil the eggs (just as you would for a normal hard boiled egg), and peel and discard the shell and egg white.  (Alternatively, you could crack open, discard the egg white, and steam the raw egg yolks.)

Now what?  I recommend making my Liu Sa Bao recipe (Salted Egg Custard Steamed Buns). Or, you can add a yolk to the filling of a Homemade Moon Cake.  Enjoy!


  1. Barbara G says:

    Hi, these sound awesome. How long will they keep in the fridge after they are rinsed from the brine?

    • Mika Mika says:

      I have kept them for up to 1 month. They might keep longer, since they are essentially preserved with salt… but if they don’t look right and you are in doubt, throw them out.

  2. Jenny Lam says:

    I made this recipe a couple of days ago. I checked on the eggs this morning and some of the eggs are now cracked. Do I take just those out or is the entire batch bad?

    • Mika Mika says:

      Are the cracks hairline cracks? Or real “CRACKS”? If they are just small faint hairline cracks, it’s probably ok. But if you think the shell has been compromised, I would throw them out.

      • Jenny Lam says:

        They’re real cracks, but the membrane is okay. I took them out cuz I didn’t want to take a chance of them busting open, but are the rest I’d the eggs okay? I had 30 eggs per jar, so that’s why I’m concerned. This is my first batch.

        • Mika Mika says:

          I think you will always get a few eggs that crack. As long as you take them out, it shouldn’t affect the other eggs.

  3. Josephine Pang says:

    Hi there

    My eggs cracked after they’ve been in the jar for about 1 day. Does that mean the brining solution has been contaminated and I can no longer use it?


    • Mika Mika says:

      Did all of your eggs crack? I’m not sure if the solution would be considered contaminated or not – did egg contents spill out into the brine? If not, it’s probably ok.

  4. Ann says:

    Thanks so much for posting this recipe. May I ask what is the purpose of the star anise? Purpose of the wine? I’ve only made this before w/ salt and it turned out fine. Anise or wine preserve eggs longer? Truly curious. I can’t wait to make this. Thanks.

    • Mika Mika says:

      I add the anise for extra flavor. You don’t have to add it if you don’t want to – it just depends on the taste or flavor you are looking for. If I’m out of anise, I will sometimes substitute with a little bit of 5 spice powder instead (which typically contains anise). Same thing for the rice wine, I think it adds a bit of flavor, but you are also fine to leave it out if you don’t want to use it! :)

  5. Amy says:

    Hi Mika,
    how long can you brine the eggs? I brine the eggs for 2 months now but too busy to do anything with them. Think they are still good? Should I take them out, cook them and freeze it or can I just put them in the frig? I don’t think I will have time to do anything with it until after the new year

    • Mika Mika says:

      Hi Amy! You an bring the eggs for up to 2 months… a few weeks longer probably won’t be a big deal. So they are probably still fine. You can store them in the refrigerator for up to a month (uncooked) once done. Just make sure you cook them before you use them! :)