Soft boiled quail eggs with perfectly set whites and jammy yolks are the perfect addition to salads, toast, soups, or canapes! Learn how to cook quail eggs in this easy-to-master tutorial.
It's an understatement to say I'm obsessed with soft boiled quail eggs. If you've only had your eggs hard-boiled, you're in for a real treat. The yolks are thick and runny with a sunny yellow hue and the whites are perfectly set.
Quail eggs are much smaller than chicken eggs, which makes them less clunky on small dishes or avocado toast. It gives you all the good stuff in one bite! You can soft boil, hard boil, poach, fry, or scramble them, but soft boiled quail eggs are where the magic happens.
They are very simple to cook, but I've provided step-by-step instructions to guide you through it for a fail-proof, mess-free, good-vibes time. Let's make quail eggs, friends!
Why you'll love it
- They have a jammy yolk with a bright yellow color
- Perfectly set egg whites
- Easy to peel and cut
- Exact times for soft boiled, medium boiled, and hard boiled quail eggs
You only need one ingredient, unless you count ice and water!
Quail eggs: You should be able to find quail eggs at your local grocery store next to the regular eggs. They are much smaller so the container is about half the size and the eggs are light brown and speckled. Mine came in a package of 15 eggs. If you can't find them, try a specialty foods store like Whole Foods or Fresh Market.
All my quail eggs were the same size, weighing close to 14.5 grams. If your eggs vary slightly in size, I wouldn't worry too much about it. The texture of the yolk will vary only slightly.
If you want to split hairs and weigh your quail eggs, you can do it. We will talk more about that in the next section.
How to Cook Quail Eggs
Make an ice bath
First, make an ice bath and set it aside. Fill a medium or large bowl with some ice, then fill it with water.
An ice bath will quickly halt the cooking process to preserve the runny yolks. Otherwise, the eggs would continue to cook even after they're out of the hot water.
Simmer the water
Fill a small or medium saucepan with water, then bring the water to a gentle boil over medium heat.
It should not be a rolling boil! If the water is boiling vigorously, the eggs are more likely to crack while you cook them. You should have bubbles, but not a ton of them.
If the water's boiling too hard, turn down the heat a smidge.
Boil the eggs
Use a slotted spoon to carefully lower four eggs into the pot. Immediately set your timer to 2 ½ minutes. Or you can start a stopwatch and wait until it reaches 2 minutes and 30 seconds.
You can cook all 8 eggs at the same time, or you can cook 4 at a time. I like to cook 4 at a time, so I'm not taking too long to fish them out of the pot. I don't want any of them to overcook!
Once the timer is up, use the slotted spoon to carefully transfer the eggs to the ice bath.
Peel the eggs
Let the eggs sit in the water for at least 30 seconds, then carefully pick up one egg. Use a sharp paring knife or small knife to pierce the shell. Don't go too deep, just a small gentle crack is good.
Use your fingers to peel the shell, starting from the pierced part. This is the easiest way I found to peel the eggs! Take your time to peel them. Don't rush through it or you may crush the fragile egg.
Repeat until all the quail eggs are peeled.
Carefully cut the eggs in half and serve with a sprinkle of salt and pepper! Add to salads, hash browns, avocado toast, roasted vegetables, grilled asparagus, grits, or fried rice!
If it tastes good with a soft boiled chicken egg, it will taste delicious with a soft boiled quail egg too!
How to Peel Quail Eggs
Quail eggs are easy to peel if you do it this way! I tried cracking them to peel them and I didn't have as much success or ease. It's easiest to peel the egg while it's still slightly warm, so don't leave it in the ice water too long.
- Lay down a paper towel to catch any shells.
- Take the cooked egg out of the ice bath.
- Use a sharp paring knife to gently pierce the shell. It shouldn't be a deep cut. Do this carefully so you don't cut yourself. I found it seamless and easy to do.
- Peel the egg, starting from the pierced part of it. Do so carefully so you don't smoosh the egg.
How long to boil quail eggs
I adore soft-boiled eggs, but some of you may prefer medium or hard boiled eggs and that's great too! Here are the exact times you need to be successful.
I used quail eggs that weighed exactly 14.5 grams. If your eggs are slightly different, it shouldn't make much of a difference. If your quail eggs are very small, decrease the cooking times by 15 seconds.
- 2 minutes: I found 2 minutes to be too short. The yolks were too runny, the whites were undercooked, and they were difficult to peel. Unless you like an underdone egg white, I would skip this one!
- 2 ½ minutes: This number is gold! The perfect soft boiled quail egg! They had runny yolks, perfectly set whites, and they were easy to peel.
- 3 minutes: Three minutes is a good time if you prefer a medium boiled quail egg. The yolk is a thicker consistency, but still jammy.
- 3 ½ minutes: The yolks are firm but soft with a small amount of jamminess. I would consider this a medium boiled egg still.
- 4 minutes: The yolk is solid but not overcooked. Four minutes makes a good hard boiled quail egg.
- Vegetable Stir Fry - Top your next stir fry with a few jammy eggs for a boost of flavor! Trust me on this one.
- Collard Greens - Add them to your sauteed greens!
- Avocado Toast - Layer a few on top of your avocado toast for an elevated take.
- Rice Bowls - Serve them with your next chicken and rice bowl.
- Caesar Salad - Add them to a Caesar salad, or any salad for that matter.
- Breakfast - Swap your scrambled eggs with these beauties next time you make a breakfast spread.
- Aim for a gentle boil. A rapid boil is more likely to crack the eggs while they cook!
- It's easier to peel the eggs while slightly warm. The ice bath stops the cooking so the runny yolk doesn't cook and firm up, but only leave them in the cold water for less than a minute. It's easier to peel the eggs when they're not ice cold.
- Remember to handle the eggs gently. They are small and somewhat fragile in comparison to chicken eggs.
If your quail egg is roughly 14 grams, it will need 2 ½ minutes to reach a perfect soft boil. The yolks will be bright yellow and runny, and the whites perfectly cooked. If your quail egg is much smaller, decrease the cooking time by 15 seconds.
You can cook quail eggs any method a chicken egg can be cooked. You can pan-fry, scramble, soft boil, hard boil, or poach quail eggs. The difference is in the time it takes to cook a quail egg. They are much smaller and more fragile than chicken eggs, so you will need to decrease the cooking time to compensate.
It depends on the size of the quail eggs and the chicken eggs. Approximately three quail eggs equals the amount of one large chicken egg.
More Egg Recipes
- Spinach Omelette
- Avocado Scrambled Eggs with Pine Nuts
- White Cheddar, Zucchini and Eggs breakfast cakes
- Omelette with Avocado and Veggies
Soft Boiled Quail Eggs
- slotted spoon
- 8 quail eggs
- Fill a medium-sized bowl with ice water. Set it aside.
- Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring it to a gentle boil over medium heat. It shouldn't be a rolling boil. If it's boiling too hard, turn down the heat.
- Use a slotted spoon to carefully lower 4 of the quail eggs into the water, then immediately set a timer for 2 ½ minutes.
- As soon as the timer goes off, use the spoon to carefully transfer the eggs into the bowl of ice water. Let them cool off for a minute. Repeat with the remaining eggs.
- Pick up one of the eggs and carefully pierce the shell with a small paring knife. Gently peel the shell off the eggs.
- Use a sharp knife to cut the eggs in half. Serve with salt and pepper.
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