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Jan 29, 2009 07:24 AM

Quail eggs?

What is the difference in taste texture etc, between quail eggs and chicken eggs? Wher can you acquire them?

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  1. "Where" is a very regional specific kind of question. Some store have them some stores don't. Here in Atlanta, I find them often in Asian grocery stores. Farmer's markets also carry them frequently.

    Taste and texture are very similar to chicken eggs. If you like regular chicken eggs you will find these very, very similar... only much smaller!

    7 Replies
    1. re: HaagenDazs

      Do they taste the same HD? In my experience, larger eggs seem to have stronger flavour. I've been meaning to try quails eggs for a long, long time (since I read about the ham and eggs on the French Laundry's tasting menu)

      1. re: Soop

        So you're saying that chicken eggs will have a stronger flavor because they're bigger than quail eggs? That's not true. That would mean an ostrich egg would be 20 times "more flavorful" than a chicken egg? Following that, a quail egg would be say, 100 times less flavorful than an ostrich egg? In fact, all 3 are quite similar in flavor even though they are drastically different in size.

        I would say the only real reason to get quail eggs would be because of the final presentation of a dish. You wouldn't use a chicken egg in a sushi restaurant dishes for instance.

        Conversely, If you buy quail eggs for making an omelet, you'll be rather frustrated cutting open little quail eggs and dumping them into a bowl for 3 or 4 minutes!

        1. re: HaagenDazs

          "in my experience larger eggs seem to have a stronger flavour".

          Nowhere did I mention flavour being in direct proportion to size.
          I just think it's odd that duck eggs and goose eggs seem to be stronger than chicken eggs, and wondered why.

          1. re: Soop

            Duck and goose eggs have slightly higher fat content, but I don't think duck eggs (never had goose) are drastically different than chicken eggs. There's a slight difference, yes, but if no one told you that what you were eating was say, duck scrambled eggs, that you would automatically be able to discern it from regular chicken scrambled eggs.

            You have to remember that the animal's diet has an impact on flavor also.

            1. re: HaagenDazs

              That's true about the diet. My vegetarian friend was so excited about her goose egg once, but when she cooked it it was too overwhelming for her and she never finished it.

              I found this:

              Quail's eggs have a higher yolk-to-white ratio than hen's eggs and a stronger, gamier flavour. It's their size, though, that really matters - the look of a miniature boiled egg. So quail's-egg omelettes are out: we want to see doll-size yolks and whites.

              From here -

              I'll look at the other end of the scale now


              Ok, it seems that duck eggs are slightly richer than hens eggs, the yolks of duck eggs have more fat and the whites more protein than those of chicken eggs.

              Goose eggs have more of a difference in that they're even richer.

              So it looks like most eggs are stronger than hens eggs (I have to say, I buy organic free range eggs, as you can definitely tell the difference, so maybe not as much difference as some


              It also reminds me that the colour and texture of duck is different due to the way they move their muscles etc, so the muscles need to carry more haemoglobin. This might have some effect?

              1. re: Soop

                I don't find them to be really gamey at all. Quail eggs are from domesticated, farm-raised birds. I'd trust my taste rather than a description.

                Be aware that cracking quail eggs is kind of difficult. Not that they're super hard, it's just that they're so small and they tend to have a tough inner skin on the egg. Similarly, it's harder to peel a hard boiled quail egg. You'll often see people just cut them open with a knife rather than cracking them.

                1. re: Soop

                  In my opinion, and based on the eggs I've eaten, quail eggs are closer to chicken eggs in flavor than are duck eggs (haven't tried goose or ostrich). I do not care for duck eggs--any that I have tried are farm-raised but have a gamey flavor. The higher fat content was discernable to me when I ate them scrambled, and I found them too rich for my blood. Better to be used in baking...

      2. Griggstown quail Farm in NJ sells them and they can be ordered online, I believe.

        1. Also, I can vouch for the quality of Griggstown's products. I've never ordered via their site (they are local for me) but their poultry is of the highest quality and is used in many fine restaurants in NJ, PA and NY.

          1. Quail Eggs: Sweet, creamy, mild salt; purchased at local farm ($6.50/15; in Manhattan, closer to $1/ea); love eating raw
            Chicken Eggs: from a farm, the yolks are brighter, firmer, with a mellow and sweet creaminess; from the market, rather bland, but I'll eat them anyway since I love eggs
            Duck: Very salty. The yolk is firm and looks like a bright rubber ball upon cracking open. Asian shops.
            Goose: this was usually served hard boiled; salty yolk and denser white. Gamier, musky flavour.

