Sunday, August 7, 2016

How to Make Salted Quail Eggs

salted quail eggs
I ate many salted duck eggs known as trứng vịt muối in Vietnamese. When my family and I first immigrated to Maine my mother made the salted eggs using a salty brine. She thinks this style of curing process results in decent tasting eggs but not as good as the traditional method. Typically these duck eggs are wrapped in salted damp ash. The ash is a bi-product of burned rice husks. Once the eggs are ready to eat they are sold, sometimes still covered in this thick layer of black ash. The eggs are kept at room temperature until ready to cook. We boil the eggs (minus the ash), once cooked we cut the whole egg in half with the shell intact. People usually eat half of the egg with plain rice soup for breakfast or a late night meal. It does not sound very nutritious but it's a comfort food for me. When I was visiting my Ah Ma (grandmother) in Vietnam over a year ago we ate these salted duck eggs. Again most of us ate about half an egg per person. My Ah Ma ate less than half of one. Recently I purchased 2 packages of quail eggs to make salted quail eggs. I think one to two quail eggs would be perfect for one serving size. People use the salted duck yolks in a sweet Teochew pastries known as "pia". Soctrang (Vietnam) is famous for its pia. I particularly like the durian pia. My mother tells me the yolks are tasty in steamed pork buns.

boiled salted quail egg with rice soup
Check out my previous post on Plain Rice Soup and Hard Boiled Salted Duck Eggs for a similar story. These quail eggs are quite small and do not require as much cooking time as the salted duck eggs; approximately 5-6 minutes of gentle boiling.

How to Make Salted Quail Eggs

Ingredients:

25 quail eggs, washed well and broken ones discarded
2 1/4 cups water
1/2 cup sea salt
A small ceramic or glass sauce dish

Method:

Boil water. Add salt and stir to dissolve. Remove from heat and let the liquid completely cooled. Slowly using a spoon and a stick (preferably a pair of chopsticks) drop each egg into a glass jar. Pour the cooled liquid over the jar. Be sure to submerge all the eggs under the liquid. May use a small ceramic or glass sauce dish to anchor the eggs down. Avoid jamming it in as you do not want to break the eggs. Keep the jar at room temperature. These will be salty and ready to eat in about 2 weeks. You may eat one to try.

traditional salted duck eggs
(covered in ash)
traditional salted duck eggs using ash
*According to my mother it is best to use whole sea salt when making this.
*The quail eggs come in a package of 18. One was broken so I ended up making 35 instead of 36. 
*I don't like to waste. Here is how I figured out how much liquid to use. I placed all the eggs inside the jar. I then add water to the jar with the eggs. I then carefully pour out that water into a measuring container. This amount will be what I need to use for the brine.

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