Tuesday, December 14, 2010

What to do with a quail egg if you manage to sneak it past TSA

When I was in San Francisco, I marveled over the panoply of foods one could find throughout the city.  Including varieties of eggs I'd never seen before -- and I've been around the world a bit.  I shared with my sister and my twin (two different people) that I had recently discovered (and rejoiced) a place to buy quail eggs in Denver.  Confused by the chaos in the kitchen, my twin asked, "How are you gonna get the quail eggs past the TSA?"  Forgetting that I had the quail eggs in my kitchen in Denver and wouldn't need to bring them on the plane with me, my sister followed on with "Do raw eggs count as liquids?"  Which then begged the question, "How many quail eggs fit in a 3.0 oz container?"

Setting aside these profound questions, my sister wanted to know, "What do you do with a quail egg even if you manage to sneak it past the TSA?"  Well, Lucky Duck, here's your answer: fry it and place it, like a crown, on some fish.

As long as it takes to preheat the oven and roast some fish is all it takes to do that.  I've been known to serve egg with fish before, because I love the combination.  So when I got my hot little hands on the quail eggs, I had to see if they'd give me the same joy.  They did.

Here's exactly what you do with a couple of quail eggs if you manage to sneak them past the TSA.

Quail Eggs, Spinach, and Sea Bass
(serves 2)
2 quail eggs
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2/3 lb fillet of sea bass, cut in two
1 small shallot, minced
1 tsp dill, minced
1 tsp chives, minced
1/2 tsp parsley leaves, minced
 1 bunch spinach, washed and trimmed
1 clove garlic
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of fish.  In a small bowl, mix shallot, dill, chives, and parsley.  Coat salt with the herb mixture.  Set the fish in a baking dish and drizzle 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil over the fillets.  Roast for 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish (though, as Joe Bastianich once told me, "Sea bass is the most forgiving fish" so you need not worry incessantly about overcooking it).

About 5 minutes before the fish needs to come out of the oven, saute the garlic in one tbsp olive oil for 1 minute.  Saute spinach till just wilted, about 2-3 minutes.

In a small frying pan, heat the last tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat.  Drop the quail eggs in and fry till the whites become opaque.

Set the fish on the plate, topping each fillet with wilted spinach, and a fried quail egg.  Drizzle with the juices from the fish pan.  Salt and pepper to taste.


  1. I love quail eggs, and I love what you did with them!

  2. I love quail eggs... there used to be the shop in front of my apartment selling these with black pepper and oyster sauce. I love your version, too. it sounds delicious :)

  3. Thanks, Belinda and Tes! I still have a few more to play with. Would love to hear what you guys do with them so I can experiment!


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