Gordon loves cooking and experimenting with food. He loves making new dishes, particularly with unusual or underused ingredients.
Quail are fairly small game birds, considerably smaller than chickens. This means that the eggs which they lay are likely to be a lot smaller than what you may be used to cooking with and a little bit more difficult to handle. The good news is that quail eggs are super tasty and can be cooked in virtually any way you would cook a chicken egg. It is only the handling techniques and cooking times that are likely to vary. This page gives a few tips for cooking quail eggs as well as ideas for how to serve them as either starters/appetizers or main courses.
Skewered Mackerel Fillets With Quails Egg Salad
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
One salad serving
- 3 quail eggs
- 2 side fillets of fresh mackerel
- 3 cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 yellow bell pepper, seeded and finely sliced
- Handful mixed salad leaves
- 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
- Vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 thin slices French bread stick
- Salt and pepper
- Garlic and herb mayo (optional), to drizzle on salad
- Put the quails eggs into a pot of cold water. Put the water onto the heat until it just starts to simmer. Reduce the heat and maintain the lowest possible simmer for a couple of minutes.
- Put two wooden skewers into cold water to soak for 10 minutes.
- Lift the quails eggs from the water with a slotted spoon. Transfer to a bowl of cold water. Leave for 10 minutes.
- Cover a grilling/broiling tray with tinfoil and lightly grease with vegetable oil. Put your grill/broiler on to heat to maximum.
- Carefully thread the mackerel fillets on to the skewers, each piercing about one inch apart. Season on both sides and lightly oil the skin side. Lay on the tray, flesh sides down. Grill/broil for around 3 minutes until the skin is nicely blistered and just starting to brown.
- The quails eggs should be very gently knocked on a hard surface to crack the shells and peeled. Sit them on a chopping board and cut in half, down through the centre, with a very sharp knife. Plate with the salad.
- Pour some olive oil in to a non-stick frying pan and bring to a high heat. Add the bread slices and fry for about a minute each side until crisp and golden. Drain on a plate covered with kitchen paper.
- Plate the salad ingredients and lay on the quail egg halves. Sit the croutons alongside.
- The skewers should be lifted with a cloth or towel and laid on the plate. To remove the skewers, twist gently as you pull them free and they should come out cleanly.
- Drizzle the salad with garlic and herb dressing if required.
Poached Quail Eggs on Toast
Tip for Poaching or Frying Quail Eggs
Whenever you are going to be adding any type of egg to a poaching liquid or frying pan, it is a good idea to firstly break it in to a small cup or bowl. This makes it much easier to add the egg to the cooking implement and also allows you to remove any errant shell beforehand. With small, delicate quail eggs, this practice is especially beneficial but there is one potential drawback which has to be overcome...
There is not a lot to quail eggs. Simply breaking them in to a dry bowl can mean that a sizeable and unacceptable percentage of the albumen (egg white) is left stuck to the side of the bowl. A great way to get round this is to firstly pour a tiny amount of oil in to the bowl or cup and smear it around well with a piece of kitchen paper. This lets your egg slide easily out and in to the cooking utensil with minimal if any loss.
Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 5 min
Read More From Delishably
Ready in: 10 min
Yields: One serving
- 3 quail eggs
- 2 slices of bread, toasted until golden
- 2 cherry tomatoes
- 4 slices of cucumber
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper
- Shredded basil leaves to garnish
- Very carefully, break the quail eggs in to 3 oiled bowls.
- Pour boiling water in to a deep frying pan to a depth of about one inch. Add a tablespoon of white wine vinegar.
- Bring the liquid to a simmer and reduce the heat that it remains just below a simmer. One at a time, carefully pour in the quail eggs. They will only take about 90 seconds to poach.
- The cherry tomatoes are halved by making a series of 45 degree cuts around the circumference with a small, pointed blade. The cucumber slices are cored with the same knife.
- Sit the cucumber slices on a serving plate as shown in the photo, with half a tomato on top in each instance.
- Use a drinking glass with a diameter or around an inch and a half to cut circles from the toast. Plate interspersed with the cucumber/tomato, again as shown.
- Lift the quail eggs carefully from the water with a slotted spoon, drain well and sit one on top of each toast circle.
- Garnish with the sliced basil leaves.
Poached Quail Egg on Haggis and Clapshot
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 25 min
Ready in: 35 min
Yields: One serving
- 1 medium baking potato, peeled and roughly chopped
- ¼ Swede turnip/rutabaga, roughly chopped
- ¼ lb haggis meat
- 1 quails egg
- 1 tsp chopped chives, plus extra to garnish
- Salt and white pepper
- 2 or 3 tbsp frozen peas
- The chopped potato and Swede turnip/rutabaga go in to a pot of salted cold water. The water is brought to a simmer until the vegetables are soft enough for mashing. This should take around 20 minutes.
- The haggis meat in this instance was part of a larger haggis which was used for a number of purposes. It should be laid on tinfoil (lightly greased with vegetable oil) and scattered with a little water. The foil should then be wrapped in to a sealed tent and the package baked in the oven (preheated to 190C/375F) for 20 minutes.
- The peas should be added to a pot of boiling water and simmered for 3 minutes before being drained.
- Just before you start preparing all the above ingredients for service, pour about an inch of boiling water into a small frying pan and start it heating to reach the gentlest of simmers.
- Drain the potatoes/turnip and return to the empty pot. Season with salt and white pepper. Add a little butter, the teaspoon of chives and mash with a hand masher.
- Take the haggis from the oven. Line a small bowl with clingfilm and pack the haggis in to half fill. Don't worry about levelling it off—it should be uneven and rustic. Spoon in some clapshot (potato/turnip mix) to fill and scrape with a knife to level.
- Lay a deep serving plate on top of the bowl and invert. Hold the edges of the clingfilm and lift the bowl away. Peel off the clingfilm.
- Lightly rub a small glass bowl with oil and carefully break in to it the quails egg. Ensure the water in the small pan is just simmering and no more and pour the quails egg in to the centre. Poach for a minute and a half.
- Lift the quails egg from the water with a slotted spoon and allow to drain well. Lay on top of the haggis.
- Scatter the quails egg with the remaining chives and spoon the peas around the edge of the plate for service.