About one fifth the size of chicken eggs, quail eggs look absolutely adorable with their little speckled shells. When you crack one open, you will notice that while it looks like a miniature chicken egg, it has a prominent yolk due to its higher yolk-to-white ratio.
In Chinese cuisine, quail eggs are considered a gourmet food because their dainty shape adds a sense of luxury and elegance. For that reason, they are always used whole in a dish. Making scrambled eggs with them would be a total waste of their beauty.
You can use quail eggs instead of chicken eggs in several iconic dishes to achieve a more delicate or unique presentation. Imaging how great your dish would look like if you use quail eggs to make Chinese tea-marbled eggs, Southern pickled eggs, French Nicoise salad, or Scotch eggs?
They certainly look amazing in the stuffed mushroom dish I’m sharing with you today. In China, you would typically make this dish with fresh shiitake mushrooms. However, the ones available in the grocery stores in the US tend to have open caps instead of closed caps which you need to hold the eggs. For that reason, I use cremini mushrooms instead. Often labeled as baby bella, cremini mushrooms are basically young portobello mushrooms, and their size and closed caps are perfect for this recipe.
You can use steaming method for this dish, as it’s typically done in China. However, I find roasting achieves more exciting results, as the roasting process concentrates the flavor of mushrooms, firms up their texture, and cooks the quail eggs more gently.
I like to finish the dish with minced douchi (豆豉, fermented black soybeans), garlic and scallions fried in oil. They add aroma, umami, saltiness and texture to the dish.
Feel free to create your own finishing touch. For example, some grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, chopped parsley, and drops of olive oil will result in a totally different but equally fantastic dish.
Quail egg stuffed mushrooms with douchi and garlic
Makes 2 servings
10 quail eggs
10 cremini mushrooms, preferably the size of around 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter; fresh shiitake mushrooms would also be great if you can find the ones with closed caps.
2 teaspoons douchi (fermented black soybeans), minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 °F or 200 °C. Skip this step if you use steaming method.
- Clean the mushrooms and carefully remove the stems without breaking the caps. Save the stems for soups or stocks.
- Place the mushroom caps, with inside facing up, on a greased baking sheet. Lightly season the caps with salt and pepper. Crack a quail egg into each cap. Roast for about 15 minutes, or until the eggs are just set. If using steaming method, placed the stuffed mushrooms on a plate that fits into a steamer, or two plates into a two-layer steamer; steam for about 8 minutes.
- In a wok or skillet, heat the oil over medium heat until very hot. Add the douchi, garlic, and scallions, and fry for 1 minute. Remove the wok from the heat, and spoon the mixture and oil over the stuffed mushrooms. Serve immediately.
Subscribe to Soy, Rice, Fire
- Cold dishes and salads
- Dim sum and dumplings
- Fish and shelfish
- Poultry and eggs
- Rice, noodles, and grains
- Seasonal vegetables
- Soups and stews
- Soybeans and soy products