As a born and bred Malaysian, I have seen the rise of the salted egg yolk first hand. An ingredient that started out as a traditional Chinese home cooking staple—what you would call tze char—has sky-rocketed to become the trendiest edible in the region, appearing in sweet and salty dishes alike.

For the authentic salted egg yolk experience, duck eggs are brined or packed in a moist, salted charcoal paste for a few months. This makes the egg whites very salty and cures the egg yolks within, turning them into beautiful bright orange orbs of solid umami sunshine. These yolks are usually then mashed and cooked into either a sweet or savory sauce.

While I was back in Malaysia for the summer, I saw that people have gone absolutely crazy for the stuff. Salted egg yolks are being slathered, stuffed, coated, and drizzled over anything people can get their hands on. Here, I have a list of 20 salted egg yolk dishes that are rocking the Asian foodie-sphere.

1. Mooncakes

We’re starting off with an extremely traditional favourite here. Mooncakes dominate the Harvest Moon festival and there are many different types. Stuffing a salted egg yolk (or in this case, two) in the center of the cake symbolises the moon. Learn how to make them, here.

2. Liu Sha Bao

A dim sum table staple, this beautiful steamed bun oozes a sweetened salted egg yolk custard that WILL get all over your fingers. Make sure you mop up every single precious drop with your perfectly steamed bun.

3. Crabs

crab, meat, sauce, lobster, vegetable, seafood
Photo courtesy of @boo lee on Flickr

Considered by some the dish of the Asian millenial, fresh rock crabs are deep fried and coated in a thick salted egg yolk sauce. The sauce is cooked with curry leaves (which studies suggest are totally good for you) for fragrance and birds eye chillis for a spicy kick in the teeth.

4. Chicken

meat, sauce, vegetable, chicken, pork
Photo courtesy of Harley Cooper on Flickr

You can get this chicken dish by the cup at night markets all over Malaysia and Singapore. Much like the crab dish, bite-sized chicken pieces are battered and deep fried before being slathered with the salted egg sauce. 

5. French Toast

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Part of the new wave of salted egg dishes is stuffing the sweet and salty custard into French toast. This results in a dish of pure—dare I say it? Egg-cellence. For more ways to pimp your french toast, click here.

6. Fish and Chips

Making waves in Singapore is a little place called Fish & Chicks that puts a twist on the classic British fish and chips. The ultimate colonial mash-up, people are flocking here at all hours to get their hands on a plate of fishy goodness.

7. Burger

This bad boy is from one of my favourite Malaysian burger places, but they’re not the only ones serving up salted egg yolk burger goodness. The Golden Arches are getting in on the game too with McDonald's Singapore launching their very own salted egg burger

8. Waffles

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Another one of my favorite local haunts, Inside Scoop is one of the newer artisan ice cream places to grace the Malaysian foodie scene. Their salted egg waffle is a dream, served up with a syringe of salted egg yolk sauce for you to squirt as you please.

9. Fries

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Potatoes are love, potatoes are life, potatoes are practically a religion when they’re deep fried and coated in salted egg yolk sauce.

10. Croissants

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Another great east-meets-west fusion, these buttery, drippy, flaky dreams first appeared in Hong Kong at a place called  Urban Bakery. Since then, they've been copied by bakeries all over Southeast Asia to cater to region-wide salted egg obsessions.

11. Tarts

This tart is the love-child of a pie, a cheesecake, and luscious salted egg custard. You're looking at a little piece of heaven right now, show some respect.

12. Molten Lava Cakes

A photo posted by Chayanich T. (@koi.chaya) on

Check out that beautiful ooze. Yes, please. Feeling adventurous? Learn how to make it, here.

13. Doughnuts

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Basically deep-fried liu sha baos, because anything can be improved with deep frying.

14. Churros

Forget your basic dipping chocolate, salted egg sauce is the new kid on the block and it’s here to stay.

15. Ice Cream

The benefits of living on the equator? It’s always hot enough for ice cream.

16. Cream Puffs

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Just yes. All the yes. If you're ever in Singapore and would like to try these little babies, you can order them here.

17. Pasta

As if we needed another way to slurp up linguine. Can't get enough pasta? We have a chocolate linguine that you can serve up for dessert.

18. Eggs Benedict

There’s some serious egg-ception going on here. Salted egg yolks in your hollandaise over your perfectly poached egg? Brunch just went from 0 to 100 real quick.

19. Fish Skin

It might sound a little odd, but these crispy skins (and their potato cousins) have sunk the Singaporean public hook, line, and sinker. People just can't get enough of them.

20. Rainbow Cake

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This Singaporean café is teaching an old dog new tricks by bringing back the rainbow cake trend with a brand new coat of paint. Or in this case, a thick coat of salted egg buttercream.

As much as some people think that the salted egg trend is completely overdone,  it really does look like it’s here to stay. What I want to know is when will it reach it’s powdery, umami fingers out west? Will the salted egg explode, much like the Japanese water droplet cake did?