Beginner’s Salted Egg Yolk Popcorn Recipe

Salted egg yolk popcorn is popping up all over the internet lately. But what is it? Where does it come from? What makes it so delicious? And is salted egg yolk popcorn a healthy snack? In this post, we will answer all of these questions and more!

What Is Salted Egg Yolk Popcorn?

Salted egg yolk popcorn is a sweet and savory snack typically made out of salted egg yolks, popcorn, and some kind of sugar. Traditionally, salted egg yolk popcorn involves a sauce made from mashed salted duck egg yolks, a fatty ingredient like butter or neutral oil, sugar, and optional additional spices.

Where Does Salted Egg Yolk Popcorn Come From?

A popular snack in Asian countries and originating from Taiwan, this umami-rich appetizer has all the satisfying savoriness of an indulgent main course with a hint of sweetness to balance out the richness. The ingredient of salted egg yolks, however, is traced back to China.

Where Can I Buy Salted Egg Yolks?

Of course, anything can be bought online these days–but did you know that you can buy salted duck egg yolks in the form of a paste at your local Asian market? Better yet, if you have a few weeks and a few extra egg yolks, make them yourself using this simple method.

salt-cured egg yolks recipe

What Makes Egg Yolk Popcorn Delicious?

While egg yolk popcorn enjoys additional snackability thanks to the addition of sugar (or even MSG powder in some cases), the bulk of its tastiness comes from the naturally-occurring free glutamates in the salted egg yolks themselves. The richness from the yolks offers an indulgent creaminess while the sugar tempers the powerfully salty flavor. Add a little butter and you’ve got the ultimate savory snack!

Is There MSG In Eggs? Is There MSG in Salt-Cured Eggs?

MSG, or Monosodium Glutamate, is an ingredient often added to foods to boost their savoriness or cravability–often in the form of a powder. Examples of foods containing MSG powder include savory goods like flavored chips, packaged ramen, and other processed foods. Monosodium Glutamate is classified as an excitotoxin as it can cause symptoms like migraines or asthma if eaten to excess–however, the FDA still regulates it as safe for consumption in small doses. But did you know that glutamate is a naturally-occurring amino acid present in many foods you may already love?

Found in foods like meat, cheese, vegetables, and yes, even eggs, glutamate occurs either bound in a protein or “free.” Free glutamates are associated with increased umami in comparison to their bound counterparts. Generally speaking, the more free glutamates a food has, the tastier it will be. Part of the beauty of fermentation and other methods of preserving food is that it breaks down the proteins, creating even more delicious free glutamates to enjoy.

So while there are free glutamates in regular egg yolks, there are even more in salt-cured egg yolks. This is because the process of salting them preserves the yolks in the same way that lactic acid preserves the cabbage in sauerkraut. Thank you, bacteria!

What Do Salt-Cured Egg Yolks Taste Like?

Many liken the flavor of salt-cured egg yolks to cheese, and with good reason; there is a creaminess from the fat of the yolk that is almost nutty in flavor. However, because the yolks are technically fermented, the predominating flavor is funky and salty–kind of like fish sauce.

Are Salted Egg Yolks High in Cholesterol?

If you are watching your cholesterol intake but still want to cook with your salt-cured egg yolks, this popcorn recipe is perfect for you. With a fraction of the salted egg yolk used in versions requiring up to 6 whole yolks (well outside the recommended range of cholesterol intake for a single day), this salted egg yolk popcorn hits all the savory flavor notes without the associated damage to the arteries. For your reference, a single chicken egg yolk typically has around 187 grams of cholesterol.

The dangerous thing about salt-cured egg yolks is the sodium content. One salted egg yolk can contain as much as 680 milligrams of sodium–so use this ingredient judiciously! A little bit goes a long way…

How to Eat Salt-Cured Egg Yolks

If you’re curious about making salt-cured egg yolks but wondering how to cook with them, you are not alone. However, when it comes to this particular kitchen project, the sky’s the limit on savory dishes. I prefer it on top of my pasta in lieu of cheese, but it can be a great boost of flavor for rice or risotto, buttered bread, soups, or even meat dishes. Some of the best ways to use those salt-cured yolks include grating them over:

