Yum Kai Kem – Salted Eggs with Spicy and Sour Salad
Last week, my colleague ‘Goht’ went back home to Chaiya, Surat Thani where it is famous for salted eggs. Her family owns a business selling salted eggs in the area by Suan Mohk, meditation center. When she came back to work, we all got 1 small box of salted duck eggs with OTOP logo. (This OTOP logo means “One Tumbon One Product”- good quality). 🙂
I promised to her and the girl working at the shop next door that I would cook (Yum Kai Kem) for them if we shared all the ingredients cost. 🙂 They gave me 10 Baht each so I got 30 Baht total. That’s enough for this recipe as we already had 6 salted eggs from my friends. I finished it with big praise for myself! haha 😛
I was so sad that day I didn’t have the camera with me and I don’t know when will be the next time I cook this one again.
Where Did Salted Eggs Originate?
Salted eggs are a common delicacy enjoyed in various cuisines across Asia, including Thailand. While the exact origin of salted eggs in Thailand may not be pinpointed to a specific moment or region, their use and preparation have become integral to Thai culinary traditions.
In Thailand, salted eggs are typically made by soaking duck eggs in a brine solution made of salt and water or packing them in a mixture of salt and clay, charcoal, or ash. The eggs are left to ferment for a few weeks, allowing the salt to penetrate the eggshell and infuse the egg with a salty flavor.
These salted eggs are then used in various dishes, such as a filling for traditional Thai mooncakes, incorporated into salads, and stir-fried dishes, or used as a condiment to add flavor to dishes.
While the historical roots of salted eggs in Thailand might not be explicitly documented, their presence in Thai cuisine is significant, showcasing how preserving techniques and culinary practices have been adapted and integrated into the country’s diverse and flavorful dishes.
How Do Salted Eggs Taste?
Salted eggs have a distinct and intense flavor profile compared to regular eggs. The process of salting them changes both the texture, color (redder), and the taste. Some people (like me!) think it makes them even more delicious.
The egg white becomes firmer and slightly rubbery, while the yolk transforms into a rich, creamy, and salty center. The saltiness is the most pronounced characteristic, providing a savory kick that’s more robust than a regular egg. The salt permeates through the egg, giving it a uniquely savory taste that’s quite different from the natural sweetness of fresh eggs.
This is not a meal for everyone, but there are plenty of people who eat it and love it! Heck, in the Philippines, they’re eating steamed duck fetuses (Balut), you can try this!
The texture of the yolk changes as well, becoming more concentrated and creamy due to the curing process. This texture, combined with the salty flavor, makes salted eggs a popular ingredient in various dishes, adding depth and complexity to the overall flavor profile.
Some might find the taste of salted eggs an acquired preference due to its intense saltiness, but it’s widely appreciated in many cuisines for the distinct flavor it imparts to dishes.
Prepare Ingredients for Salted Eggs w/Spicy Sour Salad
- 6 Salted Eggs (cook in boiling water for 7 minutes)
- 1 handful thin sliced Spring Onion
- 1 handful cut Chinese Celery
- 2 tbsp. sliced red Chili Pepper
- 2 handfuls thin sliced Lemongrass
- 2 tbsp. pickled Garlic
- 1 tbsp. juice from Pickled Garlic
- 2 Tomatoes cut bite-size
- 1 cup sliced Cabbage
- 3 tbsp. Fish Sauce
- 1 tbsp. Sugar
- 3 Lemons
Salty Egg Cooking Instructions
1. Cut the boiled salted eggs in half.
2. In a big bowl, add red chili pepper, fish sauce, and sugar, and squeeze the juice from 3 lemons, juice from pickle garlic, lemongrass, pickled garlic, and 1/4 cup water. Keep adding fish sauce, lemon juice, and sugar until you get the real taste of spicy and sour salad.
Some people grind the fresh garlic and red chili pepper first to get the red color, but I didn’t.
3. After you get it to the taste you like, place sliced cabbage on the big plate, then salted eggs come after. You may choose Salted Red Yolk from my previous recipe: Salted Red Egg Yolks >>>
4. Throw together tomatoes, onion and celery. Next, pour the sauce from Step 2 and serve with boiled plain rice.