99 Ranch Market recently opened near me. I had never been into one of these Asian groceries that are (apparently) a really big thing in other parts of the country. My first visit was during the preview opening so the place wasn’t running on all cylinders, but it was buzzing with shoppers excited to be able to get their favorite ingredients not found in most American groceries. There were wonderful greens and assorted mushrooms, swimming fish ready for selection and roast duck, so many types of rice and tofu.
Then I saw a row of quail eggs.
I have seen quail eggs before, but as a gourmet store curiosity. They had intrigued me, but I was too cheap to pay gourmet store prices for an ingredient I might likely fail splendidly at cooking. Yes, I understand, sometimes you need to spend money to find greatness, but I prefer to find it in alleyways and discount bins. Ok, so I don’t find food in alleyways – unless the dumpster seems well tended, but I digress. Quail eggs … I had always passed them by at gourmet stores with inflated prices, but not here! Here they were 10 eggs for $2.00. So I grabbed a box and did a little research on preparation.
They are the quickest eggs ever to prepare. Just heat of small pot of water to boil, gently add the eggs, and cook for two minutes (2 1/2 for very solid centers). In that two minutes, set up a bowl with ice water. At two (or 2 1/2) minutes, remove eggs from the boiling water, and place in the ice water for at least a minute.
Next, remove an egg and tap with a spoon to crack the shell. There is a membrane between shell and flesh of egg, If you can tear the membrane you will be able to practically slip the egg out of the shell. If not, it will be harder to peel and you might destroy the egg – but it’s ok, a nearby dog will LOVE your mistake. My dog tested three eggs for me and reported that they were amazing with a partial shell.
Once the eggs are peeled, they can be stored in their container, simply eaten as a snack, added to a salad or used as a garnish. I’m excited to find other uses and would love to hear your ideas in the comments.