Happy Lunar New Year! Last night was New Year’s eve, and one of the dishes I made for the traditional reunion dinner was Salted Egg Yolk Prawns!
If you haven’t heard by now, there’s been a salted egg yolk craze going on in parts of Asia for the last few years. I remember when I was in Singapore 3 years ago, my friend told me about a hot-selling new snack, Irvin’s Salted Egg Fish Skin. She said it was good, but warned that I’d have to wait in line for hours to get my hands on a pack! Alternatively, I could go to one of the local malls and buy it at a convenience store at a S$3 (US$2.28) premium. I’m not usually one to jump on the bandwagon of food trends, especially if it means having to waste half a day standing in a queue. But I was about to leave Singapore and didn’t want to miss my chance to try something new. So I opted to made a beeline for the mall and bought 2 packs for something like S$12 each (more than US$9)! Yup, pretty pricey, but at least they lived up to the hype! Nowadays, you’ll easily find other brands of salted egg fish skin in Asian supermarkets, and at much more affordable prices.
Of course, the humble salted egg has been around for ages, but the yolk has gone through a reinvention in recent years. In Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong, you can now find salted egg yolk flavouring in a wide range of both sweet and savoury foods, including potato chips, doughnut and bun fillings, croissants and burgers. I think salted egg yolk is set to become the next Sriracha, in its popularity and versatility!
Initially, I thought I’d have to buy some whole salted eggs to extract the yolks, but I was actually able to find frozen packs of cooked salted egg yolks! I adapted my recipe from Spice ‘n Pans, with the addition of shallots and a little bit of evaporated milk, which makes a creamier and thicker sauce to coat the prawns. I also didn’t want to deep fry the prawns (skipping this step makes the recipe even easier!), so I just added them in at the end, after making the sauce. These prawns are amazing! The salted egg yolk sauce is slightly spicy, packed with umami flavours and beyond delicious! In Asia, this dish would be eaten with rice, but I’m thinking it would make a great sauce for pasta, don’t you think?!
Did you make this recipe?
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SALTED EGG YOLK PRAWNS (Serves 4)
45 grams salted butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 bird’s eye chillies, deseeded and sliced thinly
3 sprigs curry leaves
4 cooked salted egg yolks*, mashed
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
60 ml evaporated milk**
500 grams Tiger prawns, shelled*** and deveined
*If you buy uncooked salted eggs, remove the yolks and steam them for 5 minutes to cook them first.
**Evaporated milk can be substituted with cream.
***To make them more visually appealing, you can leave on the tails.
1. Heat the butter in a wok or large skillet over medium heat. Add in shallots, garlic, chillies and curry leaves and fry until fragrant.
2. Add in mashed salted egg yolks. Stir and break up any larger pieces. Keep stirring until the crumbly egg yolks soften, and turn into a saucy, bubbly consistency.
3. Add sugar, salt and evaporated milk. Stir to mix.
4. Add prawns and fry until just cooked (do not overcook). Serve hot.