Yes, Salted Egg Potato Chips Do Exist

When it comes to potato chips, it seems any flavor combination is fair game. In the past, wild potato chip flavors like Guinness, kiwi, and even a whisky and Haggis variety were sold in Scotland. Though customers willingly buy them, many unconventional varieties are offered as a novelty or limited edition product. Lays, for example, released adobada, carnitas street taco, and bacon-wrapped jalapeno popper potato chips in celebration of the World Cup (via ABC), the kind of thing that isn't unusual for brands to do.

Nowadays, it's more common to see flavors like ketchup and pickle juice on shelves, but for the most part, the traditional ones like salt and vinegar are still the most prevalent. In Southeast Asia, however, that's not exactly the case. There, salted egg potato chips are one of the most popular flavors, The Takeout reports. The same product is available in the U.S. but has yet to take off to the same degree.

What do salted egg potato chips taste like?

According to The Takeout, salted egg potato chips were invented in 2014 by restaurateur Irvin Gunawan. Per his brand's website, the story is that Gunawan was inspired by his restaurant's famous salted egg crab dish and ended up using the sauce to flavor potato chips, resulting in the now-popular snack. The current recipe is made with Thai chili, curry leaves, and duck egg yolks aged for a month in a salt brine before being baked right into the chips.

If you've never tried Irvins potato chips or even just salted egg yolks, you might assume that they taste like egg yolks with salt added to them, but the flavor is a lot more unique and complex than that, Serious Eats shares. Because they are aged, salted egg yolks develop a decadent, almost sweet flavor profile. And despite being cured in salt, salted egg yolks aren't that salty.

Salted egg yolks are natural msg

In the U.S., salted egg isn't the most popular flavor — for potato chips or otherwise — but there's a reason it's well-loved in Asia. According to NBC, brining eggs in salt was how people in fifth-century China made their eggs shelf stable, given that refrigerators didn't exist. Salted egg yolks eventually became a staple in Asian cuisine, mainly because of how much flavor a single one can incorporate into a dish.

Though unsalted unaged eggs can be eaten on their own, salted egg yolks act more as a replacement for salt or grated parmesan cheese, MasterClass notes, and that's precisely why they work so well with potato chips. Umami Information Center explains that egg yolks are made of glutamic acid, a flavor compound responsible for umami. When you salt-cure egg yolks, that flavor compound gets concentrated, and at the same time, they become firm enough to grate, allowing you to add umami to anything you put it on. Many chip brands use msg to accomplish that, but with the salted egg-flavored ones, there's no need.