            6 Replies
            1. re: Caralien

              "Duck: Very salty."

              I don't agree with that. Are you sure you had a "regular" duck egg? There's a Chinese preparation/dish called a salty duck egg.

              EDIT: I just found this.

              Sodium content in eggs:
              Duck: 146 mg
              Chicken: 124 mg

              1. re: HaagenDazs

                They were raw eggs, cracked open, with the whites flattening out (far thinner than chicken egg whites) and the yolk sitting in the pool like a rubber ball.

                There are a lot of things which taste saltier even when they're not. The ball of duck yolk--raw-tasted like a salt lick. I was about 4 at the time and still recall the revulsion. Maybe these were brined first?

                During this experimental time of the year (funghi, locally procured meats, new grains), maybe I should extend it to eggs, as I've already gotten the local chicken and quail eggs. Although I still don't want to taste the thousand year old eggs again; did not like those at all:

                Griggstown Quail Farm
                986 Canal Rd, Princeton, NJ

                1. re: Caralien

                  Just a suggestion, and while I'm not sure how old you are, you might want to base claims like "Very salty" on more recent memory! That is unless you're only 5 years old and this taste experience was last year. ;-)

                  You can claim whatever you want, that's what forums are for, but frankly I'm not trusting the palate of a 4 year old to tell me what something tastes like. Especially assuming it was in the neighborhood of decades ago.

                  1. re: HaagenDazs

                    I'm 36 now, and my taste buds have changed, but truly, I do trust the tastebuds of my nieces and nephews as they are simple, and my own memories. I've had the salted egg yolks more recently in Moon Cakes also, and popped out the yolk to give someone else.

                    I am, however, inclined to eat just about anything I haven't had as a pet. I don't consider my baby egg from 4th grade as a pet, so all eggs are fair game!

                    1. re: Caralien

                      I'm with ya - and you're right, a 4 year old is certainly capable of determining whether or not something is salty, sweet, etc. but I think the memories from when you were 4 years old might be missing a few things. Something as simple as salt sprinkled on the raw egg. You may not have seen it, but it's a very valid point.

                      I've got a good memory too, and I can remember things back to when I was about 3 years old but I'll be the first to say that some of those scenes are fuzzy at best!

                      1. re: HaagenDazs

                        My 6 year old sister and I were attempting to make a special breakfast in bed for Mom & Dad. No salt added (initially). We fried the eggs in a pan with butter, hoping the yolk would flatten, but no. I think we tried to compensate by salting the whites. My parents quite graciously ate it all, but related the story for many many years after it was so long past that we couldn't have felt bad.

            2. My local Asian market not only carries fresh quail eggs, but also canned, hard-boiled, peeled quail eggs in water.

              2 Replies
              1. re: tracylee

                In our experience, local fresh quail eggs tend to have a slightly more viscous yolk, but tasts almost the same as chicken eggs. We have both often. Kids LOVE quail eggs especially when friends sleep over. They are a pain in the butt to crack (as noted above), because of the tougher inner lining, but with a bit of practice, it is worth it. The technique I use successfully (no yolk breaks about 90% of the time) is to use a non serrated small knife (larger than a paring knife, but not too with a a bit of heft and thickness in the blade), tap the egg with a solid tap on the thick end of the egg (about 1/3 of the way down). The knife penetrates the across the egg about 30% acorss. If you do it right it will crack the egg and tear the skin enough to let deposit the contents in a bowl with the yolk intact. I can do 36 eggs in about 5 minutes this way.

                Nothing like plopping 8 eggs down on a kids plate to make them smile. I must love my that I have typed this out and realize how stupid I am! I suspect there are smarter people who have a much better way, but this works and I got there through trial and error (more of the latter than the former). How do the rest of you do this?

                1. re: foodiesnorth

                  I would love to be a child served from your kitchen! For my niece I've made finger foods (including slicing up a hot dog roll, baking into mini toasts, and serving with slices of hot dogs on a plate with dots of mustard and ketchup), but quail eggs? Maybe I can be a bad auntie again (we give bottles of port to the 1 year olds and gave one her first taste of ice cream) and do that the next time. A little decadent though! But perfect for a tea party.

                  The economical and frugal part of me is having issues with liking your idea.