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Quail eggs are a lot like other eggs, you can boil, peel, crack and eat them. Naturally we may feel a little intimidated by the tiny, cuteness of the quail eggs, afraid of what will happen if we boil or attempt to cook this puny little egg. There are so many ways to use these eggs, whether it’s served as an appetizer or dunked into a stew and served as a main meal. You can make hard boiled or soft boiled quail eggs, though they’ll be cooked at different time scales. Although quail eggs are much smaller than chicken eggs they contain lots of good fats and protein, iron and Vitamin B12, they’re also much more expensive and harder to find compared to chicken eggs.
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What Is a Quail?
Quail are plump, short-necked game birds whose natural habitats include large areas of North America, Europe, Asia, and northern Africa. Quail birds spend most of their time on the ground as their pudgy bodies make it difficult for them to stay in flight for long distances. You can find some interesting facts about Quail here.
How To Cook and Eat Quail Eggs
Many of us are quite familiar with boiling a standard chicken egg, but because quail eggs are much smaller and adorable they are naturally a bit more fragile, and need to be boiled a little differently. You can fry the eggs to make a great breakfast, or have them poached and use them as an excellent salad topping. Here are a few ways that you can cook and eat quail eggs:
- Soft Boil
- Hard Boil
Soft Boiled Quail Eggs
These wonderful bite-sized eggs with speckled shells, can be soft boiled, so that the tiny, warm and runny yolk can slide into your mouth effortlessly, and they only need 2 minutes in boiling water to make! You’ll only need a small pot for this so that the eggs can be boiled in a small space, rather than jumping and knocking all over the place in a larger pot. This is how you soft boil your quail eggs:
- Take a small pot and fill it with about one litre of water, and bring it to the boil. You could boil a kettle instead and pour the hot water into the small pot, turning the stove on to medium-high heat, so that the water boils but not vigorously.
- You need to use an average-sized quail egg, as some free-range quail eggs vary in size dramatically. Quail eggs weight anything from 8 to 15 grams, the most average size being 12 grams. Use this size for this cooking time. Small eggs will take less time, and larger eggs will take longer. Each gram increasing or decreasing its cooking time by approximately 10 seconds per gram.
- Once the water is boiling and you’ve chosen an average-sized egg, get your timer ready and lay the egg on a spoon carefully dunking them into the water. If you’re cooking more than one quail egg, they must be placed into the boiling water at the same time, so you may have to use a larger spoon so that you can gather them carefully and gently lower them into the water. As soon as the eggs hit the water set the timer for 2 minutes and 20 seconds.
- As soon as the timer rings, without wasting a moment, jump up and immediately get the eggs out of the water. The easiest way to do this is to carefully pour the water out, run some cold water over the eggs in the pot, or you can dump them straight into ice cold water.
- Once they’ve cooled, peel the soft boiled eggs carefully, taking care not to break them. You can eat them straight away, just sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper on them, and enjoy!
Hard Boiled Quail Eggs
Quail eggs have a higher yolk to white ratio which gives you a much richer egg, though the flavors of a boiled quail egg are quite similar to those of a boiled chicken egg, you’ll find that a hard boiled quail egg doesn’t have to be salted before eating. These hard boiled eggs can be enjoyed on its own, chopped up and added to a salad, added to pasta, wontons, soups and more. Here are the steps to hard boiled quail eggs.
- Fill a small pot with boiling water, or regular tap water and bring it to a boil. Whilst the water is boiling, get another small pot and turn on the cold water tap, allowing the water to gush into the pot, till its filled to the top. Leave the pot in the sink.
- Lower the quail eggs into the boiling water with a spoon, you can place them 3 to 4 at a time, but don’t overcrowd the pot. Remove the eggs after 4 minutes with a large spoon.
- Place the eggs into the pot of cold water in the sink, and run some more cold water over them, there’ll be a lot of water spilling out of the pot and into the sink, but that’s not something to panic about. Cool the eggs like this for about 5 minutes.
- Peel the eggs, you can slice them in half, and salt them if you wish.
Frying Quail Eggs
We all love a bit of soft yoked, fried eggs in the morning with a slice of crispy, golden toast. With these tiny quail eggs it isn’t impossible to achieve the same outcome, but the way you crack the eggs is a bit of a challenge. Because of their tiny size, you can’t exactly knock them against a hard surface, and crack them with your hands. There is a slightly delicate way to do this:
- To get the contents out of the quail egg without breaking the yolk, hold the egg firmly in one hand, then take a small, sharp knife and make an incision 1/4 of the way down from the top. Cut around the egg until the top section pops off. Pay attention to what you’re doing to avoid slipping and cutting your fingers.
- Heat a pan with a little oil and turn the stove onto medium heat. Let the oil heat up for a minute, then pour the detached top egg into the pan carefully. The white and yolk should drop out together, perfectly.
- Cook the eggs for a minute, and get comfortable with the little sizzles and pops coming from the pan. Flip the egg over so that the front can cook a little before removing it from the heat.
- Place your fried quail eggs on a plate and serve with your favorite bread.
Poached Quail Eggs
A blissfully simple way to enjoy these adorable little eggs packed with heavenly textures is by poaching them. Here’s what you need to do:
- Fill a small pot with water and add 1/4 cup of white vinegar, this will help keeps the egg whites intact whilst they poach.
- Use a small knife and make an incision at the top of the egg shell, cut around the egg until the top pops off.
- Once the shell top if off pop the egg into a bowl so that the white and yellow yolk plop out.
- Bring the vinegar-water to a boil by placing the pot on a stovetop and turning it on high flame. Wait for the bubbles to appear and rise up, then lower the flame and let the water start to simmer.
- Once you pour the eggs into the pot, they’ll make a little cloud which is normal as this means that they’re cooking. Let them simmer for 2 minutes so they cook all the way through.
- After 2 minutes the eggs are fully poached. Dip a slotted spoon into the pot and remove the eggs one by one. Transfer them to a plate so they cool off.
- Serve the eggs with your favorite salad, toast, or a classic breakfast item. You can sprinkle them with a little spice to bring forth interesting flavors.
Can You Eat Raw Quail Eggs?
Quail eggs contain good levels of cholesterol which is an advantage for people who have high cholesterol. You can eat them raw, because there is no risk of salmonella, as the quail’s body temperature is much higher than that of a chicken. Quail don’t have salmonella in their digestive tract so the eggs can be used raw, in Caesar salad, or Steak Tartare for example.
So How Do You Cook Quail Eggs?
Poached, fried, soft or hard boiled, there’s many ways to enjoy this tiny little treasure. Containing good qualities for the human body, you can enjoy them raw, or with a runny yolk that dribbles down your toast.
Do You Cook Quail Eggs Like Regular Eggs?
You can cook and eat a quail egg like you would a normal egg, but because they’re a lot smaller, they’re very fragile, so be a bit more careful when cooking with them.
Can You Fry Quails Eggs?
Yes you can, just heat some oil in a pan drop the egg into the pan, the white and yolk should fall out of the egg shell perfectly. Fry it for about a minute or 30 seconds on both sides, so that it’s cooked to your liking.