I know I’ve been talking endlessly and promising nonstop delicious recipes from my recent trip to the Philippines but truth be told, I have squat. I did learn a few things during my vacation but unfortunately, I don’t have any decent pictures to show for at this point.
I had my camera with me this time around but forgot to pack along my tripod and the vinyl “wood” I use as a background. I am also used to taking photos in front of our house but for the life of me, I couldn’t find that same sweet spot of natural light at my mom’s. The photos I took were either blurry from my handshakes or overblown from the harsh sun. I just threw in the towel and decided to make the dishes again once I get back to the U.S. to hopefully capture better pictures when I have my complete paraphernalia.
My ginataang sigarilyas and salted eggs photos leave much to be desired but I am posting them nonetheless because, well, I don’t have access to the ingredients to make them again. Winged beans I have yet to see here in our markets and these homemade salted eggs are duck eggs which are just as difficult to procure as sigarilyas. So, friends, let’s just pretend they look as delicious in pictures as they are at every bite.
Commercial salted eggs or itlog na maalat are made by “brining” fresh duck eggs in mud made of equal parts clay and salt moistened with water. The eggs are individually dipped in the mud bath to fully coat and are then allowed to cure for 15 to 18 days depending on the size of the eggs. The special clay used which is locally called putik sa punso are actually ant or termite mounds.
Although making salted eggs the traditional way sounds like an interesting project and the resulting eggs are said to be better in taste and texture, I don’t think I’d be messing around with anthills anytime soon. So, friends, we’ll be making itlog na maalat the easiest way! In fact, the procedure is so easy the hardest part is waiting for the eggs to cure.
Here are a few tips on how to make your homemade salted eggs:
- Check the eggs to make sure the shells are intact and have no cracks.
- Allow the brining solution to fully cool before adding the eggs lest they’ll cook in the residual heat.
- Do not overpack container to prevent breakage and make sure eggs are completely submerged in the solution. You can weigh them down by placing a small plate or a plastic bag filled with water on top.
- I usually cure my salted eggs for about 18 to 21 days but you can boil and test an egg at around 2 weeks to check for saltiness. Cure for a few more days if it’s salty enough.
- If you prefer to dye the eggs for aesthetic purposes, submerge in a mixture of 1 teaspoon red granna crystals dissolved in 4 cups of water for 1 minute after they’re hardboiled. Another method is adding a few drops of red food color and a couple tablespoons of vinegar to the boiling water used to cook the eggs.
- 12 duck or chicken eggs
- 5 cups water
- 1½ cups coarse salt
- In a pot over medium heat, combine water and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring until salt is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to fully cool.
- Place eggs in a large jar or deep container. Add the brining solution, making sure the eggs are fully submerged. Weigh down with a small plate or a plastic bag filled with water.
- Cover and keep in a cool, dry place for about 18 to 21 days. Drain eggs from solution.
- In a pot over medium heat, place eggs and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, uncovered, for about 20 to 25 minutes or until hard boiled. Drain eggs and allow to cool. Store in the refrigerator.