Pickling Quail Eggs - How To With Photos

by CorreenK

Our quail lay enough eggs for us to prepare their eggs in a number of ways. Hard boiling and letting them season in a pickle brine is our top pick. Mmm!

Quail, most notably the Coturnix, have played their part in Japanese history for thousands of years, it was not until recently that we started enjoying raising these gentle little birds here on our place. Each morning I collect the cutest little speckled eggs and tuck 'em away in a carton until there is enough to make a 1/2 pint of the creamiest tasting pickled eggs.

That is how we like to cook our quail eggs, although there are literally hundreds of ways to include quail eggs in meals from snacks to main dish. I'm feeling a food adventure with quail eggs is long overdue.

I'm pleased to share with you my pickled quail egg recipe, from how-to hard boil these little beauties to getting them tucked into a jar with a tangy-sweet pickling brine. Enjoy!

Our Quail Eggs

With a spring berry blossom

Cooking Quail Eggs

Prep before boiling

When hard boiling quail eggs make sure to use eggs that are at least two weeks old because new eggs will not peel easily. (This is also true for farm fresh chicken eggs.)

Gently place the quail eggs in a large sauce pan, one layer is best, and add COLD water to cover eggs at least one inch above the top of eggs. 


Starting to boil the quail eggs
Starting to boil the quail eggs
Correen K Photography

IMPORTANT NOTE - If any of the eggs float in pan, discard them rather than chance they are bad.

Boiling the quail eggs
Boiling the quail eggs
Correen K Photography

Hard Boiling the Quail Eggs

It's quick so don't walk away

Over high heat bring the quail eggs and water to a boil, turn down heat to medium high and set the timer for 3 minutes.

While the eggs are boiling make sure they are not bouncing around in the pan or they will end up cracking - turn down the heat a bit.

When the timer goes off, immediately remove the eggs from the stove, drain off the hot water and run cold water into the pan. Change water, as needed, until eggs are cooled.

Farm Fresh and Canned Quail Eggs

An alternative for those of you not raising your own birds
Fresh Gourmet Quail Eggs - 2 Dozen
Turnbull Farms
$36.00  $32.20
Asian Taste Quail Eggs, Canned, 15-Ou...
Asian Taste
Only $14.90
Peeling quail eggs
Peeling quail eggs
Correen K Photography

Peeling Hard Boiled Quail Eggs

A few quick tips

Because the shells on quail eggs are thinner than chicken eggs take a little care when peeling the hard boiled eggs.

First off, lightly tap all around the egg on a flat surface, then under running water gently peel off the shell.

If large pieces of white get peeled away use those eggs in salad or as snacks because it will make your pickling brine cloudy.

Pickled Quail Eggs - My Recipe

Make one jar or more

Once you have hard boiled and peeled the quail eggs, it's time to get them pickled to perfection.

This is my recipe, feel free to tweak it for your taste buds. 

This recipe calls for a small (1/2 pint) sterilized jar and lid, follow these steps...

10 to 12 hard boiled quail eggs; shells peeled off
1 1/4 teaspoons non-iodized sea salt (pickling salt)
2 tablespoons vinegar (white or cider)
1/2 to 1 clove of garlic; coarsely chopped
1 scant teaspoon pickling spice (I recommend the McCormick brand)
1 scant teaspoon sugar
1 small head of fresh dill or tiny pinch of dried dill

Pack hard boiled quail eggs into sterilized jar, set aside.

In a glass bowl add remaining ingredients and stir until salt is dissolved. Pour this mixture over the quail eggs, top off jar with fresh tap water, screw on lid, shake to mix and refrigerate for three days before eating.

The longer the eggs marinate the better! Tightly sealed and refrigerated these should keep for 3 to 4 weeks.

