Appetizers/ ColdApp/ Garnish

Smoked Cured Egg Yolk

A new culinary adventure!

Ok, so this isn’t much of an adventure but more of a “what else do I have to do with my time anyway” now that Thanksgiving is over and you are sick of looking at food.

My son, Scott, is always sending me some interesting food recipes to try; like his 24 hour No Knead Breadb or gravlax and now these cured egg yolks.

Like Scott, I didn’t want to waste a bunch of eggs the first time I tried making this yellow ball that looks like a dried apricot when you are done with it at the end of a long week. So at the end of this week, I had only one yolk to show for my 168 hours of watching and waiting and I grated it carefully not wanting to waste one speck of this yolk over some smoked salmon and sour cream that I put on top of my Herbed pizzelle. I can’t say that I thought it tasted any different than an egg but it was so pretty grated; like a big puffy pile of yellow.

Salt curing is the oldest method of food preservation that simply involves covering food with mixture of sugar and salt to draw out the moisture of the food. This method changes the egg yolk to a firm little flatten yolk that has the consistency of parmesan cheese; put it on your veggies (I tried some roasted asparagus), salads or spaghetti carbonara. Maybe put the grated yolk in your compound butter or wouldn’t it be wonderful on top of some avocado toast.

My second adventure with this egg started after seeing an article written by Chef Jonathon Sawyer on Tasting Table and how he smoked his egg yolk after curing. I decided to take it a step further and add some dried thyme leaves, peppercorns and a few fresh bay leaves to the salt mixture to see what kind of flavor that would impart on the yolks and to top that off I used some of my husband’s apple wood chips and used Jonathon’s method of smoking. I would skip this step the next time because I was afraid I was going to turn the yolks into hockey pucks.

Three easy (long) steps, cover with salt/sugar, wait/dry, then rinse and dry in oven or dehydrator then enjoy. You can skip the smoking step and go straight to the dehydrator or oven to finish drying. And, even if you don’t make this, when you see an item on a restaurant menu that includes “cured egg yolk” you will least know you have heard of it.

BLAST FROM THE PAST: These Santa Kisses Cookies are just in time to make your Christmas baking list.



After mixing the sugar, salt and spices, put half of the mixture into an 8″ dish. Or, if you decide to do just one egg yolk, mix up about 1/4 of the salt mixture and put it in a ramekin with your one yolk.


Carefully put each egg yolk into the little divot you have made in the salt mixture.


Cover the yolks with the remaining salt mixture making sure all the yolk is covered.


After your 5-6 days, carefully dig out your yolks.


Rinse the salt/sugar off the yolks with water or above I used 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar and water. Water will work. The guy that smoked his eggs used this method to rinse off the salt. I can’t say that I could tell the difference.


i think this was really an unnecessary step. I or my husband put some wood chips on top of foil in a cast iron skillet outside and I smoked the eggs for just 2 minutes. My smoke got pretty hot and I think that the 10 minutes that Chef Sawyer suggested would have ruined my eggs. so I took them off after 2 minutes. Can’t wait that imparted much smoke flavor into the egg yolk.


See how my yolk started to burn. I decided to put in dehydrator for 2 hours. Or, you can use an oven at 150° for 1 1/2-2 hours. Then cool and refrigerate until ready to use. These will last several weeks in the refrigerator.


Use a micro grater to grate soft, curls of egg yolk. They make a great garnish on just about anything.


Here I used the egg yolk as a garnish on the carbonara. How did you like my “bacon and eggs” in the first picture.


I also used the grated egg yolk on some roasted asparagus.

Smoked Cured Egg Yolks
Dried, rinsed and then grated over your favorite foods.
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  1. 6 egg yolks
  2. 1 1/2 + 1/8 c. sugar
  3. 1 1/4 c. Kosher salt
  4. 1 tsp. peppercorns
  5. 1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
  6. 2-3 fresh bay leaves, or dried
  7. apple cider vinegar
  8. woodchips
  1. Mix the sugar and salt in a small bowl. Add in the peppercorns, thyme leaves and bay leaves. Mix to combine.
  2. Pour half of this mixture into a 8 x 8" pan. Using a lemon or lime, make 6 divots for the yolks to rest in. Carefully crack your eggs and separate the yolk also removing chalaza (the little white tail thing). Put one yolk into each divot and then carefully sprinkle the remainder of the salt/sugar mixture over the yolks to cover. Cover dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 7 days.
  3. After seven days, remove the container and retrieve the yolks carefully. Rinse under cold water to remove the salt/sugar mixture, then rinse again in a little apple cider vinegar
  4. So from this point you can go two directions. You can put your egg yolks in a food dehydrator or oven and dry out for another 2 hours then grate or store in refrigerator. Or you can smoke.
  5. To smoke line a cast-iron pan with aluminum foil and place the wood chips over the top. Heat the pan over medium heat until smoking heavily, 2 to 3 minutes. Place the wire rack with the rinsed yolks, uncovered, over trepan to smoke the yolks without cooking them, about 10 minutes. After removing from heat, let cool then store in refrigerator. Keep in cool, dry place for up to 1 month.
  1. I adapted the smoking process from Jonathon Sawyer's recipe.
Rosemary and the Goat

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  • Reply
    Smoked Cured Egg Yolk | Houston Community Life
    November 25, 2016 at 12:12 pm

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  • Reply
    January 24, 2017 at 11:33 am

    Sawyer’s intention was for you to cold smoke the yolks. The application of any heat is not his intention. Noticing that the yolk had blistered means that you applied the technique improperly

    • Reply
      June 7, 2017 at 9:16 am

      I know. I tried to merge two techniques which didn’t work. The first time I made them I put in dehydrator and got much better results after the curing.

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