Thursday, May 10, 2012

How to Cook Perfect Quail's Eggs

Quail's eggs are tiny, speckled beauties. They cook in a very short time, and make an elegant addition to a salad, soup, or appetizer tray. I bought a dozen at the Central wet market in Hong Kong and set about on an experiment to discover how to boil the perfect quail's egg.


I boiled the eggs above for different lengths of time to see how long it took to get a perfectly soft or hard boiled egg. The eggs above were cooked for 1 minute, 2 minutes, 2.5 minutes, 3 minutes, and 4 minutes.

After one minute (top left), the egg was not cooked enough to take the shell off. The white was still liquid.

After two minutes (top middle), the white was partially set and the yolk was still runny.

Two and a half minutes (top right) of boiling meant the egg was soft boiled. The white was set and the yolk was thick and runny.

Three minutes (bottom left) led to a medium boiled egg. The yolk was mostly set.

After four minutes (bottom right), the egg was hard boiled with a completely set yolk.

My husband likes his eggs hard boiled; so I boiled the eggs for four minutes when I made the fennel and asparagus salad with quail's eggs (pictured at the top of this post).

How to Boil the Perfect Quail's Egg 
Fill a small saucepan two thirds full with water and bring to the boil.
Add the quail's eggs using a spoon. Do not overcrowd the pan.
Boil for 2.5 to 4 minutes depending on your preference.
Remove with a slotted spoon and cool down under cold running water or in a bowl filled with ice water.
Peel very carefully.

How do you like your eggs?

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