Knowing how to make soft boiled quail eggs is a basic skill any cook should master. Quail eggs are great to use in salads, soups, curries, stews, and mini snacks or canapés.
Why soft boil them
Hardboiled quail eggs are not the proper way to cook them.
A properly cooked quail egg has a just-set white and runny creamy yolk. Nothing else will do and it’s very specific.
So is the time it takes to make soft boiled eggs.
How long does it take to cook
It will take exactly 2 minutes and 20 seconds to soft boil a regular sized quail egg to perfection.
It might sound as easy as putting a pot of water on the stove turning it on, popping the eggs in and setting your timer.
You have to do each of the steps properly.
Otherwise, you will end up with either raw or rock-solid eggs. We want perfect and only perfect will do.
So, Let’s do this.
How to make it
- Pot of boiling water – Simple as it sounds many do not know what boiling water looks like. Just in case. Take a small pot that holds a litre of water and bring it to a boil. Alternatively, boil a kettle and pour it into the small pot, turning the stove to medium-high heat so that the water boils but does not boil vigorously.
- Sort the eggs by size - You need to use average-sized quail eggs as some free-range quail eggs out there varies in size dramatically. A quail egg is about a 5th the weight of a normal medium/large hen’s egg. Quail eggs weigh anything from 8 to 15 grams. The most average size is about 12 grams. Use this size for this cooking time. Smaller eggs will take less time and larger longer. With each gram increasing or decreasing the cooking time by roughly 10 seconds per gram.
- Start cooking - Once your water is boiling and your eggs are sorted into size. Get your timer ready and lay the eggs onto a slotted spoon or just use a normal spoon to carefully get them into the water. Just remember, they all need to go in at the same time so use a big spoon or anything else like a soup bowl to carefully slide them into the water. Some might break but don’t worry. There are many worst things in the world. As soon as they hit the water, set the timer to 2 minutes and 20 seconds.
- Cool them down quickly - As soon as the timer rings you pounce like a tiger and get them out of the water. The easiest way to do this is to actually just get rid of the water by carefully pouring it out. Run some cold tap water on to the eggs straight away so they can cool down as quickly as possible. Better even, dump them into some iced water. That’s what the pros do, but not everyone has ice at home all the time. I don’t and I’m a pro))
- Peeling the quail eggs - Once cold, peel the soft boiled quail eggs carefully, taking care not to break them. Enjoy straight away sprinkled with some salt and freshly cracked black pepper or store in the fridge for later use.
WOW! Many things! So, I will list a few of my own recipes you could add it to or some other ideas you could try.
- Salads - Replace the chicken eggs in this salmon salad with soft boiled quail eggs or add to this warm uncured bacon salad. Caesar salad also loves a few soft boiled quail eggs. You could even make Caesar dressing with quail eggs instead of chicken eggs.
- Soups - Just before you serve a soup. Drop a few soft boiled quail eggs in there. It’s a lovely little bit of texture and richness. Add it to this summer chanterelle mushroom soup or this Ukrainian borscht. Go to this baked eggs recipe and imagine if the whole pan was filled with little quail eggs. I’m a big dude and even I see the cute in that).
- Breakfast - One of my go-to breakfasts are soft boiled eggs and cured salmon with a bit of toasted sourdough bread or sourdough pancakes. Always with some cream cheese and chopped chives. Oldy but a goody! Go to this baked eggs recipe and imagine if the whole pan was filled with little quail eggs. I’m a big dude and even I see the cute in that).
- Curries and stews - Add to this Viking stew or this Filipino beef adobo. This Massaman curry or this coconut chicken curry.
- Small batch recipes - I will wrap up with a super useful use for quail eggs. Most baked dessert recipes like this carrot cake, this cherry tart or this lovely Russian honey cake use eggs and they are way too big for a double serving. Which is what a lot of people want. Just, a scaled-down version. So, using quail eggs solves that problem because, well, they are smaller and you can scale the recipe down easily because they only weigh a 5th compared to chicken eggs.
