Soy Sauce Quail Eggs

Nothing beats the comfort and delicious ease of Soy Sauce Eggs. This variation — with tiny Quail Eggs — are especially good. Petite, salty-sweet, umami-flavor bombs!

I’ve cooked and eaten all manner of Soy Sauce Eggs. The Korean version, Gyeran Jorim, is the kind I grew up eating. But I love Chinese Tea Eggs just as much. And who can resist adding a few hard boiled eggs when making Viet Thit Kho?

Imagine my surprise when I watched the main characters in the KDrama, It’s Ok to Not be Ok, eat Soy Sauce QUAIL EGGS. Why hadn’t I thought to use quail eggs before?

Quail Eggs are much smaller than chicken eggs. Mini-eggs, you could say. They taste the same as regular eggs. Except their petite size soaks up ALL that soy sauce flavor. Plus, there’s a perfect ratio of egg white to egg yolk. YUM!

If there’s one complaint regarding Soy Sauce Eggs, they can be rather large and dry. Typically, they are braised for a long time to absorb all that soy sauce flavor. But when cooked for too long, an unappetizing grey line outlines the yolk. The yolks become powdery and dry, the whites rubbery and hard.

Soy Sauce Quail Eggs solve this dilemma nicely. A long boiling time is not required at all. Instead, eggs are marinated overnight with the “braising” liquid. The tiny size soaks up so much flavor!

The end result? Hard boiled eggs that are addictively tasty — without being overly dry or chalky. Instead, yolks are creamy, rich, and full of velvety smoothness. Drizzle a bit of soy sauce on top. SO GOOD!

Where can I find Quail Eggs?

Quail Eggs are available at Asian grocery stores. The come in packs of 18. Look in the egg aisle and you’ll soon find these speckled beauties.

I’ve also found Quail Eggs at Whole Foods and Walmart. I’m guessing they are more available and easy to find than we think? Check your local grocery store and you might be surprised. If not, include them on the list for the next visit to the Asian Grocery Store.

How do you peel Quail Eggs?

Quail eggs are much smaller than chicken eggs. Peeling them can be tricky.

To make peeling easier, I recommend an ice water bath. After boiling, chill for 5 minutes until cold.

Also, it helps to crack the shell first.  I gently tap each end (top and bottom) on a clean cutting board until cracks show.  Then I grab one end of the egg shell and gently peel downward, in a spiral. 

Note: There is a thin layer of clear egg protein that holds the shell together.  Make sure to grab a bit of the egg protein when peeling. This little step makes shell removal much, much easier!

How do I eat Soy Sauce Quail Eggs?

I like to eat Soy Sauce Quail Eggs as one of many banchan (Korean side dishes).

Koreans do not eat in the typical Western way with a main dish and a few sides to round out the meal. We eat banchan — side dishes — collected together in the middle for communal eating. Individual bowls of rice and soup are provided for each person. But the meal is primarily composed of eating from multiple little dishes, rather than 1 or 2 main (larger) dishes.

The beauty of banchan is the variety. The more grand and lavish the meal, the more banchan you’ll see. And this dish is the perfect banchan to add to your table!

Kid-friendly and overall very pleasing to everyone, there’s no leftovers when these little eggs are served. Enjoy!

Soy Sauce Quail Eggs

Nothing beats the comfort and delicious ease of Soy Sauce Eggs. This variation — with tiny Quail Eggs — are especially good. Petite, salty-sweet, umami-flavor bombs!
Prep Time18 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Marinating Time8 hrs
Course: Side
Cuisine: Korean
Keyword: Quail Eggs, Soy Sauce
Servings: 18 quail eggs
Author: The Subversive Table | Lis Lam

Equipment

  • 2 cup/ 1.5 L mason jar

Ingredients

  • 18 quail eggs
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 garlic clove (minced)
  • 2 green onions (minced)
  • 1 red chili pepper, optional (minced with seeds) *can be subbed with 1 jalapeno pepper

Instructions

  • In a medium saucepan, cover quail eggs with cold water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 4 minutes. Drain water and immediately transfer eggs to a bowl with cold water and 1 cup ice cubes to chill.
  • While the quail eggs boil and chill, assemble the marinade. In a 1.5L jar (I use a large jam jar), add remaining ingredients: soy sauce, water, sugar, garlic, green onions, red pepper. Stir with spoon until sugar dissolves. Set aside.
  • When the quail eggs are cold, peel carefully. Immediately drop them into the marinade-filled jar. Repeat for all 18 eggs. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • When ready to serve, spoon eggs and sauce into a small serving dish for communal eating. Serve alongside other banchan. Or, if eating solo, spoon eggs and sauce directly on top of rice. Enjoy!

Notes

*To peel the quail eggs, it helps to crack the shell first. I tap each end (top and bottom) on a clean cutting board. Then I grab one end of the egg shell and gently peel in a spiral. There is a thin layer of clear egg protein that holds the shell together. Make sure to pinch a bit of the egg protein when peeling for easier shell removal.
**The red pepper is optional. If you don’t like things spicy, leave this out.

More Banchan Inspiration:

Dubu Jorim [Spicy Braised Tofu]

dubu jorim in dark shallow bowl with napkin and cutting board underneath

Kkakdugi [Cubed Radish Kimchi]

chopsticks picking up kkakdugi from bowl

Oi Muchim [Cucumber Pickle]

All Recipes, Korean, Side

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