Ingredient Spotlight: Quail Eggs

Are quail eggs available in your grocery stores? Here in the Bay Area, they're pretty easy to find in many larger stores and especially in Asian markets. They often come in a clear, hard plastic package that protects the eggs from damage and shows off their pretty speckled shells. Do you cook with quail eggs? What are some of your favorite recipes?

Quail eggs are are much smaller than your average chicken egg, weighing about 9 grams while a (large) chicken egg weights about 50 grams. They taste very similar to chicken eggs, although I find the texture of their cooked whites a little firmer. The membrane located between the shell and the egg is also thicker and sometimes I find quail eggs difficult to crack as their shells are pretty tough.

Quail eggs make divine pickled eggs — their small size makes it easy to pop a whole one in your mouth. I also really get a kick out of serving fried quail eggs to children, usually putting about three of them on a plate. They squeal with delight every time! Indeed, their diminutive size and pretty speckled shells are a big part of their charm.

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Nutritionally they are considered superior to chicken eggs, with more protein and B vitamins per gram. (You can compare nutrition information of chicken eggs to quail eggs.) It's not unusual to see quail eggs served raw (especially in sushi bars) as there are claims that they are safer to eat raw than chicken eggs.

What is your experience with quail eggs? Did you grow up eating them? Have you ever had them raw?

Related: What Can I Do with Canned Quail Eggs?

(Images: Dana Velden)

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Dana Velden is a freelance food writer. She lives, eats, plays, and gets lost in Oakland, California where she is in the throes of raising her first tomato plant.

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