Cured Egg Yolk Bottarga Pasta Recipe

Bottarga is a flavorful preparation of salted, cured fish roe (via Serious Eats). Similar foods like Japanese karasumi afford the same flavors — salty, briny, umami-rich deliciousness. And believe it or not, you can make your own version right at home with far more commonly used eggs than mullet or tuna!

Recipe developer Melissa Johnson of Best Friends for Frosting is your guide in the creation of your very own scrumptious egg yolk bottarga. After having been curious about them for a while, she recently tried her hand at making homemade egg yolk bottarga. She was surprised by how easy they are to make. Cured in a mix of sugar and salt, these egg yolks are the perfect accompaniment to grate over plain pasta, roasted veggies, or work into your favorite sandwich. "You can grate them over almost anything in place of salt," Johnson says. "Get creative!"

The only difficult part? Waiting for them to be ready! They take seven days to cure slowly in the fridge, but your patience will be well rewarded when you take your first taste.

Gather the ingredients to prepare egg yolk bottarga

To make this egg yolk bottarga, you don't need many ingredients at all. Simply gather egg yolks, sugar, and salt. When choosing your eggs, keep in mind that pasture-raised eggs are even more nutrient-dense than their commercially-raised counterparts.

Prepare the curing mixture

To make this egg yolk bottarga, you'll first mix the salt and sugar until evenly combined. Next, on a plate or pan, spread out 1 ½ cups of the mixture in an even layer. This is where the egg yolks will sit and cure over the next seven days.

To keep the delicate yolks from coming apart when you add them to the surface of the mixture, Johnson has a trick for you! "Using an egg, make indentations in the salt mixture," she says. Each of the indentations will cradle one perfect yolk.

Separate the eggs

Now that the curing mixture is ready, it's time to add the egg yolks for the egg yolk bottarga. Working carefully, separate each egg, reserving the egg whites for another use, like a tasty egg white omelet or homemade meringues. Then, carefully deposit each egg yolk to an indentation in the salt mixture.

There are many methods for separating eggs, including using the egg shell or simply letting the whites slip through your slightly-open fingers into a bowl. Johnson used the shell method in this recipe, but feel free to use whichever method works best for you. One tip for newbies? Always separate cold eggs, because there will be less of a chance of the yolk breaking.

Cure the egg yolk bottarga in the fridge for a week

Once all of the egg yolks have been added to the curing mixture, it's time to fully submerge them in the salt and sugar. Carefully cover each yolk with what remains of the mixture, so every yolk will be evenly seasoned and dehydrated on all sides.

Now, all you need to do is wait! Cover the plate with plastic wrap, and chill the egg yolks for seven days, over the course of which they will cure and dehydrate. In one week, they'll emerge as lovely, richly flavored egg yolk bottarga.

Rinse the egg yolks

When you remove the egg yolk bottarga from the curing mixture after a week in the fridge, you'll be amazed at how solid they are and how their texture has changed. You should be able to easily handle them. Remove them from the salt, and rinse them under cold water to remove any excess seasoning, and then pat dry with a paper towel.

While the egg yolk bottarga are now cured, there's one more step that will make them even more solid and far easier to grate over your favorite dishes: baking them.

Bake the egg yolk bottarga

The egg yolk bottarga are delicate, so you don't want to blast them with heat! Preheat the oven to just 200 F, and then place the egg yolk bottarga on a wire baking rack set over a sheet pan. Bake for just 30 minutes, or until the yolks are fairly dried and solid.

Once the egg yolk bottarga have cooled, they are ready to use! Grating them over pasta with butter is a great way to get a feel for their delicate flavor, but you can totally get creative with how you use them. They will keep in the fridge for up to two weeks, easy to grab, grate, and enjoy.

Cured Egg Yolk Bottarga Pasta Recipe
4.9 from 31 ratings
Cured in a mix of sugar and salt, egg yolk bottarga is the perfect accompaniment to plain pasta or roasted veggies.
Prep Time
Cook Time
egg yolks
egg yolk bottarga
Total time: 40 minutes
  • 1 ½ cups kosher salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  1. Mix together the salt and sugar until combined. On a plate or baking pan, spread out 1 ½ cups of the salt mixture into an even layer.
  2. Using an egg, make indentions in the salt mixture.
  3. Separate each egg yolk using the shell. Add each yolk one at a time to an indentation in the salt mixture.
  4. Use the remaining salt mixture to cover each yolk fully.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for seven days.
  6. Remove the egg yolks from the salt, and rinse in cold water. Dry with a paper towel.
  7. Preheat the oven to 200 F.
  8. Place each yolk on a wire baking rack over a sheet pan, and bake for 30 minutes.
  9. Store in refrigerator for up to two weeks, and grate over your favorite dishes.
Calories per Serving 201
Total Fat 4.8 g
Saturated Fat 1.6 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 186.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 33.7 g
Dietary Fiber 0.0 g
Total Sugars 33.5 g
Sodium 193.8 mg
Protein 6.3 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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