In the third part of a new regular series, Channel NewsAsia's Genevieve Loh looks at the salted egg yolk craze and offers her picks.
SINGAPORE: It’s been Singapore’s trendiest ingredient for some time now, which is why it should come as no surprise that even good old Ronald McDonald felt the need to jump on the salted egg yolk bandwagon.
The fast food chain launched its Salted Egg Yolk Chicken Burger as part of its new Singapore menu on Thursday (Jun 30) to long lines but crushed expectations.
As a fan of both the ubiquitous golden lava as well as the golden arches myself, this Singaporean bought into the hype and dutifully joined the snaking queues, only to be disappointed by a soggy McSpicy burger imposter dressed in an unremarkable and paltry helping of salted egg yolk paste, topped with a few curry leaves.
And it turned out that I wasn’t the only dissatisfied customer, as evidenced by many a fellow eater who took to various social media platforms to express their frustration.
All this brouhaha did get me thinking however, of all the other inspired concoctions that have sprung up, thanks to our recent local obsession for all things salted egg yolk. The ever-popular "liu sha bao" (literally translated as "golden sand bun") is a Hong Kong dim sum restaurant native that has long been established in Chinese cuisine. A steamed bun filled with a piping hot molten custard made from butter, condensed milk and salted egg yolk, this sweet-and-salty creation marked the beginning of what was to become a full-blown food frenzy in Singapore: Suddenly, not only was salted egg yolk available on crabs, squid and prawns at our favourite “zi char” (cooked food) store, we were also discovering it in our cocktails, ice-cream, macarons and croissants.
Food fad or food flourish? Yolk or yuck? The culinary jury is still out. But in the meantime, here are five salted egg yolk concoctions we reckon are worth breaking the calorie bank for. You're welcome.
SALTED EGG YOLK FISH SKIN
Irvins Salted Egg Yolk Fish Skin (Photo: http://irvinsaltedegg.com/)
It comes in a clear plastic container labelled with an audacious claim: "Warning - extremely delicious". As it turns out, it indeed is. Said to be freshly made in Singapore without any preservatives, Irvins Salted Egg Fish Skin is officially a next-level snack. Ridiculously addictive, it is coated with a generous layer of golden salted egg yolk sauce and fried to crummy perfection. Not at all as greasy as one would expect, it is the right combination of crunch, flavour and curry leaf kick.
Irvins Salted Egg Fish Skin is at www.irvinsaltedegg.com.
SALTED EGG YOLK ICE CREAM
Tom's Palette's Salted Egg Yolk Ice Cream (Photo: http://www.tomspalette.com.sg/ )
According to reports, a little ice cream parlour nestled in Singapore has long been serving salted egg ice cream, long before it became the flavour of the year. It’s been on Tom’s Palette’s menu since 2008 and it still doesn’t disappoint. Smooth and custardy, the salted egg yolk essence is distinct but not overpowering. It’s homemade sweet-savoury goodness in every spoonful.
Tom’s Palette is at Shaw Tower, #01-25, 100 Beach Road #01-25 Singapore 189702.
SALTED EGG YOLK CRAB
Master Crab's Salted Egg Yolk Crab (Photo: Dawn Seow http://www.burpple.com/master-crab-the-crab-specialist)
Now, every Singaporean will claim to know where to find the best salted egg yolk-covered seafood. We reckon we like “liu sha” on crustaceansthe best, in particular crabs. And we can’t get enough of the dish at Master Crab, where the creamy liquid gold of salted egg yolk works beautifully with freshly caught crustacean. Stir-fried to perfection, you’ll find yourself ordering extra fried buns to mop up every last bit of the tasty sauce.
Master Crab Seafood Restaurant is at #01-229, 19 Ghim Moh Road.
SALTED EGG YOLK CROISSANT
Flavour Flings' Salted Egg Yolk Croissant (Photo: Flavour Flings/Facebook)
Move over Cronut! Many say that Chef Pang’s Salted Yolk Lava Croissant served up at his patisserie Antoinette is the gold standard but we also like Flavour Flings’ version of this quintessential east-meets-west dish. Purported to be the first to release salted egg yolk croissants in Singapore, this Hougang eatery’s concoction is one of rich salty-sweet wholesomeness nestled in fluffy flaky dough. Plus point? Flavour Flings is a halal-certified eating establishment, which means everyone can enjoy it.
Flavour Flings is at Block 121 Hougang Avenue 1, #01-1348, Singapore 530121.
SALTED EGG YOLK TART
Tart Blanc's Salted Egg Yolk Tart (Photo: http://www.tartblanc.com/ )
Who needs a lava cake with a molten chocolate centre when you can have salted egg yolk ooze out of a tart instead? A tart specialty café that offers a warm peach and salted yolk tart where caramelised slices of the fruit sit atop a sour cream coffee cake filled with molten salted yolk. Liquid gold indeed.
Tart Blanc is at 9 Raffles Boulevard, #01-102 Millenia Walk, Singapore 039596.