Here’s an interesting way of serving a Filipino favorite, salted red eggs or itlog na maalat. Youngest Sister prepared it for lunch one time and it was so amazingly fresh tasting and different that I just had to make it for lunch today. The colors in the photo didn’t come out right for some reason but believe me, it made a very appetizing dish in looks and smell.
Salted duck egg (itlog na maalat) is very common in the Philippines. Some people will go through great lengths to get the best. The best is said to have just the right amount of saltiness and will ooze with the yolk’s fat when you break it. The eggs are set in a very salty brine and left covered in earthen jars for a period of say a week or two. The longer you let it sit, the saltier it gets. The eggs are then boiled and painted a magenta red before distribution.
What you then do with it is cut it in half and scoop out the insides and mix it with tomatoes to serve as a side dish with fried fish. It does perk up any fried fish lunch especially if you eat doing away with your usual spoon, fork and knife. Yes, eat with your bare hands! It’s not eating like a savage at all. Eating with your hands is actually a skill not many people can get or want to get. Such a pity.
But truthfully, it’s not literally eating with your “hands” – it’s more eating with your well-scrubbed fingers. And yes, Filipinos love to do this and yes, that’s exactly how I ate my lunch today.
Makes for very sensual eating as a matter of fact. There’s something about feeling the temperature and different textures of your food just prior to popping it into your mouth. Sensual is the only word I can think of to describe it. Call it foreplay for eating.
So on to this recipe…why is it so different? It’s different because it’s a nice cross between a salsa and the more common salted eggs with tomatoes salad. The addition of cilantro and finely-sliced onions kicks it up a notch and provides a fresh taste that is just perfect for the tropics.
It also doesn’t hurt when you eat it with your hands…