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What do you do with quail eggs?

I just saw that my local Asian market has them. I'm intrigued, as I am by any remotely exotic food that I've never tried before, but I wouldn't know what to do with them? Anyone know more about quail eggs than me? Do they taste very different from chicken eggs?

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  1. Sushi chefs will put a raw quail egg on top of Uni (Sea urchin) sushi. Other than that, I don't know.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Motosport

      I like to put quail eggs on top of pizza.

    2. quail eggs used to be popular lunch menu for kids when I was growing up in Korea.
      My mom first boiled them in the water as you would with regular eggs then peel them then she would braise/boil the peel eggs in soy sauce with sugar, mirin, etc. tasty treats.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Monica

        That does sound good! But how long do you hard-cook them for? Obviously the time can't be as long as a chicken egg.

        1. re: Lady_Tenar

          I believe I cooked mine for something like 3-5 minutes. Now I'm wondering if I'll try steaming them the next time I am able to find them (the store we bought them at closed last year) since steaming makes chicken eggs easier to peel.

          To make hard boiled quail eggs easy to peel: after boiling or steaming, run cold water over them in the pan for a few seconds, drain and cover with the lid and shake the pan vigorously a few times. The goal is to fracture the shell all around. Then continue to run cold water over them for another minute. Peel under running water and the shells and membranes should come off easily. This works well because of the thicker membrane -- if you do it with hot chicken eggs the shattered shells end up embedding themselves in the whites. Crunch!

          And, like chicken eggs, the older the egg, the easier they peel.

      2. I use beaten quail eggs as a dip for sukiyaki. When they're hardboiled, I'll wrap them in sausage to make miniature Scotch eggs, stir fry them with noodles or dip them in sesame seeds and salt to eat on their own. It only takes a couple minutes to hard boil the eggs. The shell and membrane are somewhat thicker than a chicken egg's, so you will want to crack them and let them sit in cold water to loosen the albumen from the membrane.

        1 Reply
        1. re: JungMann

          I love the scotch eggs made with quail eggs you get more sausage to egg ration lol, also similar to your sesame seed one, I saw someone boil them and roll them in zatar. which looked good.

        2. They are the world's most adorable party appetizer as tiny deviled eggs. (Lol, ok, maybe I exaggerate... but people do love them.) Hard-boil like any egg, but far shorter than chicken eggs (sorry, can't recall times, was trial-and-error). Use favorite deviled egg recipe. Leave a few whole in their shells on the platter for prettiest presentation (and the guys always seem to like peeling and having a plain hard-boiled egg).

          Also fun to present your loved one with a "diet plate" of two tiny fried eggs. :)

          3 Replies
          1. re: DuchessNukem

            Me, too, Duchess -- doesn't matter how many I make, they all disappear. They're nice for a party appetizer, because you can pop them into your mouth whole, with no risk of having deviled egg filling oozing down your chin!

            They have a more concentrated flavor than chicken eggs, which makes them a great choice for the mini deviled eggs. I make the mini ones with a bit of creme fraiche instead of mayo (richer taste), then I tart them up with a dab of black caviar (I buy mine at Ikea most of the time) -- the salty-fish combo plays well off of the eggs, and it makes them a little more chi-chi than plain!

            1. re: sunshine842

              great idea to use creme fraiche. thanks.

              1. re: escargot3

                that's one of the few Martha Stewart recipes I've ever followed -- but it's a keeper. (edit: it may be the ONLY MS recipe I've ever actually used...)

          2. Raw, like many others have mentioned. I also like to add it to a lot of soy based braises I make (oxtail, pork shoulder). Hardboil them first, peel them and marinade it in soy sugar mirin, or you can skip that step and add it into the braise directly. Of course don't over cook them.

            1. - hard boiled, peeled, halved and served with asparagus in the Spring, or to decorate any serving platter.
              - hard boiled, peeled, halved and pickled and served in a salad

              1. Quail eggs are great for making appetizer size or first course dishes. Basically anywhere you would use a regular fried, poached, or hard boiled egg you can sub in a quail egg. They taste very similar to chicken, but the shell is a bit thicker making them a little harder to deal with. You can make mini Eggs Benedict, mini deviled eggs, or mini pickled eggs http://www.chow.com/recipes/30256-pic....

                4 Replies
                1. re: Amy Wisniewski

                  Oh yes -- it's definitely worth mentioning that they are a complete pain in the butt to peel.

