If you can’t tell from my blog name, I LOVE eggs. Itlog na maalat was my first egg love, long before I appreciated fried eggs or meringues. I can eat it with a spoon, though I shouldn’t because high blood! It has a funky flavor and creamy yolk texture that you can’t get in any other food dish. The mix of itlog na maalat with vinegar and tomatoes is the perfect balance of funky, sweet, salty, and sour.
The Chinese have been making salted duck eggs since the 6th century as a means of preserving eggs, likely bringing this method to the Philippines a few centuries later before Spanish Colonization. The Filipino version is typically dyed red to distinguish the salted duck eggs from fresh ones. The most popular way of making itlog na maalat is the Pateros method, named after the municipality famous for its duck industry. The eggs are dipped in a mixture of clay, salt, and water then cured for 12-18 days. The salt moves into the egg via osmosis creating a hypertonic environment for most pathogens, preventing the eggs from spoiling quickly. It’s quite a long process, but very reliable. Luckily, I’ve always lived within an hour of a Filipino market and nowadays you can even order a case on Etsy.
In this photo series, I’ll be featuring:
- Itlog na maalat. These deserve their own photo shoot because they are GORGEOUS
- My version of itlog na maalat at kamatis
- No sugar added chicken Tocino
- Combinging all 3 into the grand finale: tocilog
This marks the start of my new photography style. While most food bloggers opt for the light and airy style to highlight the food, I just never got the hang of it. During Filipino American History Month and the Bread Series I played around with different aesthetics until I landed on one that felt right for my personality and the food I want to explore. Bright and Bold, with lots of saturated color, dramatic shadows, and plenty of plants. It feels like a day on the beach in the Philippines or growing up in sunny Southern California. Hopefully you enjoy the style change, but more importantly I hope you love the recipes!
Itlog | egg
Maalat | salty
Sawsawan | sauce
Kamatis | tomato
Sinangag | garlic fried rice
Silog | a portmanteau of sinangag and itlos
The Science of Salted duck eggs