Pickling quail eggs
Pickling quail eggs
Correen K Photography
Jar of homemade pickled quail eggs
Jar of homemade pickled quail eggs
Correen K Photography

1/2 Pint Canning Jars

Keep these on hand for your pickled quail eggs and more
Jarden Home Brands 12Pk 1/2Pt wide Mouth Jar Canning Jars
$30.00  $9.99

Recipe Alternatives

A couple of the things I've tried

Spicy hot pickled quail eggs...simply add in 1/8 to 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper chili flakes with the other spices. Or the same amount of fresh hot peppers; coarsely chopped.

Mustard-kissed pickled quail eggs...mix in 1/2 tablespoon Colman's mustard powder with the other spices.

Pretty pink pickled quail eggs...(say that really fast ten times ;) Instead of topping off the jar with fresh tap water use beet juice.

Quail Eggs Nutrition

At a glance information for you

Quail eggs are a good source of...

  • Folate
  • Vitamin B12
  • Pantothenic Acid
  • Iron
  • Phosphorus
  • Protein
  • Riboflavin
  • Selenium

Additionally, quail eggs are sized just right for smaller appetites - your toddler will think quail eggs are the cutest food ever.

Have you ever eaten a quail egg?

Have your say
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Thanks for chiming in ;)
My divinely delicious hard boiled quail eggs
My divinely delicious hard boiled qua...
Correen K Photography
Storey's Guide to Raising Poultry: Breeds, Care, Health
Storey Publishing, LLC
$18.95  $5.00

About Storey's Guide to Raising Poultry

It's on our bookshelf

For over two decades Storey Publications have been the go-to books for advice on raising animals for novice to expert farmer's and animal enthusiast's. This particular Storey guide, covers the basics of raising poultry, along with plenty of resources to discover more in-depth information. It's why my husband started delving into the idea of raising quail.

In Closing...

CorreenKIt fills me with joy to share the inspired recipe ideas I'm whipping up in my kitchen. Besides the articles here, I'm also growing my online presence and passion for cooking over at FoodLoversWeb.com.

If you are interested in writing here on Wizzley, click on my referral link to join in on the fun and profits! ~Correen K

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Updated: 11/29/2014, CorreenK
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?

Thank you for stopping in today, I appreciate your comments and feedback

cmoneyspinner on 02/25/2014

Never had pickled quail eggs, but have enjoyed pickled eggs. Yum!

CorreenK on 06/29/2013

@morningsun Thanks for sharing your idea for peeling quail eggs...a tedious task made easy.

morningsun on 06/27/2013

I have found a easy way to peel the quail eggs. After boiling the eggs soak them in vinegar for about 20 minutes it will take off the spots off the eggs then they will peel easy

tandemonimom on 06/23/2011

I have not had quail eggs or pickled eggs of any sort, but I sure would like to try them now!

Dianne on 06/19/2011

I've never seen quail eggs but now I want to try some!

sheilamarie on 06/18/2011

What pretty little eggs! I don't think I've ever seen quail eggs before. You've done a great job sharing your recipes for pickling quail eggs here. Thank you!

Joh Monday on 06/16/2011

I know a lot of folks who don’t eat eggs (they’re allergic, for health reasons, or concerns about animal cruelty). Here’s an awesome site that gives tips on cooking and baking without eggs: http://EggFreeLiving.com

KathyMcGraw on 06/16/2011

Thank you for the clarification....and also the tip on how to use the recipe with regular chicken eggs :)

CorreenK on 06/16/2011

@KathyMcGraw We are raising Coturnix quail, not native to the Americas. And any time we'd like babies versus pickled eggs hubs can fire up the incubator ;) If you don't want to or cannot find quail eggs in your area, the pickling recipe I gave works nicely with chicken eggs too...just make sure to double or triple the ingredients and use a larger jar.

KathyMcGraw on 06/16/2011

I never knew people raised quails...they are all over the desert here and I love watching the babies after they hatch. But, pickling the quail eggs I guess you won't be having a bunch of babies :) This is something I had never thought to eat, but might give it a try.

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