                  I at least got to a point where I can live with it -- after cooking and letting them cool, I do the usual rolling them on the countertop to crack the shells (be careful - those little bitty things crush way easier than you could believe) -- I drop them into a bowl of cold water and just let them soak a bit -- the water works itself into all those little fractures and settles between the eggs and the shells, helping to loosen the shells.

                  Now take a small paring knife (this is one of the times where my bird-beak parer comes into its own) to pierce the tough little membrane, then some gentle peeling will have the job done fairly quickly.

                  You should still expect to lose some - the whites seem to be far more fragile than a chicken egg, and you'll rip more than a couple to shreds.

                  My dog is still peeved that I discovered the cold-water method, because it means he doesn't get nearly as many wrecked little eggs.

                  1. re: sunshine842

                    what about the notion of cracking them and placing them in a vinegar solution to dissolve the shell? sound plausible? or dumb?

                    1. re: escargot3

                      Plausible, yes. Practical, maybe not.

                      Dissolving the shells takes quite a while - it's not something that is going to happen in 5 or 10 minutes.

                      It also will impart the vinegar flavor to the egg, which I don't want in my deviled eggs.

                  2. re: Amy Wisniewski

                    The mini Eggs Benedict were a big hit at one of our appetizer parties. We served them in spoons, with tiny batonnets of peameal bacon on top and crisp crouton triangles.

                  3. the yolks are richer tasting to me than chicken eggs.

                    1. Mini Toad in the Hole. I use a star shaped cookie cutter to cut a star out of a slice of bread and then I cut a hole in the star for the egg. Two of those as eyes with a slice of bacon for a mouth.

                      1. One of the most popular dishes in Brazil with them is "ovos de cordona em molho rose" or quail eggs in a ketchup/mayo russian dressing like sauce. I personally like to add them to a soup right before serving, although they can be a pain to peel uncooked (used commonly like this as an afrodisiac in caldo de mocoto, also good in a portuguese acorda or sopa de ajo) -- crack them into the bowls which gives you a chance to remove shell bits and then ladel really hot broth on top. Excellent in a potato salad and used a lot to garnish hamburgers (which come with a lot more fillings) in Brazil.

                        1. I make the quail eggs on this page sometimes, always to raves:

                          http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyl...

                          They're very easy, and very good especially if you hit the sweet spot between hard and soft boiled. The yolks are definitely richer than a chicken's egg, and of course they're more fun to eat.

                          1. I recently went to a dinner party where the theme was Vietnamese comfort foods. One of the dishes was called Thit Kho, it's basically rice and carmelized braised beef with whole cooked eggs. In this dish, the hostess used quail eggs. She said her mother who is Vietnames prefers using regular chicken eggs for this dish, but the hostess likes the presentation of the dish with the smaller sized eggs.

                            It's a delish dish, and I plan on making it soon myself. You can find recipes online for Thit Kho.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: waterisgood

                              This is my favorite way of eating quail eggs. We usually try to buy canned ones if possible but we have found some bad cans recently so we haven't bought them in a while.

                              1. re: waterisgood

                                Thank you for this! I had a dish very similar to this at a Thai restaurant a few years ago that was absolutely awesome. I wanted to learn to make it myself, but did not remember the name and had no luck trying to search for it on the internet (perhaps because this is more typically a Vietnamese dish, and I was looking for Thai--it makes sense because I never saw anything like it on any other Thai menu.) I will definitely be trying this. Thanks for inadvertently answering two question for me!

                              2. In a Japanese noodle house you'll find them in many forms, my favorite being served atop a serving of soba noodles. They have a very mild taste much akin to the chicken egg.. I have had them in shooters, made with oysters and sake and quail eggs, and I have friends who put them, peeled, in their kids' lunchboxes.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: mamachef

                                  There's a Japanese restaurant down the street that serves cold soba noodles and a raw quail egg. The server told me to stir the quail egg into the dipping sauce, and it was absolutely delicious, very rich-tasting.

                                  1. re: Isolda

                                    Mmm, this sounds tasty too. I love soba! Thanks.

                                2. Fried and atop a slider.

                                  1. The quail eggs I've seen at the Asian store are canned, cooked and peeled. Are these what you're talking about? The only thing I every really use em for is hot pot.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: RealMenJulienne

                                      RMJ, what a bummer! Oh, we're lucky enough here to get them in their wonderful little speckledy shells.

                                      1. re: RealMenJulienne

                                        Nope, they are raw in the shell, sold just like chicken eggs (as far as I can tell.)

