Quail eggs with two salts

These are good eggs.

Not just because they’re small- and small things are indisputably cute (ref; babies, puppies, kittens, nieces, Nemo).

Not because they’re a low carb pre dinner nibble that isn’t made from pigs or peanuts.

And not because they’re a blank canvas that allows you to go crazy with flavoured salts (I haven’t got this excited about coloured salts since 1996 when my then boyfriend  gave me lavender bath salts for Christmas ).

They’re just good eggs.

I’m always a little torn about what to put out for nibbles. I like to have things on the table as soon as people arrive. That and being able to get a drink into someone’s hand within a minute of arriving  are the harbingers of a good party. If it takes another hour for dinner to get on the table, so be it. At least people have something to play with in the mean time.

I went through a wild phase of the artichokes with coffee aioli. Before that I went a little nuts with the pea, mint and feta dip. Then there were the devils on horseback. And now, I’m all about the quail’s eggs.

Particularly, if they’re still a little sodden on the inside. Yes, granted a runny yolk makes them a little trickier to peel, but it also makes them three times more exciting to eat. Just be sure to warn your friends who are wearing white tops.  Not everybody likes an ejaculating egg.

As for the palaver of peeling them, adding a little bit of bicarb soda to the water that the eggs are boiled in is one little trick that helps the shells shirk away from the skins.

Unlike a chicken egg which requires a good five minutes (and ten seconds if you follow Momofuku’s thought process) to get a perfectly oozy centre and set white, these smaller quail’s eggs only need 90 seconds in boiling water. Plunge them into cold water and let them stay there until they cool. Them crack the top and bottom against the side of the sink and use a very small stream of running water to help encourage the shell away from the white.

Dry them off gently with paper towel and then serve with any manner of flavoured salts to dip them in. Celery salt is classic, but my current festive favourites include a red and green duo of  smoked paprika salt and dried oregano.

That combination takes me straight to Spain, but if I was feeling more adventurous I would go Egyptian with dukkah,, to China with five spice and salt, or Japan with Togarashi. Essentially, I open my spice cupboard and let the eggs and what’s there take me somewhere else.   It’s a holiday on a plate and the meal’s only just begun.

I told you these were good eggs.

Soft quail eggs with flavoured salts

Serves 6 as a starter


1 sauce pan. 1 bowl with cold water. 1 platter to serve

2 dozen quail eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoons of maldon salt
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
Boiling water
1 teaspoon of bi carb soda

Here’s how we roll

1) Add the bicarb soda to the boiling water.

2) Boil the eggs for 90 seconds.

3) Transfer the eggs to a bowl filled with iced water.

4) Allow the eggs to cool, then crack the tops and bottoms against the edge of the sink

5) Very carefully, under a small trickle of water peel the shells off. Try and get the water in and underneath the membrane of the shell.

6) Mix the paprika with half of the salt and place in a pile on the board. Do the same with the oregano.

7) Serve the eggs with the flavoured salts. Warn your friends that they’re still runny in the centre. Or don’t- and see what happens next.

  1. Love this idea! The first time I really got excited about flavored salts was in New York at Blue Hill restaurant where they served a powdered tomato salt that was out of this world good. Quail eggs are so beautiful and tiny, I can't wait to give this a try. Here in the U.S. I can only seem to find them reliably at Asian markets.

    • Best way to get quail eggs is to own some. I got mine from a lady in Minnesota. I haven’t tried the eggs yet, I just thought they were cute.

  2. Oooh nice tip with the bicarb, will try that. So fiddly, but so worth it. Also, loving your festively coloured salts!

  3. I have yet to find a place I can buy quail eggs. We have, from time to time been able to buy 'small' chicken eggs at the grocery store, they are about half the size of a large egg. I love making deviled eggs from the small eggs.
    The salted quail eggs are very exotic.

  4. The bicarb tip is a good one, thanks!

  5. What a fantastic idea! Love the bicarb tip! I have never thought to serve quails eggs like this! Thanks for the idea 🙂

  6. oh i love quail eggs! you don't have to emphasize how good they are, we all know 😉 yum. It's hard getting hold of them though! you've done a brilliant job with them, love the idea of the 2 salts!

  7. Love quails eggs – so hard to find here – although I always eat them in england – love your salt rub – yum!
    Mary x

  8. I'll have to keep an eye out for these–I've never eaten them, although I did raise quail one year when I was 8 or 9 for some Oklahoma Wildlife something or other. So…I have experience with quail eggs, but not experience eating them!

  9. quail eggs are delicious, I love the variety of flavors that you combined

  10. OH yum! These sound heavenly. I don't know where I will ever find them, though. I have never seen them at the grocery store. I am craving them now and am going to have to lead a search party!


  11. Good eggs indeeed and mmmmm, paprika salt. Do you get your quails eggs from Borough? Any producers you'd recommend?

  12. They look darling, and they sound delicious. I so want to try these!
    *kisses* HH

  13. oooooh quail eggs! Love the look of you dish. The last time I had them, they were deep fried with a lovely oozey yolk.

  14. I love quails eggs and quite enjoy peeling them too. Such a good idea, love flavoured salts! x

  15. I love quails eggs and quite enjoy peeling them too. Such a good idea, love flavoured salts! x

  16. What a great idea. Your quail eggs are perfectly good. I would love a tray of those to be presented to me at a Christmas Party.

  17. This is kinda interesting experiment. I think the combination of the two is somewhat satisfy your taste.

  18. Another great idea! And a good tip, that of the baking soda in the water. Taking note.

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