OK, so if you also read this article from not-so-long ago, and a little naughty idea got wrapped around your head like the most annoying holiday jingle, I’m here to tell you, the resistance is futile.  Cured yolks.  Thickened, jam-like, salty and sticky cured yolks.

Does it work?  Yes.  And it’s easy.

Look, obviously, the idea of dehydrating a yolk for 10 to 12 hours until it becomes the consistency of its soft-cooked self, infused with the deep savouriness of soy sauce and whatnots, is only going to entice the most devoted of yolk-fanatics.  But even if you weren’t previously a follower of this particular cult – sunny side up, poached, soft boiled, and none of it did the trick – this particular recipe might just be the one that finally converts you to the other side.

For one, it’s extremely easy to make.  On top of that, infinitely adaptable.


The process involves nothing more than whisking a handful of ingredients together as the “curing liquid”, then leaving the yolks inside this “love potion” to make their magic.  The curing liquid can be, as suggested by NYTimes, a combination of soy sauce, konbu and mirin, or it can be a slightly naughtier version of mine, consisting of soy sauce, spicy gochujang, honey and a couple cloves of crushed garlics.  Either way, the results are precious, salty, spicy lumps of lava-like liquid-golds, the perfect vehicle to deliver a bowl of warm steamed rice.

But I just couldn’t call it a day.  Looking at the leftover curing liquid, so readily and unjustly  abandoned, I couldn’t help but blending it further with scallion and ginger, and sauté it with some ground beef to make some delicious spicy meat-bits.  Together, with a couple drizzling of toasted sesame oil and chopped chives…

I think, there’s gonna be a lotta egg-white scrambles for breakfasts these days.




  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp gochujang/Korean chili paste
  • 1 1/2 tbsp honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 4 the best eggs you can find
  • 1 scallion
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 7 oz (200 grams) ground beef
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil, plus more to drizzle
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Diced chives to serve


  1. NOTE: You can see from the photographs that I cured the yolks in a small jar, which I later found out to be too crowded. The small jar reduced the contact surface between yolks and the marinate, and made it difficult to remove the yolks afterwards. So don't use a small jar, but a small bowl instead.
  2. TO CURE THE YOLKS: Evenly whisk together soy sauce, gochujang, honey and smashed garlic together in a small bowl. Carefully separate the yolks from the whites, then gently place the yolks in the marinate. Cover with plastic-wrap and transfer into the fridge, swirling the bowl gently once in between to redistribute the marinate, and cure for 10~12 hours.
  3. TO MAKE THE MINCED BEEF RICE BOWL: After the yolks are cured, they will look slightly smaller in volume with firmer exteriors. Carefully remove the yolks from the marinate and set aside on a plate. In a blender, puree the marinate (with the garlic), scallion and ginger together until smooth, then set aside.
  4. Mix ground beef together with cornstarch until even. Heat toasted sesame oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, then add the ground beef and freshly ground black pepper. Breaking up the beef with a wooden spoon and cook until the edges are slightly browned. Add 4~5 tbsp of the pureed marinate and continue to cook for a few min until the sauce has reduced and becomes thick and glossy.
  5. Serve the minced beef over steamed short-grain rice, with a cured yolk on top. Drizzle with more toasted sesame oil and fresh chives.



  • This looks so delicious! I love poached eggs too. Quick question about the yolks: are they still moderately raw on the inside when you break into it? Have you cracked into a yolk that’s been “cured” longer than 12hours? Thanks so much!

  • I’m already a proud member of the egg yolk cult so this recipe is an instant must for me. However, I’ve often wondered in your recipes which plant you consider “scallions”. I’m from Switzerland and English is not my mother tongue. My dictionary tells me scallions refer to shallots or spring onions, but which is right? What I think scallions are is some spring onion with no bulb at all which is sadly hardly every available (we only have normal spring onions with bulbs, aka green onions). If they’re the bulbless variety, what could I substitute for them? I’m already salivating…

      • Thank you so much Mandy! I’ll use shallots this time and look for a reliable source of scallions for next time ;)

        • Hi Joe, I live in Geneva, Switzerland and the Vietnamese(2 in Paquis and 1 next to Manor) and Indian shops(I like Asian Spices in Servette) have scallions and other delicious greens.

