My kids love cute food surprises, so I recently picked up a package of quail eggs at an Asian grocery store. The little eggs are about half the size of a regular chicken egg, and come in various shades of light brown speckled with dark brown patches. My favourite thing about them is the inner shells, which are the most delicate and lovely aqua colour.
Quail eggs taste just like hen’s eggs (kidspeak for “not weird”), but the small size makes them perfect candidates for small snacks eaten fried or hard boiled.
Tips to remember: The membrane it a touch thicker than chicken eggs, so quail eggs can be a bit tricky to crack and peel. Save them for a day when you’re not cooking for a crowd.
Fried eggs: I had read somewhere that one should use a knife to pry them open for frying, but I found that technique just broke the yolks. Instead, gently tap the egg to crack it, then use your fingers to open it.
For a perfect doll-sized breakfast, gently cook the eggs in a frying pan with a pat of melted butter over medium-low heat. When the eggs are set at the edges, but still glossy on top, turn off the heat and cover the pan. Let sit for a few minutes until the eggs are set to taste. A little salt and pepper, add some mini muffins, and some sliced cherry tomatoes and baguette and you’ve got the perfect scaled-down breakfast. It takes three or four quail eggs to equal one chicken egg.
Boiled eggs: The bite-sized eggs are a perfect lunchbox snack, too. Cindy Rowland at Fix Me A Snack has simple instructions for hard boiling quail eggs. They cook in about 5 minutes, and while they are a little finicky to peel, you’ll catch the knack after an egg or two.