                                        1. re: RealMenJulienne

                                          I once bought some canned or jarred quail eggs (many years ago so I forget how they were packed) sold by Roland Foods. I didn't find them very appealing, but all we did was eat them cold with some salt like a chicken egg. They were just plain, not pickled or anything.

                                          A couple of years ago I found fresh quail eggs at a local market and tried them hard boiled. A totally different egg, indeed! I'm sure that being packed in liquid (probably a weak saline solution?) affected the taste and texture of the canned/jarred eggs I had tried before. There is nothing like a fresh quail egg!

                                        2. Make salted quail eggs.

                                          Make a mixture of water with 3:1 ratio of salt to sugar. Drop the eggs in the brine solution, cover it, and leave it for about 3-4 weeks in a cool place (not the fridge).

                                          Remove from brine solution, boil, and serve with congee or sliced in sandwiches.

                                          1. almost forgot -- another recipe that I've used is for an appetizer, and it is really, really good. This one's a fork-and-knive version, though...

                                            Wash and gently remove the stem from 6 large mushroom caps. Wipe with a damp paper towel (or rinse, if you prefer) - -and let drain.

                                            Slice bacon into matchstick slices and brown in a saute pan. Drain well, then arrange a few pieces of bacon in the bottom of each mushroom cap. Break a quail egg into each mushroom cap on top of the bacon pieces, and add salt and pepper.

                                            Bake a 375 degrees (180C) until whites are cooked and yolks are set to your taste (these are good whether they're hard-cooked or still runny).

                                            Remove from oven and let cool for a minute, then garnish with a fresh basil leaf.

                                            Very different, but very tasty.

                                            1. I'm so glad that I found this! After learing that the average life of a laying hen (chicken) is 1 year, It's nice to know that I can substitute quail eggs for chicken eggs. After 1 year, hens no longer lay "quality" eggs, and are sold for food. This is even true for free-range hens. The laying hen definintely has the worst life of any farm animal. Free range sounds nice, but the hens still have extremely short lives.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: joolee75

                                                I have hens that are 2+ years that are still laying almost daily. Not sure where you got that info from.

                                              2. You can use quail eggs for baking just like chicken eggs, but they are richer and the yolk to white ratio is higher. Cakes turn out heavier and denser. It's not a problem necessarily, it's just a matter of changing your expectations. I typically substitute quail eggs for one egg in cakes and all eggs in brownies and cookies. It takes about 5-7 quail eggs per large chicken egg depending on the size of the quail eggs.

                                                We recently made quail eggs in prosciutto nests from Martha Stewart. Just bake slices of prosciutto in muffin tins with a raw quail egg inside until the whites are firm. We made them for a wine tasting party we had (paired with Chardonnay or sparkling) and someone called them fancy bacon and eggs.

                                                Quail will lay from 5 weeks old until death. My hunch is really, they lay themselves to death if not fed and cared for properly (can you imagine the toll of having one baby a year for your whole life?). We have been raising them for meat and eggs for a little over a year now and before that we had them as pets.

                                                The absolute best thing I've found for using the eggs raw is quail egg scissors from Korin. Of course, it's only something you would get if you have and use a lot of quail eggs. They cut the shells cleanly (warm or room temperature eggs work better than cold eggs) without as many tiny bits of shell. Plus they are fun to use.

                                                1. Compared to the whites, quail egg yolks are almost twice the size you get with chicken eggs -- and kids LOVE these little eggs because they taste the same, only a bit richer, and are "their sized" for special dishes. See the other postings below for how to peel the firm-cooked ones. Here's a new tip from my family: if you like corned beef hash, make it your usual way, then put it into a round oven-proof dish and with the back of a quail-egg sized spoon, make 6 hollows in the top of the cooked hash. Break a fresh quail egg into each hollow, then run into a hot oven or under the broiler till the little eggs are set ... or, maybe still a wee bit runny when your fork punctures the yolk. They look and taste delectable this way, and are easy for family & friends.

                                                  1. When I was growing up in Japan, the quail eggs were hard boiled (about 3 minutes) then pickled in vinegar with a pinch of salt based on your liking that has been boiled. Red and blue food dye were added to make them purple and they were so good. I still do that today (sans food coloring) and it brings back such good memories. I do it with regular eggs as well but it is much better with the small quail eggs.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: tamatete

                                                      if you like beets, use the liquid from a jar of pickled beets - it will make the eggs purple naturally.

                                                      My grandmother always made pink pickled eggs.