  • This could NOT be more brilliant. I can’t wait to make it. Thank you for always inspiring and coming up with the most delicious and genius things, Mandy!!!

  • You can also do this with flavored miso. You have to add bit more sakè or mirin than usual for these miso marinades to make them creamy. Also, many people will put a gauze lining under and over the yolk to make removal easier. Add enough liquid to the miso to make it a little creamy. Make a indentation for your yolk. Top with more creamy miso. If you are using gauze, be sure to lay it under and over the yolk. Leave in the refrig for about 3 days.

    This soy flavored marinade looks so easy and yummy!! You have done it again!!

    Isn’t something like this done with whole eggs in their shells to flavor them. I think it takes 2 weeks. They are soft boiled and eaten with breakfast.

  • Wowza. This is a very interesting concept indeed. Bon Appetit wrote about a similar concept in last month’s issue, but they used a mix of salt and sugar for the curing mixture, resulting in a solidified yolk that can be grated. Freaky, huh?

  • AAAAHHHHH New kitchen goals. I will likely severely freak out the many college companions I share a kitchen with but it’ll be worth it.

    • Oh and I forgot to ask – do these yolks keep in the fridge? Raw yolks seem to be okay for a few days in my experience, but does it work the same way when they’re cured? You’d probably want to store them out of the marinade to stop the curing process, right? Could you freeze them? (The last question is nuts, I know, but I’ve frozen yolks before for carbonara and it worked like a charm and reduces risk of curdling.)

      • Scarlet, my experience is that even when they are removed from the brine and stored in the fridge, they still continue to “cure” (losing more liquid). So I would say that keeping them in the fridge (Even without brine) will be tricky. But I’ve never freezes them before, and it sounds like it might be worth try?

        • Thanks Mandy! I’m in the middle of finals and other stressful things but I’ll give freezing a try soon and let you know. I guess I shouldn’t try to keep the yolks in the fridge if I still want them runny – I suppose I’ll just make one at a time.

  • This was so very delicious. And easy easy to make. Fantastic quick dinner once the yolks are cured. Thank you Mandy!

  • Oh dude….sign me up!!! This fanatic is astounded by such a masterpiece, ahha! I’ve never heard of thought about this method, much less with my beloved gochujang. Can’t wait to try it, Mandy! Thanks for always pushing us beyond our foodie limits ;)

    • Paul, I don’t think you can keep them. They have to be eaten at the stage when you’re happy with the firmness, whether it’s 10 hours (soft and runny) to 3 day (Gratable).

  • This looks incredible! I love that you cure the yolk with the flavors from the soy sauce and gochujang. Thank you for sharing the recipe!

  • You really are the queen of eggs. I made this following the recipe but left the egg marinading for 24 hours instead of 12 – still delicious, but maybe a little too firm. Will not stray again!

  • Hi I’m just wondering whether you would recommend curing the yolks for longer period of time and if so what’s the maximum number of hours / days you would recommend?

    And, once cured, how long will the cured yolks keep?

    Many thanks in advance!

    • Natalie, the yolk loses moisture and gets harder the longer you cure. 10 to 12 hours is my preferred consistency. And you have to keep the yolks in the cure if not using, which will continue the curing process. So this is something you want to plan ahead to be eaten at the optimal curing stage.

  • If I wanted can I dry out the yolks with a food dehydrator?
    Just wondering if the taste would be the same or is this recipe only meant to enjoy with a soft yolk inside

  • I was looking for a soy sauce brined egg yolk and found your recipe. Being korean the fact that you made it with gochujang made it a sure win for me. Once the eggs are eaten can you use the same marinade to do more egg yolks?

  • my husband is obsessed with japanese/japanese-style cuisine. so i’m glad i came around to this blog. i’m a little late in the game on this yolks in soy sauce thing since this post was back in 2015. i’ve just finished making the marinate with the eggs but i read the comments to late! i used korean soy sauce instead of japanese and i even doubled the recipe. hopefully, it’ll still taste good! thank you!

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