Salted egg yolk novelties on the rise
by Li Shan Teo
REMEMBER the salted egg yolk burger from McDonald’s? What about the liu sha bao and the novel salted egg yolk lava croissant?
Well, though the appetite for these popular items seem to have “moderated” – in the case of McDonald’s, it no longer serves the limited edition burger anymore – the craze for all things salted egg certainly has not abated. Instead, the humble ingredient has remained at the peak of the food popularity tower, and is now being infused into other creative dishes.
Where did it all began?
Salted egg yolk dishes have come a long way from its tze char days. The ingredient’s earlier popularity in Singapore stemmed from crab dishes that we slathered in a salted egg yolk sauce instead of the traditional black pepper or chilli sauces.
In a report by TODAY, 24-year-old Kavan Asril said: “I don’t remember at what age I first had salted egg yolk crab, but whenever I was asked to pick the sauce for the crab dish, it had to be salted egg yolk. Chilli crab was for my parents and older siblings.”
Despite it being a tze char favourite, salted egg yolks didn’t turn into a food fad until after the arrival of liu sha baos in 2011 – they are steamed buns that are filled with a molten custard made from butter, condensed milk and salted egg yolk. Their arrival in Singapore from Hong Kong kick-started the revival of the salted egg yolk, and in 2014, the salted egg frenzy kicked into high gear.
If you can’t get enough of the thick sweet-salty sauce, here’s a list of new novelties for you to get your kick:
The dish is super popular on social media platforms such as Instagram. Why? Because unlike normal udon dishes, this one “defies gravity”.
Served at Hana restaurant, the udon is seemingly suspended in mid-air, hanging on a pair of levitating chopsticks. It’s as if you’ve stepped into a trick-eye museum.
Creative manager of Hana Restaurant Pearlyn Tan said, in a TODAY report, that it was a conscious decision to make the dishes appear as photogenic and “Instagram-friendly” as possible. The creative team recognised that they couldn’t ignore the trend of people “judging the food with their eyes first”.
Giving the traditional Japanese dish a localised twist, Hana restaurant combined the noodles with a salted egg yolk dipping sauce, which is garnished with curry leaves and chilli padi.
The creamy texture of the sauce is said to be a perfect match for the light and translucent udon noodles. The udon is priced at $18.
Image from Hana restaurant’s Facebook page.
583 Orchard Road, #01-17, Forum The Shopping Mall, Singapore 238884
Tel: +65 6737 5525
Opening hours: 11.30am – 10pm
Imagine this: kernels of corn tossed with salted egg yolk sauce and chilli in a wok until the sauce forms a crispy, even crust over each one.
Seems like a foodie dream? You’re in luck, because this is an actual dish served at Full of Luck Club. The restaurant opened in late May this year, and was marketed as the brainchild of the famous Li Bai Cantonese Restaurant in Sheraton Towers – Li Bai’s executive Chinese chef Chung Yiu Ming was involved in the planning of Full of Luck Club’s menu, which was tailored to be hip for the young.
And what better way to reach out to the young than to jump on the salted egg bandwagon? The snack blends the salty-spicy flavours of the salted egg yolk crust with the sweetness of the corn.
The dish costs $4.80, and you can check out their menu here.
Image from Full of Luck Club’s Facebook page.
243 Holland Ave, Singapore 278977
Tel: +65 6208 6845
Opening hours: 11am – 11pm
Move over, fries. It’s time for onion rings to take centre stage.
At The Refinery, the rings are lightly battered and served up drenched with a salty egg yolk custard sauce. It’s not difficult to see why this dish is a must-try for fans of salted egg yolk. The onion rings are also served in a paper bag, making it a definite Instagram-worthy dish.
The dish is priced at $13.
Check out the cafe’s menu here.
Image from The Refinery’s Facebook Page.
115 King George’s Ave, #01-02, Singapore 208561
Tel: +65 6293 1204
Opening hours (lunch): 12pm – 3pm (Tuesday to Friday)
Opening hours (dinner): 6pm – 12am (Tuesday to Thursday), 6pm – 1am (Friday to Saturday)
Opening hours (brunch): 11am – 4pm (Saturday to Sunday), Closed on Monday
Tired of savoury dishes? Don’t worry! There are plenty of sweet treats that have jumped on the salted egg yolk bandwagon as well.
At NOM – Bistro & Bakery, its salted egg yolk rainbow cake offers the perfect blend between the sweet and savoury. The buttercream frosting is made with caramelised butter, curry leaves, and of course, the salted egg yolk itself.
For those who find conventional rainbow cakes a tad too sweet, the saltiness of the egg yolk could strike the perfect balance for your taste buds.
A slice of rainbow cake costs $8.90.
Image from NOM – Bistro & Bakery’s Facebook page.
400 Paya Lebar Way, Macpherson Community Club Level 1, Singapore 379131
Tel: +65 6747 3839
Opening hours: 11am – 11pm (Closed every first Tuesday of the month)
Like some salted egg yolk for breakfast? Jollibean’s new product – salted egg yolk maru (which means “round” in Japanese) – gives you the chance to have something sweet and savoury for the most important meal of the day.
The maru is sold at $2.20 per piece. If you crave for something more, Jollibean also has a promotion: one salted egg yolk maru and one classic soymilk at $3.50 (u.p $3.90). The promotion is valid till Nov 1.
Image from Jollibean Singapore’s Facebook page.
Jollibean has various outlets, do check them out here.
Tel: +65 6746 3877
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