- My personal favourite - This is a bit of a BONUS. It works with any egg but if you like sea urchins then quail eggs are the way forward. Those of you that know their Japanese cuisine know where I’m going with this. Pour a small spoon of very good soy sauce over soft boiled quail eggs and see the magic unfold. If you make your own soy sauce like me, then you are truly in for a treat. Egg and soy is a match made in heaven.
You can easily make your own soy sauce at home using koji. Message me on Instagram and I will tell you exactly how.
Frequently asked questions
Soft boiled quail eggs will keep fine in the fridge for up to two days.
This recipe is based on eggs straight from the fridge. Because quail eggs are so small the difference in temperature will play a minimal role though.
Freezing them will destroy their texture. Do not freeze raw or cooked eggs of any kind.
Useful equipment for this recipe
THIS PAGE CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS - I MIGHT EARN A TINY % OF THE SALE THROUGH THESE LINKS NO EXTRA COST TO YOU. PROBABLY NOT EVEN ENOUGH TO BUY A BEER).
If you found this post helpful or have learned something, comment, subscribe, and follow me on social platforms for more tasty recipes.
Soft Boiled Quail Eggs | Exactly How Long To The Second
- 12 Quail eggs - weighing 12 grams each
- Bring a pot of water to the boil
- Lower eggs in with a slotted spoon
- Set timer to 2 minutes 20 seconds
- When done remove, cool down under cold running water.
- Peel and serve or store for later use
- This recipe is based on eggs that weigh 12 grams each. Most stores will sell this size, however, some packs are very mixed like the one I used for my video.
- Cooking times vary for different sizes with each gram increasing or decreasing cooking time by about 8 seconds.
- Season with salt and pepper as a top little snack or breakfast.
- See the post for more details on what to serve with.
- Quail eggs should not be frozen. Neither cooked nor raw. It spoils the texture.
- Can be kept cooked in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
- Conveniently store in the egg container you bought them in once cooked.
- Quail eggs can be used instead of chicken eggs when a recipe is scaled-down and require less egg.
- Once boiled they can also be pickled in vinegar and stored in the fridge for months.
Absolutely perfect eggs! You must have done so much testing to get to that exact cooking time of 2 minutes 20 seconds. Makes such a difference having a professional go-to to go to for recipes instead of the usual homecooks. ))) Thanksxx
Holly, Years of experience) Just be mindful that sometimes quail eggs can vary in size dramatically especially when organic free-range. This timing works perfectly for medium-sized quail eggs that weigh about 10g each
This is extremely detailed and exact. I made mini scotched eggs and they came out perfect. You are teaching me to cook like a real professional) Next time I will try and poach them for mini eggs benedict. Thanks for all the awesome recipes and free professional advise!!
You're welcome, Jack! If you want to make poached quail eggs then cook them for a minute. If they are still a bit under give them another 20 seconds. This will depend on the size of eggs and the temperature of the water. Love Scotched quail egg. Good job!
Exactly what I'm making! Would you mind sharing the time you boiled them since they'll also be cooking when frying them inside the sausage? Or just stick to the 2:20?
Assuming you are using the larger 12-14g quail eggs, I suggest you cook it just a touch less(like 15 seconds), just to avoid over cooking when frying. Btw. Perfect amount of meat is 18 grams per egg.
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
Thank you! Weighing the eggs clears up so many pesky ambiguities.
Came out perfect! 2 minutes 20 seconds to the millisecond. Also appreciate the tips for doing small batch baking with it.
Should the quail eggs be at room temperature or fridge temperature before boiling (if it makes a difference)?
Fridge temperature. If the eggs have been sitting out at room temp they will still be soft just a touch less. The most important part is using the 10 gram sized ones. If they are smaller they will overcook. Always separate the big ones from the small ones if you are using a brand that does not sort the eggs.
These came out perfect. Some did break though. Is it just part of the game or is there a way to prevent it?
Hi I am going to try this. I have weighed my eggs they are all different sizes, some are 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14g do I need different times to cook each size?
That's free-range deluxe))) It's a very fine line with those weight differences. Check the small ones after 2 minutes. Don't do it all at once. Experiment with one at a time. Hope you have plenty of eggs.