Nestling egg yolks in a mixture of sugar and salt draws out their moisture, amplifies their flavour and turns them into grate-able little yellow disks perfect for garnishing all sorts of dishes. You wouldn't think they could be improved upon, but Cook's Science has upped the umami factor by adding bonito into the mix.
Photo by StateofIsrael.
For those of you not familiar with bonito, this is your lucky day. The dried, fermented fish is used in all sorts of Japanese dishes to add salty, savoury goodness. It's good on pretty much anything, but pairing it with rich egg yolks packs an extra flavorful punch.
To make taste-packed pucks, start by making a mixture of equal parts salt and sugar (CS uses 450 grams of each for a dozen eggs) with 30 grams of black pepper and 30 grams of bonito flakes. Scoop about half of the mixture into a baking dish and, using a whole egg, make 12 indentations for the yolks to rest in. Separate yolks from whites - save them for a meringue or something - and gently lay them down in their little holes.
Cover them with the remaining mixture and then either cure them in the oven - click the link below to learn how - or cover the dish and let them hang out in the fridge until firm (about four days). Once they're cured, use them as you would shredded cheese, and sprinkle them over salads, pasta dishes, and grilled vegetables.
Bonito and Black Pepper — Cured Egg Yolks [Cook's Science ]