When I was a little girl, I was fascinated with quails eggs. To me, they were baby eggs and I was always delighted if I found them in any dish. They have a distinct taste and are very tasty.
When I bought the book Your Cooking Questions Answered, I was very curious when I saw this recipe. Pickled Quails Eggs was suggested as a Christmas gift. I looked at the pickling ingredients and some of them are not what I readily have in my pantry like mace and yellow mustards.
I did a search on the internet and found other variation to the recipe. Some use whole allspice, bay leaves and tarragon. I did not want to go and get these ingredients as I may not use them again. For the sake of satisfying my curiosity about pickled eggs, I decided to improvise by adding whatever ingredients that I had on hand.
When I boiled the pickling liquid, it was quite fragrant initially due to the orange zest. But after a while, it smelled strange. Reminded me of dettol soap, yikes! I used 30 quails eggs and they fit perfectly into the bottle. After pouring in the pickling liquid, I still had some leftover. Not wanting to waste, I decided to boil 3 chicken eggs and pickle them too.
The pickled eggs looked rather attractive in the bottles. One week later, it was time to taste. I tried the quails eggs. The texture of the egg was rubbery. It was sour and salty with a strong and not so pleasant orangey aroma. I can't say that it was bad but at the same time I wasn't thrilled by the taste either. Perhaps, this is due to me substituting the ingredients or this pickle is an acquired taste. Pretty much like century eggs, some people find it disgusting while other like me have no problem gobbling them up.
I was thinking maybe the pickled eggs would go well in a salad or eaten with another dish. They might be nice as part of a sandwich. I did try them in my sandwich but unfortunately, that spoiled my sandwich :( I have kept the eggs in the fridge after opening the bottle. The recipe says it is best to use them within a month. But they have all gone into my compost bin. Try at your own risk.
Pickled Quails Eggs
Recipe source : Your Cooking Questions Answered (page 269)
(My notes and adaptations in red)
- 1 teaspoon whole mixed peppercorns (I used black, white and Szechuan)
- 2 dried red chillies
- Small piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 blade mace (I replaced with a bay leaf)
- A pared strip of orange zest
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard (I used black mustard)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 600ml white wine vinegar (I used distilled vinegar)
- 24 fresh quails eggs (I used 30)
1. Put all pickling ingredients except eggs into a pan.
2. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and leave for at least 2 hours or until cold.
3. Hard boil the eggs for 3 minutes, plunge them into cold water and peel them when cool.
4. Pack the eggs into a sterilized jar.
5. Strain the spiced vinegar through muslin, then pour it over the eggs so that it covers them completely.
6. Seal with non-metallic vinegar-proof lids and store in a cool, dark place for a week before using.
7. It is best to use them within a month.