It’s always amused me how easy it is to find copious supplies of quail eggs, but it’s next to impossible to find a steady, reliable and economical supply of nicely fattened quail in Manila or most parts of the Philippines, for that matter. What do they do with the old hens? And what of the chicks that turn out to be boys(?!), how do they get rid of those? When I have managed to get my hands on local quail meat, I’ve made delicious dishes like this deep-fried quail with five spice salt from years back. I also enjoy a quail adobo, and frankly, I hope someone out there passes me a tip on how to get my hands on fat, juicy, tasty local quail meat at reasonable prices. Please. Or maybe I should figure out how to raise/fatten them up myself. :)
At any rate, I purchased this box of 100 quail eggs at the market last Saturday and decided to do some quail egg experiments. When I asked the vendor how long it took to boil a quail egg, she said just 3 minutes… which sounded like a long time to me. A bit of googling a few seconds ago, after the fact, recommends boiling them from 2.5-4 minutes, which also seemed a bit long for me, but of course one has to wonder how large the particular quail eggs are… as these ones in the photos above are quite petite. At any rate, I did the obvious thing and put several eggs into a pot and decided to time them and see what the results would be…
Starting from the left, that was an egg put in cold water, brought up to a boil over a heat diffuser (my pan was tiny) which meant it took some time to fully heat up, but as soon as it boiled, counted 10 seconds, removed it and plunged it into an ice bath to stop the cooking. It was a perfectly cooked hard boiled, or perhaps medium boiled egg with a cooked but still moist yolk. The second egg from the left was put into warm water, brought up to a boil, and after a few seconds (say 10 seconds) plunged into ice water and it was a beautifully done medium-soft boiled egg. The third egg I removed after 1 minute of boiling, and the last egg after 2 minutes of boiling. Clearly, the last egg is overcooked, with a yolk that was just nasty.
Here’s a close-up of the second egg that I liked the most.
They are the cutest things. And 5 (not 6 like the photo) are the equivalent of one average chicken egg. While the quail eggs have the same calories and protein by weight as chicken eggs, they have nearly twice the cholesterol apparently due to the higher yolk to egg white ratio according to one website. However, they are said to possess more vitamins, iron and potassium that the average chicken eggs. The bottom line, yummy and nutritious, but because of the cholesterol, something you should only indulge in every so often along with a diet of regular chicken eggs as well.
We tried frying them in some butter and they turned out brilliantly. Opens up lots of possibilities for dishes and unusual plating and presentation.
A bit of finesse is needed to crack open the eggs without breaking the yolks, but once you “master” the skill it’s easy peasy from then on…
At PHP140 for a box of 100 quail eggs, they come out to PHP1.40 each, a bit more expensive than chicken eggs (5 quail eggs for PHP7 vs. some PHP5-6 for a chicken egg). Now I am thinking quail’s egg leche flan, little mini eggs benedict or even a mini-Scotch egg as they have on the menu at Blackbird recently…
Here’s a photo of the box in case you needed contact details of the supplier. And no, this is NOT A SPONSORED POST and I get nothing for writing about this particular product.