Sunday, April 14, 2024

ECHO EATS: Quail Eggs Two Ways for the Holidays

Quail eggs are quite small, but with the right recipe make a terrific addition to a meal. The eggs here are from Samantha Whitmore in Blairstown. Photo by Cybele Tamulonis, 12/2023.

According to Healthline, one quail egg contains only 14 calories but is rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals, including selenium, riboflavin, vitamin B12 and choline. So, get ready for two quail egg recipes perfect for your health, the holiday season, and beyond. 

Quail eggs are easy to peel if you catch the membrane. Photo by C. Tamulonis, 12/2023.

Pickled Quail Eggs and Beets

Pickled quail eggs after a week in the refrigerator come out with a nice burgundy color. Photo by Cybele Tamulonis, 12/2023.


1 dozen locally sourced quail eggs

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

1 cup white vinegar

1 jar of strained beets or 2 locally sourced beets boiled and sliced*

Reserved beet juice 


  • Bring a pot of water to a boil and gently add the quail eggs. Boil for three minutes and then turn off fire.
  • Peel your eggs by taking them out of the pot with a slotted spoon and running them under cold water for a few seconds. Give them a little tap on a hard surface and roll them gently on a paper towel. Once you find the membrane, they should unwrap easily.
  • Strain your canned beets, reserving the liquid — or if you are using local beets boil them until they are fork-tender and slice, also reserving around 1 cup of beet juice.
  • Stack your eggs and beets in a mason jar, alternating for taste.
  • Make your brine by bringing the water, vinegar and reserved beet juice to a boil and adding the sugar. Stir gently for a few minutes until the sugar is dissolved. Take off fire.
  • Pour your pickling mix over the eggs and beets up to the threaded part of a mason jar, and close tightly. Refrigerate for a week before eating.

Noshing Notes: You can eat the eggs the next day, but for more flavor, wait a week. Pickled eggs will last in the fridge for a month or more. This is a simple pickling recipe, but you can add whatever spices you want to your mix.

Suggested Sides: New Jersey’s Kanpeki Rice Vodka. You can also throw pickled quail eggs in salads, add some color to your toast or pass them around while ice fishing. 

Waste Not Want Not: After you peel the eggs, throw the shells in the compost or garden. Recycle your jars or save them for your next batch of pickled goods.

*If you are using fresh beets from Race Farm, the farmers market, or another local source, throw them in a stock pot, cover with water and boil for about 15 to 20 minutes until they are fork-tender. When done, slice them up and layer them with the eggs in your mason jar, reserving around a cup of liquid.

Quail Eggs on Pan Seared Scallops

There’s more yolk in a quail egg, so they make a creamy, protein packed topping for scallops. Photo by Cybele Tamulonis, 12/2023.

Ingredients –

6 locally sourced quail eggs

6 scallops

¼ stick of butter or more for the pan

Salt and pepper to taste

Special equipment

Quail egg scissors 


  • Prepare your quail eggs by snipping off the tops with a pair of quail egg scissors.
  • Heat your butter in a pan, once melted put your scallops in and sear until they are nicely browned on both sides. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Remove your scallops from the pan and put your quail eggs in to fry. It will take only a few moments so keep an eye on them. When they are done, arrange them on top of your scallops.
  • Top with leftover chopped bacon, parsley or other herbs and serve.

Noshing Notes: If your scallops are frozen, defrost them in your refrigerator. You can also rinse them under cold water and then soak them in milk in your refrigerator for up to one hour. This will make them tender. This recipe is for two people, but you can easily double it.

Suggested Sides: Chopped tomato salad with balsamic vinaigrette or grits from Marksboro Mills.

Waste Not Want Not: Quail eggshells can go in the compost. Crush them first (they are harder than regular chicken eggshells) to aid in decomposition.

Cybele Tamulonis
Cybele Tamulonis, Contributing Writer

Cybele is a writer and editor with more than 16 years in the publishing industry. An avid reader, you can usually find her with the latest new book release from the local library. She currently resides on a farm in Hardwick with her husband and four children. In her spare time, she writes historical fiction specific to New Jersey.