A few years back, I found a store that carried quail – as in the little birds and the tiny eggs. I had always wanted to try quail eggs. They are so small and cute. I wondered about the flavor.
I’ve always been curious about different sources for “typical” foods. Goat’s milk for cheese (we all know how delicious goat and sheep cheese can be), bison for red meats (so lean with just that hint of wild flavor), and duck, goose or quail eggs instead of chicken eggs. I’ve even wondered about ostrich as a source of meats and eggs alike. One ostrich egg could feed a small village. Just look at the ostrich egg compared to a chicken egg. On the other end of the size spectrum would be quail eggs. These are so small, you’d need a few dozen. So what about taste?
Quail eggs are wonderful! Some people say they have a subtle gamey taste. I don’t agree. If you’ve raised your own chickens or have access to small farm raised fresh chicken eggs, you will notice that fresh farm chicken eggs have a richer “egg” flavor than the grocery store variety. The yolks of fresh farm eggs pop up from the whites as if to say “Yeah, we’re so fresh we are down right perky.” It’s the same with quail eggs.
As we stood in the check out line, Hubby asked if I knew how to cook quail eggs. Hey, an egg is an egg, right? Scrambled, poached, fried, in an omelette – what was there to know? Silly me . . . oh, sure quail eggs might cook up like any egg, but there are “tricks” to working with quail eggs.
You can’t crack open a quail egg the way you do a chicken egg. For one thing, you’d need very tiny fingers, but more important, a quail egg is leathery and doesn’t crack easily. The first whack and sure enough, I broke the yolk. Okay – let’s be more gentle. Tap . . . tap . . . tap – the thick shell and heavy membrane were not cooperating. Second whack – second broken yolk. That was okay, I can always switch gears and make scrambled eggs. The whole point was to sample the flavor of quail eggs. Although I had planned to serve my quail eggs sunny-side-up; scrambled eggs were just fine by me. And sample the flavor we did. Quail eggs are super delicious, with great texture and flavor. One thing I did notice was that quail eggs cook up quickly; even over lower heat.
Scrambled Quail Eggs
5 or 6 Quail Eggs (per serving)
1 Teaspoon butter or bacon drippings
Sea Salt to Taste (just a pinch)
White Pepper to Taste (just a smidgen)
Open Quail Eggs (see below) and place into a small bowl. Season with a little salt and pepper.
Heat a small skillet over medium-low heat. Melt butter or bacon drippings into pan. Give a gentle swirl to coat the bottom of the skillet. Pour eggs into the skillet and let cook for about a minute, just long enough for the whites to begin to set.
Scramble as you would a chicken egg. Serve and enjoy
Note: After my first experience working with quail eggs, I decided a little education was in order. I took the time to google “how to crack open quail eggs” for future reference. Unlike chicken eggs; quail eggs need to be cut open. Yep; cut open. This can be accomplished using several different “tools”. Depending upon how often you plan to cook with quail eggs you could invest a few dollars into a tool designed for opening quail eggs. The same thing can be accomplished without a special tool. A sharp paring knife; serrated knife or small craft scissors will do the trick. Regardless of the tool of choice; the method is the same. Push the tip of a sharp knife or small scissors into the shell about one-third of the way down from the top, saw or cut gently, and then pull off the top of the shell.