Eggs are a healthy, protein-rich, nutritious food. Moreover, eggs are unusual because egg whites and yolks have different nutrient profiles and properties.
Everyone knows you shouldn’t eat raw eggs because of the risk of salmonella, but can you eat raw egg yolk?
Yes, you can eat raw egg yolks. In fact, eating egg yolks raw or undercooked and runny may be the best and healthiest way to eat them.
Keep reading to learn more.
Is It Okay to Eat Raw Egg Yolks?
You indeed can eat raw egg yolks, and there are several reasons why egg yolks are safe and nutritious to eat.
Egg Whites Protect the Yolk From Bacteria
Egg whites are more prone to bacteria and contamination because they are inside the porous shell, but egg whites protect the yolk from bacteria.
Egg Whites Need to Be Cooked
Egg whites contain compounds that make their proteins less digestible.
Moreover, cooking egg whites kills bacteria or pathogens and makes them easier to digest.
Egg Yolks Contain Delicate Nutrients
Unlike egg whites, egg yolks contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can be lost or damaged during the cooking process.
This is because most of an egg’s proteins are concentrated in the egg white, but most of the vitamins and more delicate compounds are in the yolk.
For these reasons, raw egg yolks are not only safe and nutritious, but they are a traditional ingredient in many dishes and recipes.
What Happens If You Eat Raw Egg Yolk?
Have you ever eaten caesar salad? Caesar salad dressing is a common example of an egg emulsion made with raw egg yolks.
For most people, nothing negative happens when you eat raw egg yolk.
In fact, raw egg yolk is incredibly digestible and less likely to trigger an allergic reaction than egg whites.
Therefore, raw egg yolk may be the best way to eat eggs for many people with sensitivities.
What’s the Healthiest Way to Eat Egg Yolk?
The healthiest ways to eat egg yolk are:
Raw egg yolk is highly digestible, making the nutrients in the egg yolk most bioavailable without exposing the egg yolk to heat that may break down delicate antioxidants and nutrients in the egg yolk.
Eating slightly heated egg yolks, like poaching or soft-boiling, reduces nutrient loss from heat.
Cooked in the Shell
Hard-boiling eggs in the shell allows heat to permeate the yolk, damaging the more delicate nutrients.
However, when eggs are hard-boiled in the shell, the egg white prevents the evaporation and water loss of some of the yolk’s vitamins and minerals, so it’s more nutritious than cooking them outside of the shell.
The least healthy way to eat egg yolk is to cook it completely at high heat, like with a “hard” scramble or fry.
And of course, adding fat and salt makes eggs less healthy, no matter how they are cooked.
Make Sure You’re Cracking Your Eggs Right
When eating raw egg yolk, protecting yourself from illness-causing bacteria is vital.
An egg is most prone to causing illness when it is cracked because bacteria and contaminants on the outside of the shell can be pushed into the egg white or yolk during cracking.
Here’s how to handle raw eggs safely.
When using raw eggs, always make sure the eggs are washed, and your hands are clean.
Crack Eggs On a Flat Surface
If you crack an egg against the edge of a cup or bowl or push your thumbs into a crack, you push the shell into the egg white.
Instead, crack eggs on a flat surface like a counter or tabletop, and try to break the shell in half cleanly without pushing the shell inside the egg.
Separate Eggs Into Separate Bowls
Always crack and separate eggs into bowls or containers apart from your dish or recipe ingredients—never crack eggs directly into your food.
Then, if a piece of shell falls into the egg, or if you break the yolk and the egg doesn’t separate cleanly, you haven’t contaminated your other ingredients.
Wash Your Hands After Handling Raw Eggs
Immediately after cracking and separating eggs, dispose of the shells and wash your hands.
There may be bacteria or contaminants on eggshells, so it’s essential to get rid of the shells and wash your hands to promote food safety.
Can You Eat Raw Egg Yolk in Tiramisu?
Yes, you can eat raw egg yolk in tiramisu.
Raw egg yolk adds a rich, creamy flavor and texture to tiramisu, and most traditional recipes call for raw egg yolk.
Can You Eat Raw Egg Yolk in Salad Dressing?
Many classic salad dressing recipes call for raw egg yolk, and yes, it is safe to eat raw egg yolk in salad dressing.
However, most traditional salad dressing recipes that include raw egg yolk call for the dressing to be prepared and eaten immediately.
If you purchase a store-bought salad dressing containing raw egg yolk, make sure it has been pasteurized.
When making a raw egg yolk salad dressing at home, refrigerate the dressing immediately after making it, and eat it within a few days.
Can You Eat Raw Egg Yolk in Ramen?
Yes, you can eat raw egg yolk in ramen. In fact, the broth of ramen is hot enough to kill unwanted bacteria, making it a safe way to eat raw egg yolk.
Can You Eat Raw Egg Yolk in Frosting?
Yes, you can eat raw egg yolk in frosting. In fact, the high sugar content in frosting also helps inhibit the growth of unwanted bacteria and can help make the raw egg yolk safer to eat.
In fact, raw egg yolk is the best and healthiest way to eat egg yolks because it preserves more of the unique nutritional compounds in an egg yolk.
Raw egg yolk is also a traditional ingredient in many recipes and preparations. However, egg whites should be cooked before eating.
When handling raw eggs, practice essential cleanliness and hygiene, and try to prevent the outside of the eggshell from coming in contact with the inner contents of the egg.
Practice cracking eggs cleanly, and feel free to drop a raw egg yolk into your soups, salads, desserts, and smoothies.