  • polenta or savory grains
  • grilled corn
  • toast
  • creamy pasta dishes or ravioli
  • pizza
  • over a caesar salad in lieu of parmesan
  • breaded chicken cutlets
  • herby roasted mushrooms

Beginner’s Salted Egg Yolk Popcorn Recipe

salt-cured egg yolks, butter, sugar, sumac, popcorn recipe

I hope you will love making this popcorn as much as I enjoyed eating it. If you were wondering what to do with your salt-cured egg yolks, this recipe allows them to take center stage!

salted egg yolk popcorn

Salted Egg Yolk Popcorn (From Salt-Cured Yolks)

Salty, creamy preserved egg yolks come together with butter and a dash of sumac for a rich and tangy popcorn dish you will love!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Appetizer, Snack
Servings 2 people

Equipment

  • 1 mortar and pestle

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 salt-cured egg yolk, finely grated
  • 1/3 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1-2 Tbs neutral oil, or enough to coat the kernels
  • 2 tsp white sugar, divided
  • 3 Tbs butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp sumac (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Using a microplane zester or a box grater on the finest setting, grate approximately one half of your salt-cured egg yolk. You should have about 1 heaping tablespoon of grated yolk.
  • Place popcorn kernels and oil in a large saucepan and swirl until all the kernels are coated. Place a lid over the mixture and set to medium high heat, cooking until most of the kernels have stopped popping. This should take between 4-10 minutes.
  • While the popcorn is popping, melt the butter in the microwave or on the stove top. Place 1 teaspoon of sugar and the grated egg yolk into your mortar and pestle. Combine until the sugar is incorporated and you have a paste, not chunks. Add the remaining teaspoon of sugar into the hot butter and stir until dissolved. Add the egg yolk paste to the sugar and butter mixture, and stir to combine. The mixture should form a loose sauce.
  • When most of the popcorn kernels have finished popping, remove from heat and immediately pour the popcorn into a large, wide bowl. Drizzle the sauce over the kernels evenly and mix with a wooden spoon to distribute. Sprinkle the optional sumac over the kernels and serve immediately.
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Simple, Spicy Baba Ganoush

The end of summer’s harvest approaches, welcoming in a new wave of bounty; this week, it means an abundance of dirt cheap, gorgeous graffiti eggplant for making baba ganoush. When I bought a handful of peppers, a bag full of scuppernongs, and a large basket of graffiti eggplant for only $5 from a local farm stand, I knew the creamy eggplant dish was in my future!

What Is Graffiti Eggplant?

graffiti eggplant

A smaller, white-and-purple-marbled version of traditional eggplant common at most grocery stores, this varietal is known to be less bitter than its solid purple cousin, which has thicker skin and is about twice the size. Some people even describe its flavor as fruitlike and suggest that steps like removing the skin or salting the eggplant before cooking are unnecessary given these sweet, tender characteristics. This sightly vegetable originates from the Mediterranean but grows well in most warm climates.

Health Benefits of Eggplant

Graffiti eggplant is rich in vitamins A and C, potassium, manganese, and folate. Additionallyy, in accordance with traditional Ayurvedic medicine, eggplant is prescribed as a means of fighting diabetes. (Eggplant contains high concentrations of polyphenols, which help the body process sugar.)

Eggplant is, on its own, a low-calorie food. Its high fiber content makes it a great addition to any diet!

Also, eggplant is high in antioxidants. This helps to prevent cancer and heart disease.

Ways To Cook Eggplant

If you, like me, find yourself with an abundance of eggplants, you may be looking for cooking inspiration! Happily, eggplant varietals are interchangeable in most recipes. When cooked, eggplant takes on a creamy texture. It absorbs neighboring flavors and seasonings very well. Here are some ways to use up your eggplant:

Clearly, there’s no shortage of ways you can use this amazing vegetable! If you want further eggplant inspiration, look up some Mediterranean, Indian, or Middle Eastern recipes. Eggplant has a rich history in the cuisines of these cultures.

What is Baba Ganoush and Where Is It From?

Simply put, baba ganoush is a creamy eggplant dish blended with garlic, olive oil, lemon, and tahini. Sometimes spelled “baba ganouj,” this Levantine appetizer pairs well with pita bread for dipping.

