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story.lead_photo.caption Egg yolks cure in a mixture of salt and sugar for several days before being dried in a low oven. ( Kelly Brant)

Save the egg yolks!


If a recipe calls for more egg whites than yolks, don't toss the yolks.

Egg yolks are the key ingredient in a variety of recipes, savory and sweet.

And, they're not the nutritional villains they've been made out to be.

Yes, the yolk contains all of an egg's fat and cholesterol — about 4 ½ grams of fat and 184 mg cholesterol per large egg — but it also has almost half of its protein (about 2 ½ grams) and most of its vitamins and minerals.

Not to mention all that luscious flavor!

Leftover yolks can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for a few days, just add a bit of water to keep them from drying out.

For longer storage, yolks can be frozen. For every ¼ cup of yolks, beat in 1 ½ teaspoons sugar or ⅛ teaspoon salt, depending on how they'll be used. Freeze for up to 3 months in freezer containers. Use the salted yolks for sauces, soups or omelets. And use the sweetened yolks for pie crusts, cookies, cake and other desserts.

Or turn them into something entirely different.

Cure them.

Curing egg yolks in a mixture of salt and sugar for several days, then drying them in a low oven turns liquid yolks into grateable, sliceable, shaveable umami bombs.

After spending several days curing in a mixture of salt and sugar, the egg yolks are rinsed clean and patted dry. 
Photo by Kelly Brant
After spending several days curing in a mixture of salt and sugar, the egg yolks are rinsed clean and patted dry. Photo by Kelly Brant

Use the cured egg yolks as you would parmesan cheese or even truffles — grated over pasta, risotto, salads, toast or soup — anywhere you want a burst of umami.

This recipe can be scaled up or down as needed, use ¾ cup each sugar and salt per four egg yolks.

Cured Egg Yolks

1 ½ cups granulated sugar, divided use

1 ½ cups kosher salt, divided use

8 egg yolks

Combine the sugar and salt in a blender or food processor. Whirl to mix well. Transfer two-thirds of the mixture to an 8-inch square pan or other container large enough to hold the egg yolks without touching.

Use the back of a spoon or a whole egg to create 8 evenly spaced indentations. Carefully slip an egg yolk into each indentation. Gently pour the remaining sugar-salt mixture over the egg yolks, making sure each is completely covered. Cover dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 to 7 days -- the longer you cure them, the firmer they'll be.

Heat oven to 200 degrees.

Remove the egg yolks from the sugar-salt. They will be firm enough to handle. Rinse the yolks under cool water to remove excess sugar-salt cure. Gently pat dry with paper towels.

Place the yolks on a wire rack on a baking sheet. Bake 35 minutes. Store cured yolks, wrapped in wax paper, in the refrigerator for about a month.

Recipe adapted from Cured Meat, Smoked Fish and Pickled Eggs by Karen Soloman

Cured Egg Yolks
Cured Egg Yolks


You can make soft, spreadable cured egg yolks by curing them for less time and skipping the drying step, but they will not be cooked and may contain salmonella, a harmful bacteria that can cause foodborne illness. For soft cured yolks leave them in the the sugar-salt for up to 24 hours, then rinse and use immediately.

Method adapted from

Food on 02/27/2019

Print Headline: Making the most of leftover egg yolks


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