Quails and quail eggs are growing in popularity, becoming more common in restaurants, recipes, and backyard farms.
There’s a reason that people love these delicious little eggs and some facts that might surprise you.
Here are some fun things to know about quail eggs.
What are Quail Eggs?
A quail is a small bird in the pheasant family, that measures less than nine inches long and nests on the ground.
They have brown speckled feathers, and their meat and eggs have been part of European cuisine for centuries.
Quail eggs are tiny, about a fourth the size of a chicken egg, and are considered a delicacy in many countries.
They are popular street food in central and south America and Asia and are often found in Japanese bento.
Quail Egg Description
Quail eggs usually measure about 1 ¼ inch long and 1 inch wide.
They are pale brown or creamy tan in color, with irregular brown speckles and spots.
The inside of the shells is a pretty pale blue-green color, although the eggs themselves are white and look like very small chicken eggs.
Quail Egg Laying Habits
Quail hens can begin laying eggs at as young as 6 weeks old and lay 6-12 eggs per clutch.
Quail are short-lived compared to chickens. Chickens live an average of 8 years, while quail usually only live for about 2 years, but they lay more eggs per season than chickens.
A quail hen may lay as many as 300 eggs her first laying season, and 200 eggs her second.
Like chickens, they will lay eggs in nesting beds or on the ground.
Domesticated quail breeds do not usually get broody, and the eggs are easily harvested.
Quail Egg Taste
Quail eggs are about the size of a large olive or a cherry tomato. They taste like chicken eggs, but they have more yolk per egg, which gives them a slightly richer flavor.
What are the Benefits of Quail Eggs?
Ounce for ounce, quail eggs has more folate and vitamin B12 than chicken eggs, and nearly twice the iron, thiamin, and riboflavin.
Because they have a greater ratio of egg yolk to egg white, they are also higher in protein, fat, and phosphorus.
However, it takes about 5 quail eggs to equal 1 chicken egg in volume, so you need to eat a lot of quail eggs before this extra nutrition adds up.
How to Cook Quail Eggs
Quail eggs can be cooked in any way you would make chicken eggs: fried, scrambled, hard-boiled, deviled, etc.
The cooking times and temperatures of standard egg dishes need to be adjusted to avoid overcooking the whites, because there is less white volume than in chicken eggs, and the eggshells are much harder to crack.
But the best ways to cook quail eggs don’t involve cracking them and mixing them up.
The best way to cook quail eggs is to show off their petite size.
Hard-boiled quail eggs are beautiful on a salad, fried or poached quail eggs are the perfect topping on a slice of toast, and pickled quail eggs are popular around the world.
Why Choose Quail Eggs?
There are two primary reasons to choose quail eggs:
As a substitute for chicken eggs — if you are trying to lower your intake of cholesterol, but can’t resist some runny egg yolk on your toast, using just one or two quail eggs is less than half the amount of a chicken egg.
Quail eggs allow you to naturally reduce your egg portion sizes without eliminating eggs or sacrificing flavor.
As a beautiful ingredient on their own, quail eggs are extremely popular as garnishes, appetizers, or finger foods because they are so small and cute.
Some parents find that quail eggs are great for children who may otherwise not want to eat eggs.
Other Facts About Quail Eggs
Quail Egg Shells
Quail eggshells are tough and difficult to crack, which may be one reason they aren’t popular as a substitute for chicken eggs in scrambles and sauces; you have to do all the work to crack all these tiny eggs to get the volume you need for a standard recipe.
If you eat a lot of quail eggs, investing in a pair of quail egg scissors makes it much faster and easier.
Quail Eggs in the Urban Home
Quails are an increasingly popular bird for the backyard and urban homesteads, because the birds are quieter and less disruptive than chickens, and require less space to care for.
This means that more and more families are finding out for themselves how they like to cook and eat quail eggs.
Quail Eggs are Perfect for Pickling
Pickling quail eggs is a great way to use a large volume of small eggs so they keep for a long time.
They are popular around the world, from Korea to the deep South in the US.
Is it safe to eat quail eggs?
Yes, quail eggs are perfectly safe to eat for people who aren’t allergic to eggs.
How many quail eggs can you eat a day?
When measured by volume, 4-5 quail eggs equal 1 chicken egg, so if you typically eat a 3-egg omelet, you may end up eating 15 or more quail eggs.
Like chicken eggs, quail eggs are high in cholesterol, and probably shouldn’t be eaten in huge quantities every day, but there is no strict limit.
Are boiled quail eggs healthy?
Boiled quail eggs are a great source of protein and several essential vitamins and minerals.
They are good for you.
How many quail eggs equal a chicken egg?
It typically takes 4-5 quail eggs to equal one chicken egg.
Related Content: Can you freeze eggs? Prolonging shelf-life.