Primarily eaten as a spread, dip, or sauce, this delicious condiment hails from Lebanon. There are variants of baba ganoush in many other cuisines, including Ethiopian, Armenian, and Israeli.

How to Eat This Spicy Eggplant Dip

Think of baba ganoush as a cousin to hummus. Slather it into a veggie sandwich or drop it over your salad greens. Alternatively, dip rustic bread, pita wedges, crackers, cucumbers, peppers, broccoli, or other veggies into this silky smooth dip.

Additionally, baba ganoush makes a great ingredient on any charcuterie board!

Is Baba Ganoush Vegetarian?

Yes! Baba ganoush contains no animal products, so it’s even considered vegan!

Is Baba Ganoush Healthy?

Yes. Baba ganoush boasts a modest amount natural fats from olive oil. There is also a good amount of nutrient-rich sesame seeds from the tahini. These contribute anti-inflammatory properties as well as vitamins and minerals.

Of course, the real star of the show is eggplant. Since the eggplant roasts in the skin which is later removed, it absorbs a relatively low amount of oil in the cooking process. This means the eggplant is even healthier than cubed roasted eggplant. This is about as healthy as eggplant gets.

So, this fiber-rich, filling dish is incredibly satisfying and healthy! (And yes, baba ganoush is even keto-friendly!)

Simple Spicy Baba Ganoush

One great aspect of this recipe is its wonderful simplicity! Waiting for your eggplants to roast is the hardest part.

Pierce the skin of your eggplants with a fork like you would a baked potato. Drizzle with oil and roast.

unroasted graffiti eggplant

I roasted my eggplants for around an hour. They caramelized beautifully in the oven!

roasted graffit eggplants

Allow the eggplants to cool until you can handle them. Use a knife and spoon to separate the tender roasted flesh from the skin. Drain over a fine mesh sieve to remove any excess moisture.

draining roasted eggplant removes excess moisture

Simply add all your ingredients to a food processor and blitz until smooth and creamy!

baba ganoush ingredients

It’s as easy as that! I plated mine with some sumac, olive oil, and sheep’s milk feta. Yum!

finished baba ganoush

A perfect summer treat! 🙂

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Simple Spicy Baban Ganoush

Fresh serrano pepper gives this take on a traditional recipe a spicy flavor boost! Serve with pita, chips, crackers, or veggies!
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 25 mins
Course Appetizer, healthy, Side Dish, Snack, vegan, Vegetarian
Cuisine Healthy, lebanese, middle eastern, persian, traditional, vegan, Vegetarian
Servings 4 people

Equipment

  • fine mesh sieve

Ingredients
  

  • 3.5-4 pounds eggplants (I used 7 small graffiti eggplants, but 2 standard eggplants will do)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 small serrano pepper, stemmed and seeds removed
  • 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil, for garnish optional
  • 1 oz feta cheese, for garnish optional
  • dash of sumac, for garnish optional

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 425°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  • Wash and pat dry the eggplants. Pierce all over with a fork like you would a roasted potato. Drizzle with olive oil, and roll in oil to coat. Roast for an hour to an hour and half, or until eggplants are tender and collapsing.
  • Allow eggplant to cool to room temperature. Using a knife and spoon, cut the eggplants in half and scoop flesh out, discarding the skins. Place eggplant pulp in a fine mesh sieve over a medium-sized bowl and allow to drain for 15 minutes.
  • In the meantime, remove the seeds and stem from your serrano and set the pepper aside. Crush garlic with the flat side of a knife and discard the skin. Juice the lemon and set aside.
  • Place drained eggplant, garlic, serrano, lemon juice, and salt in a food processor or blender and blitz until smooth and creamy.
  • Plate with a drizzle of olive oil, a dash of sumac, and feta cheese crumbles. Serve immediately. Keeps up to 4 days in the fridge in an air tight container.
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Molasses Blueberry Bran Muffins

Well, this week certainly put me through my paces. (Oh, you too? TGIF.) It’s a good thing I have whole wheat molasses blueberry bran muffins for breakfast…I mean, it’s a really good thing.

What’s even sweeter is the fact that they were made with blueberries harvested with a dear friend at a “secret” blueberry farm. And to cinch it all together: these muffins have no refined sugar, but taste like you’re sort of getting away with something when you bite into them before 9 am.

