Bedeviled Quail Eggs

Deviled quail eggs are cute! And they’re delicious!

I love deviled eggs. But sometimes I don’t want a big deviled egg. What do I do? I “bedevil” quail eggs. Probably a quarter of the size of chicken eggs, quail eggs are virtually identical in flavor to common chicken eggs and quick to cook, although they might be a little tricky to find.

I normally buy them at one of the many excellent Asian markets in Los Angeles. Japanese markets in particular keep them perpetually in stock, as they are considered a staple for some sushi preparations as well as a popular grilled kushiyaki (skewered) item. They’re definitely pricier than common eggs but not prohibitively so. Other than Asian markets, try gourmet shops, high-end grocery stores, or butchers who specialize in poultry. You’ll find them usually in a ten-pack in a plastic clam-shell box.

This is a very easy recipe, and a cute little appetizer for a small dinner party. Now go buy some quail eggs and bedevil some!

Their mottled shells make for pretty little eggs. This is post-boiling; you can see I’ve peeled two already.

You’ll need:

10 quail eggs
kosher salt
2 boiled chicken eggs (yolks only)
2 tablespoons mayonnaise (Japanese Kewpie mayo would be appropriate here)
1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard
1 pinch paprika
1 pinch celery salt
1 pinch garlic powder
2 pinches ground white pepper
2 pinches kosher salt or fleur de sel
scallions or chives for garnish

Now do this:

Into a small pot (with a lid) put the quail eggs. Add cold water to cover an inch above the eggs. Add a half-teaspoon of salt to the water. Bring to a boil over high. Cover and turn off the heat. Hold eggs in the covered pot for five minutes. Drain the eggs and immediately put them into an ice-water bath. Cool for several minutes. Peel the eggs and rinse carefully. You’ll notice that quail eggs are a tiny bit harder to peel than chicken eggs as they have a thicker shell membrane. It shouldn’t take you too long to peel them though.

Cut the eggs in half and carefully remove the yolks. I find that working with such small quantities of egg yolk makes it a little hard to work with, so I add a couple boiled yolks from chicken eggs to increase the quantity. To the yolks add the mayo, the mustard, and all the dried spices. With a fork or a very small whisk, whip the ingredients together, occasionally breaking up chunks of yolk with the back of your fork (or other implement). If the filling feels too thick or dense, add a bit more mayo (or a half teaspoon of cold water) to the bowl and whip it in.

To fill the egg whites I create an impromtu pastry bag by putting my filling in a small sandwich-sized ziploc bag. Force the yolk filling down into one corner of the bag and trim off a bit of the bag to create a hole about a half-inch in diameter (maybe smaller). Gently squeeze out the yolks to fill in the egg whites. Garnish with a bit of minced chives or scallions. Chill until ready to serve. Enjoy!

Make a simple, discardable “pastry bag” from a small ziploc.

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