Salted Egg Yolk Chili Oil Sourdough Focaccia

salted egg yolk chili oil sourdough focaccia

This is currently my favorite focaccia flavor! And my friends and family are loving it too. A unique Chinese twist on classic focaccia bread.

The recipe combines the richness of salted egg yolk, the fiery kick of chili oil, the aromatic essence of garlic, and the moderate tang from sourdough to create a flavorful and savory bread. If you are looking for a side item to impress, this is it!

salted egg yolk chili oil sourdough focaccia

Salted egg yolk vs. Cured egg yolk

Salted egg yolk and cured egg yolk are two different methods of preserving and flavoring eggs. Here are the main differences between the two:

  1. Preservation Method: Salted egg yolks are made by preserving raw egg yolks in a mixture of salt, usually with the addition of clay or other ingredients, for several weeks. The salt helps draw out moisture from the yolks, resulting in a firm and slightly salty texture. On the other hand, cured egg yolks are made by coating raw egg yolks in a mixture of salt and sugar and allowing them to dry out slowly in a controlled environment. The sugar-salt mixture helps remove moisture and inhibits the growth of bacteria, resulting in a firm and concentrated yolk.
  2. Texture: Salted egg yolks have a crumbly and grainy texture due to the presence of salt and the dehydration process. They are often used grated or mashed to incorporate into dishes or as a filling in various recipes. Cured egg yolks, on the other hand, have a firmer and denser texture. Once cured, they become solid and can be grated or thinly sliced.
  3. Flavor: Salted egg yolks have a distinct salty and rich flavor profile. The saltiness enhances the natural richness of the egg yolks. They provide a savory umami taste and are commonly used in both savory and sweet dishes, such as salted egg yolk custard buns or salted egg yolk fried rice. Cured egg yolks, on the other hand, have a concentrated and intense flavor. The curing process enhances the egg yolk’s natural richness and creates a more concentrated taste. They are often used as a flavoring ingredient, grated over dishes to add a salty and savory element.

In summary, salted egg yolks are preserved in a salt mixture and have a crumbly texture with a salty flavor, while cured egg yolks are coated with a sugar-salt mixture and have a firm texture with a concentrated savory taste. Both have their unique culinary applications and are beloved for adding depth and flavor to various dishes.

Where can I find salted egg yolk?

Salted egg yolks can typically be found at Asian supermarkets in the refrigerated or preserved food section. They may be sold whole or sometimes packaged separately.

If you can’t find salted egg yolks and prefer not to make your own, you can substitute them with cured egg yolks. When using cured egg yolks, consider reducing the amount of flaky sea salt added to the focaccia, as cured yolks are quite salty.

Cured egg yolk recipe

Cured egg yolk is very simple to make, requiring only 2 ingredients: egg yolk and salt. Refer to the simple recipe below to make your own cured egg yolk:


  • Fresh egg yolks
  • kosher salt, enough to fully cover the egg yolks
  • equal amount of salt in sugar, optional


  1. Mix equal parts salt and sugar in a bowl and spread half of the curing mixture in a container
  2. Place egg yolks on top and cover with remaining mixture.
  3. Cure in the refrigerator for 4-7 days.
  4. Rinse cured yolks under cold water and pat dry.
  5. They can last for several weeks to a few months in an airtight container in the fridge.

How to prevent the chili oil from burning?

Chili oil can have a low smoke point, which means it can burn easily when exposed to high temperatures in the oven. To prevent chili oil from burning in the oven, I do two things

  1. Covering the focaccia: Create a barrier between the chili oil and direct heat by oiling tin foil and loosely placing it on top of the dough. OR, my prefered method, is to put a baking sheet on the rack above the focaccia.
  2. Lowering oven temperature: By cooking the focaccia first at 425F and then lowering the temperature to 375F, you can mitigate the burning that can happen when using chili oil with finely grounded chilis

Looking for more interesting sourdough bread recipes?

Salted Egg Yolk Chili Oil Sourdough Focaccia

Indulge in the irresistible flavors of salted egg yolk and chili oil with this unique twist on classic focaccia bread. The recipe combines the richness of salted egg yolk, the fiery kick of chili oil, and the aromatic essence of garlic to create a flavorful and savory bread that is sure to impress. The soft and pillowy texture of the focaccia provides the perfect canvas for these bold flavors to shine. Whether enjoyed on its own or as a side dish to complement a meal, this Salted Egg Yolk Chili Oil Focaccia is a delightful fusion creation that will elevate your culinary experience.
Prep Time16 hours
Cook Time25 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Keyword: bread, flatbread, sourdough


  • medium size baking dish like an 8×8 pan or a 10″ cast iron skillet (like Lodge)


Focaccia dough

  • 30 g sourdough starter
  • 254 g water
  • 6 g salt
  • 300 g all purpose or bread flour
  • olive oil


  • Chinese chili oil like lao gan ma
  • 1 salted egg yolk* finely crumbled
  • minced garlic optional
  • scallions optional
  • flakey sea salt
  • olive oil


  • Mix together sourdough, water, salt, and flour until a sticky dough forms. Let the dough rest for 30min to hydrate.
  • Stretch and fold the dough. Take the dough from the sides and stretch it up and over the center of the dough. Rotate and repeat, stretching and folding about 6 times. Coat the dough in olive oil, cover, and let the dough rise overnight for 8-12 hours.
    sourdough focaccia
  • Generously coat a baking dish with olive oil. Turn the mixing bowl upside down and let gravity do its magic and let the dough fall into the dish. Scrape any leftover dough out of the mixing bowl.
  • Fold the four sides of the dough over itself (like closing a cardboard box). Flip it so the seam side is down and let rise uncovered for 4-6 hours.
    sourdough focaccia
  • Preheat the oven to 425F.
  • Speckle the top of the dough with Chinese chili oil (to your desired amount), minced garlic and scallions (optional), and crumbled salted egg yolk. Then, oil your hands and dimple the dough. Finish with a generous sprinkling of flakey sea salt.
    salted egg yolk chili oil focaccia
  • Place the focaccia on the middle rack and place a baking sheet on the rack directly above it. This will prevent the chilis from burning. 
    Alternatively, you can cover the top with aluminum foil. Just make sure to remove the foil near the end and finish baking the focaccia uncovered so the top gets some color.
    Bake the focaccia for 25 minutes or until the top is a beautiful golden brown. If your chili oil contains finely ground chilies, after 15 minutes of baking, you can reduce the temperature to 375°F and allow it to finish baking.
  • Allow the focaccia to cool for 15 minutes in the cast iron skillet before transferring it to a cooling rack. Enjoy fresh.


*Salted egg yolks can typically be found at Asian supermarkets in the refrigerated or preserved food section. Alternatively you can  substitute it for cured egg yolk. See the section “Cured egg yolk recipe” above for more details on how to make it. 

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