What’s not to love about that?

If you’ve been following with the blog, you have probably gathered that I pretty much always have sweets in the house. When I’m halfway through one baked treat, it’s time to dream up the next one. (As I pen this, there is half of a loaf of bread pudding perched in my fridge, screaming to be eaten…I must remind myself, “adults” eat dinner then dessert…)

So it came as no surprise that I felt compelled (and I absolutely mean compelled) to try my hand at bran muffins this week, like, STAT. I guess I just couldn’t handle looking at the bag of Bob’s Red Mill wheat bran which has been staring me in the face for the last month, hinting ever so subtly that I should, ahem, make it into something delicious and vaguely nutritious already!

Thus, I plucked it from the shelf and did a little internet rummaging. (“How can I recreate those totally spectacular blueberry bran muffins featured at that coffee roaster in Portland?”)

With just a little digging, I found an approximation that brought me one step closer to that goal.

Healthy Molasses Blueberry Bran Muffins (Sugar-Free!)

Adapted from this recipe from Food52, this muffin batter creates the perfect backdrop for whatever seasonal fruit, seeds, shredded vegetables or coconut you wish to spotlight. It’s simple to put together, with little mess. They taste like a treat but they’re sort of, like, a superfood or something…at least, that’s what I’m telling myself.

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that bright orange stuff is mashed baked sweet potato, but applesauce would work great here too!

Like many recipes in baking, the ingredients were placed in “wet” and “dry” bowls respectively, making for simple assembly and easy clean up.

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here i am infusing these muffins with the last of summer’s sun…let steep for a few minutes in direct light for best results 🙂

Mix it all together…

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i mean, that color just says “nutrient-packed”

Another beautiful aspect of this recipe is how perfectly it fills a 12-part cupcake pan. Less mess and cleanup, and you have 12 perfect muffins at the end of the process–I didn’t weigh or measure at any point during the batter scooping!

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pro tip: butter or oil the lip of each “muffin hole” well so that your muffins crisp up nicely during the bake and pop out of the tin easily after

Then bake! And voila:

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so delicious, and not so bad for your gut/waistline

For those of you who like to nerd out a little bit about food, part of what’s so great about these muffins is the amount of fiber paired with the natural sugar. As you probably know, your liver processes sugar as well as alcohol. When you consume an excessive amount of sugar in a short amount of time, it “panics” and transforms the sugar into fat rather than processing it as fuel for the body. I guess it’s kind of like hitting the snooze button when your alarm goes off.

Eating fiber with your sugar reduces the chance of the snooze button being hit; it slows down the process of digestion and gives your liver a chance to keep up with your carbohydrates. This is one of the many, many reasons that we love fresh produce.

So, not only are you getting antioxidants from the honey and blueberries and minerals from the molasses, but you’re getting our friend fiber from the whole wheat flour, wheat bran, berries, and coconut to boot. Are you psyched yet??

Molasses Blueberry Bran Muffins

Note: You can add whatever seasonal fruit is desirable, coconut flakes, dates, hemp hearts, toasted seeds or nuts…you can even sub applesauce for mashed baked sweet potato with a few tablespoons of water. It’s all about texture and natural sweetness with these muffins! 

Ingredients

  • butter or oil for muffin tin (optional)
  • 1 c wheat bran
  • 1 ½ c whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ c blueberries
  • ½ c walnuts, lightly toasted and chopped
  • ¼ c shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • 1 c milk
  • ½ c molasses
  • 3 Tbs honey
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ½ c applesauce (or scant ½ c mashed, cooked sweet potato with 3 Tbs water)
  • 2 Tbs melted coconut oil

Preheat oven to 400°F and butter or oil a muffin tin or line with paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together bran, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

Stir in fruit, nuts, coconut, and any other desired accoutrements to the flour mixture.

In a medium bowl, mix together milk, molasses, honey, eggs, applesauce or sweet potato mash, and oil.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Divide the batter evenly between the 12 cups. (They will feel perilously full, but this is how they should look!)

Bake for 15-18 minutes–no longer than 20 minutes. A toothpick should come out clean when inserted into the muffin. Enjoy!