Crispy Fried Pumpkin with Salted Egg Yolk

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With just a few simple ingredients, you can enjoy crispy fried pumpkin with salted egg yolk, a savory dish that’s bursting with flavor and so satisfying to eat. {Gluten-Free Adaptable}

Stir fried pumpkin with salty duck egg

I know how much everyone loves pumpkin. It’s usually one of the first signs of fall before the leaves start changing. And while we’re past fall now, pumpkin is still readily available. Plus, you can make this dish with other types of winter squash.

You might be familiar with all kinds of roasted pumpkin and winter squash dishes. But did you know you can make it into a delicious stir fry as well?

Fried pumpkin with salted egg is a classic Chinese dish that takes just a few ingredients. And the result is a decadent, crispy, and rich dish that works as a side dish or even a main dish for a meatless meal. 

The pumpkin is coated with cornstarch, then shallow-fried until crispy on the outside and tender inside. After that, you cook it with garlic and crumbled salted duck egg yolk which gives it a savory and amazingly rich flavor. 

Fried pumpkin with salted egg close up

What is salted duck egg yolk

Salted duck yolk (咸鸭蛋黄) comes from a Chinese way of preserving salted duck eggs. To make salted duck egg, raw duck eggs usually get soaked in brine or packed in a damp setting of salted charcoal to cure. Then you can boil the eggs before serving or use them in other dishes. 

These eggs are aromatic from the brine and the yolk is firm with a bright orangish-red hue. 

In Northern China, we serve the whole egg with plain congee as a form of pickle. It’s also very common to use the yolk as a seasoning, to make a vegetable stir fry very scrumptious and bursting with flavor.

When used in this recipe, the cooked duck yolks become thick and foamy, making for the perfect coating for the fried pumpkin. 

Where to buy

You might need to run to a Chinese grocery store or Asian market to find the packaged duck egg yolks. They’re usually in the refrigerated section. You can also find the whole salted duck eggs on Amazon.

Ingredients

Traditionally, fried pumpkin with salted egg yolk uses pumpkin, much as the name implies. However, you can use other types of winter squash instead. I have used butternut squash with this recipe because it’s so easy to cut. I’d also recommend acorn squash and kabocha.

Ingredients for making Chinese pumpkin with salted egg

Cooking process

When you see fried pumpkin with salted egg yolk in Chinese restaurants, they deep fry it to get that crispy coating. But I’ll show you how to achieve those results with a shallow fry. 

  1. Salt the pumpkin and let it rest for 15 minutes
  2. Drain the liquid and coat the pumpkin with cornstarch
  3. Cook the duck egg yolk (if using raw) and crush it into crumbles
  4. Shallow fry the pumpkin until al dente
  5. Cook the garlic and crumbled egg yolk lightly
  6. Deglaze the pan with Shaoxing wine
  7. Add back the fried pumpkin and quickly stir it together
  8. Enjoy!
Crispy fried pumpkin with salted egg yolk cooking step-by-step

An easier approach

If you don’t want to use a shallow fry, you can blanch your pumpkin or squash until al dente, and then pan fry it with a bit of oil. It will be less crispy but still have a delicious flavor.

Chinese fried pumpkin with salted duck egg

Give this fried pumpkin with salted egg yolk a try and you’ll be hooked. It’s very satisfying and filling, too. I love it as a side dish though it also makes a great main dish for vegetarian dinners if you’d prefer. 

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With just a few simple ingredients, you can enjoy crispy fried pumpkin with salted egg yolk, a savory dish that’s bursting with flavor and so satisfying to eat. {Gluten-Free Adaptable}

Crispy Fried Pumpkin with Salted Egg Yolk

With just a few simple ingredients, you can enjoy crispy fried pumpkin with salted egg yolk, a savory dish that’s bursting with flavor and so satisfying to eat. {Gluten-Free Adaptable}
Author: Maggie Zhu
Course: Main, Side
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: home style
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Marinating time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 2 to 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 lb (450) peeled pumpkin or winter squash , cut into 2”x1/2” (5 cm x 1 cm) sticks
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup canola oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 1 clove garlic , minced
  • 2 salted duck yolks , cooked (*Footnote 1)
  • 1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar

Instructions

  • Place the pumpkin in a deep plate. Sprinkle with the 1/2 teaspoon salt. Toss with your hands to coat the pumpkin evenly with salt. Let it rest for 15 minutes.
  • Crush the cooked yolks with a fork in a small bowl, until they are very well crumbled.
  • Drain off the liquid from the pumpkin and transfer it to a big bowl. Add the cornstarch and toss to coat completely.
  • Prepare a large plate and top it with a few layers of paper towels. Or prepare a medium-sized baking tray with a wire rack.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add the coated pumpkin. Cook until the bottom turns crisp, about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the pumpkin to cook the other side, for another 2 to 3 minutes, until it turns crispy throughout and cooked through.
  • Turn off the heat. Transfer the cooked pumpkin using a spider strainer or a slotted spoon to the prepared plate (or rack) to drain the excess oil.
  • Remove the extra oil and only save 1 tablespoon of oil by either pouring the oil into a heat-proof bowl, or using a big ladle.
  • Turn the heat to medium-low. Add the garlic and fry until fragrant, 30 seconds or so.
  • Add the crumbled salted yolk. Cook and stir until it is thick and foaming but not browning, a few seconds.
  • Pour in the Shaoxing wine. Cook and stir until the liquid is mostly evaporated.
  • Add the fried pumpkin back to the pan and sprinkle the sugar over it. Stir everything together for 1 minute, or until the pumpkin pieces are evenly coated with the yolk. Transfer to a plate immediately.
  • Serve hot as a side dish or over steamed rice as a main.

Notes

  1. Depending on the type of salted duck eggs (or duck egg yolks) you purchase, they might be raw or cooked. If you use the cooked whole duck eggs, you can simply peel them and discard the egg whites. If using raw whole duck eggs, you will need to boil the eggs first (like you’d cook regular hard-boiled chicken eggs, but increase the cooking time by 1 to 2 minutes due to the size of the duck eggs). If you use packaged salted duck egg yolks (they usually come in a vacuum bag), they might be raw or cooked. If raw, you can either bake them in a 350˚F (176˚C) oven for 5 to 10 minutes, or microwave them for a few seconds to cook them through.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g, Calories: 194kcal, Carbohydrates: 18.1g, Protein: 2.7g, Fat: 13.1g, Saturated Fat: 1.8g, Cholesterol: 105mg, Sodium: 312mg, Potassium: 246mg, Fiber: 3.4g, Sugar: 4.6g, Calcium: 42mg, Iron: 2mg
Did You Make This Recipe?Don’t forget the last step! Tag me @OmnivoresCookbook and #OmnivoresCookbook on Instagram!

More delicious vegetable recipes

Lilja Walter is a part of the Omnivore’s Cookbook team and worked closely with Maggie to develop and test this recipe.

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Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Linda Baniecki says:

    Love the crispy pumpkin recipe. I love ginger prawn dumplings at Yum Cha , but have never been able to find the recipe. I think they are steamed with dried bean curd skin. If you know this recipe Id love to see it. I love your recipes.

  2. Wendy says:

    Mine didn’t turn out crispy but the taste was very good. The sweet salty was just the right balance.

  3. Kacey says:

    This recipe was SO good! I gobbled these up so fast!! To me these reminded me of a more savory alternative to sweet potatoes fries, which I’ve always found to be too sweet for my liking. These were the perfect combination of salty and sweet! I’m already making it a second time. 🙂

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