smoked salt & sugar-cured egg yolk ‘bottarga’smoked salt & sugar-cured egg yolk ‘bottarga’smoked salt & sugar-cured egg yolk ‘bottarga’smoked salt & sugar-cured egg yolk ‘bottarga’smoked salt & sugar-cured egg yolk ‘bottarga’smoked salt & sugar-cured egg yolk ‘bottarga’smoked salt & sugar-cured egg yolk ‘bottarga’smoked salt & sugar-cured egg yolk ‘bottarga’

Here’s a MEDITERRANEAN-ASIAN 'garnish' (to commemorate the Chinese New Year) that you could grate or thinly slice, the way you would with hard cheeses, on top of a preparation. 'Bottarga' is the salt-cured & dried fish roe that you may be familiar with but here we're using chicken egg yolks . It’s an idea from the East and the South (but not mine) and a great trick for using up those extra egg yolks when you’re making meringues or other desserts and only using the egg whites ...

I was watching a show on fish eggs like caviar, bottarga, tarama and all that stuff and it reminded me that I hadn’t cured egg yolks in salt in a long time. It obviously isn’t the same as the fishy-flavored & iodine-rich preparation but it’s a nice and inexpensive option for enhancing flavors of other dishes in these winter months.

It takes several weeks to slowly cure and dry and some choose to only salt or a half salt & half sugar mixture but I find that just a little sugar and a little smoked salt with the regular salt gives it a nice touch and great results. Some also like to partly oven-dry them after 1 week of salt-curing but I prefer the longer and slower method of air-drying in the refrigerator. 

So here’s also a clever way for me to schedule a weekly but very simple recipe post when I’m working such long hours and yet remain loyal to my blog followers.

Happy Chinese New Year (which is in a few days and fun for everyone) . . . :)

smoked salt & sugar-cured egg yolk ‘bottarga’


30 grams


  • 55-60 grams (3 large) egg yolks
  • 180 grams (¾ cup) sea salt
  • 20 grams (2 tbsp) hickory-smoked salt
  • 50 grams (4 tbsp) golden cane sugar
  • optional : a few peppercorns or other whole seed spices


  • combine the salts and sugar together
  • separate each egg yolk from each egg white and reserve each separately
  • place half the salt mixture in a small container, in a layer of abut 1 ½ - 2 cm thick, create an indent (with a small cup) for each egg yolk and slip each egg yolk inside the indent
  • carefully pour the rest of the salt around the sides of each egg yolk and then on top until well covered
  • cover loosely with a lid or cover (not hermetically) and let sit in the refrigerator for 7-10 days until drier
  • remove the egg yolks, brush off and rinse briefly (with water or apple cider vinegar), pat dry and then wrap each egg yolk with some cheese cloth and hang and let dry further in the refrigerator for an additional 7-10 days (or up to 2 weeks for a drier and harder result)
  • note : dry until you achieve half the initial weight or 10 grams per egg yolk
  • grate or slice very thinly on pasta, salads, pizza or use in sandwiches.