Pickled quail’s eggs

by Jenny Chandler

An easy-to-make bite-sized snack or appetiser

You will need 1 large sterilised jar—just wash it well in soapy water and then place in an oven at 160C for 20 mins.


24 quail’s eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp peppercorns
200ml white wine or cider vinegar
100ml white wine or cider (if using cider vinegar)
3 bay leaves
½ tsp celery salt
1 large banana shallot, diced


Place the eggs in boiling water and cook for 3 mins, then dunk them immediately in cold (best of all iced) water to cool. Remove the shells carefully.

Crush the coriander seeds, fennel seeds and peppercorns very roughly with a pestle and mortar. Add to the vinegar with the remaining ingredients and bring up to the boil to infuse the liquid with the spices and bay. Leave to cool.

Pack the peeled eggs into a sterilised jar and tip over the pickling liquid. Leave for at least 24 hours or preferably 1 week before eating. These will keep happily in the fridge for a few weeks.

ALTERNATIVE If you prefer a sweet and sour pickle, add 25g sugar to the vinegar and spice pan before you bring it up to the boil.

Adding a few chunks of raw beetroot (peeled baby beets look pretty too) to the vinegar pan will give you a bright pink liquid and your eggs will turn a rather fancy pink. The longer you leave the pickle, the pinker your egg whites. Add the prepared raw beetroot to the vinegar pan with the spices and an extra 100ml water. Bring up to the boil and simmer, covered, for about 15-20 mins, until the beetroot is just about tender. Put the beetroot into the jars with the eggs and liquid.

Recipe: Jenny Chandler