(if you just want recipes, scroll down, cus I’m in the mood to write)
Quail eggs are not the new pork belly, but they are popping up on pizzas, bursting out of ravioli and resting atop risottos in fine restaurants nationwide.
These little spotted lovelies are nothing new if you like Japanese food, namely sushi, where it is common to spot a raw quail egg atop Tobiko (flying fish roe), coddling in your sukiyaki or floating in “shooters” for the wild and crazy at heart.
I LOVE EGGS, simple as that, but little quail eggs offer up so much more for the imagination.
My love affair with these guys began at Shin Sen Gumi in Fountain Valley, CA, my favorite Robata place. At Shin Sen they listed them on the menu as quail eggs wrapped in beacon, yes beacon. After many years of inducing cute giggles in hungry patrons, they finally fixed the type-o. Boo hoo.
The other day I was roaming China Town #2 in San Francisco, namely, Clement street, when the light bulb went off… “lot’s of asian people = fresh quail eggs”! Eureka, I was right. I strolled right into the grocery store past the 1000 varieties of tofu and foreign things suspended in colorful liquids and there they were perched humbly next to their big white cousins. Price, $1.99 for 10!
Here’s where I come in. I thought to myself, ‘”self, why aren’t folks cooking up these little guys at home for their kids or to impress the pants off of neighbors?” and I answered, “because people don’t know where to get them.” I already told you where I get them, but I can hear a few of you saying, “how do you know these little momma quails didn’t work in sweat shops or eat nuclear waste? I don’t, but so far, I haven’t begun to glow. If you are concerned about where your speckled eggs come from, you may order them online. They are a bit pricey, but, at least you know what you are getting into.
Here are a few fun recipes. The possibilities are endless!
QUAIL EGG IDEAS:
HAPPY FACE TOAST
- Carve out eye holes out of a slice of bread with a teaspoon measuring spoon. Reserve a circle for the nose.
Toast bread or spray with cooking oil and brown both sides in a non-stick skillet
Heat non-stick skillet and spray with cooking spray
- Lay slices of bread in skillet
- Rinse quail eggs, tap pointy side on counter and using your thumb nail, gently cut the top of the egg off. You may screw up a few, so buy plenty.
- Carefully deposit each little egg into the eye holes. Cook for a few minutes. Place a small pot lid over the toast for a few more minutes to cook top. You don’t want to flip it over as the face on the other side is scary.
- You may use a slice of bacon for the smile or piece of stringed cheese. I used ketchup. I love ketchup.
QUAIL EGG & PIQUILLO PEPPER CROSTINI
- Slice baguette into 1/4 inch crostini, brush or spray with evoo and toast in toaster or skillet.
- Julienne roasted piquillo peppers (one jar will prob yield 40 crostini)
- Rub crostini with a raw garlic clove to give a light garlic taste
- Fry eggs in a little olive oil, cover with lid to finish the top
- Place a T of peppers on the crostini and follow will laying the egg on top. Sprinkle with grey salt. Devour.
QUAIL EGG WRAPPED IN BACON A LA SHIN SEN GUMI
- Boil eggs in 50% water and 50% vinegar, helps to soften shell (also turns the shells blue and makes the spots fall off, weird). Once water reaches a boil, remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Rinse eggs in cold water to stop cooking. Give a tap on the side of the egg and peel gently.
- Lay a thin slice of bacon down and roll egg in bacon starting from the end until a little overlap happens. Slice off and repeat. One slice of bacon will cover 2-3 eggs.
- Soak your skewers in water for 20 minutes if you are going to grill your eggs. This is not necessary if you are going to fry them in a pan.
- The eggs are fully cooked, so you want to sear the bacon quickly on the grill or in the pan.
- Shin Sen Gumi skewers a little green onion between each egg.
Scotch eggs, Deviled eggs, poached eggs, dropped into a hot soup, plopped on a pizza, boiled for Easter- no color necessary, throwing at passersby.