October 31, 2016

Sweet Pickled Purple Quail Eggs

Sweet, Pickled, Purple, Quail, Eggs, recipe, dyed, natural dye,  甜, 醃, 鵪鶉蛋
By Published: 2016-10-31
It's time for Halloween, little ghosts and zombies are waiting around every corner, greedy outstretched hands hungry for candy, candy, and more candy!  Instead of packing yet another bag of sweet candy for my little girl to take to school to share with her little goblin and princess friends, I thought to make a more healthy sweet Halloween treat.  

I ended up making these quick, easy, fun little snacks, the Sweet Pickled Quail Eggs, naturally colored a lovely ghoulish Halloween purple with the dye from purple sweet potato.  "These are monster eggs," I whispered in a scary voice to my little girl and she loved them, gobbled up 3 in one go and then asked for more and we are making another big batch for school!

Sweet, Pickled, Purple, Quail, Eggs, recipe, dyed, natural dye,  甜, 醃, 鵪鶉蛋

We used quail eggs 鵪鶉蛋, which are about an inch in length which makes it a perfect snack size for little ones.  Quail eggs are usually available at Asian grocery stores and are not that pricey if you find them there.  I bought mine fresh from the wet market for a song.  I think they are just beautiful with their lovely spots.

Sweet, Pickled, Purple, Quail, Eggs, recipe, dyed, natural dye,  甜, 醃, 鵪鶉蛋

A quick gentle boil, making sure to use a low fire so as not to shake the eggs too much, and then a quick sure bath in ice water will allow you to peel the shells off the eggs nice and easily.  Or I just found there's this weird quail egg gadget that peels them lickety split.

Sweet, Pickled, Purple, Quail, Eggs, recipe, dyed, natural dye,  甜, 醃, 鵪鶉蛋

Pop the peeled quail eggs into a jar, we used a 12 oz glass jar for 24 wee eggs and it fit just perfect.  Fill the jar up with your beautiful purple pickling solution and it goes into the fridge for 24 hours.  Just give it a shake or two once in a while just to be sure all the eggs being pickled.

Sweet, Pickled, Purple, Quail, Eggs, recipe, dyed, natural dye,  甜, 醃, 鵪鶉蛋

I just love pickling things in jars and having a neat row of them in my fridge!  Usually tho', I can only do one pickling thing at a time because my darn fridge is scarcely bigger than a dorm fridge.  But, heavens be thanked, we have finally found (after a many year hunt) a bigger fridge that will actually fit into our itsy bitsy stamp sized kitchen and when we get it I'm going to pickle everything in sight with a vengeance!

We used purple sweet potato to achieve the totally natural purple stain on the eggs.  You can also make naturally pink eggs (my little girl has ordered a pink batch next) by substituting beets.  The longer you soak in the pickling solution, the more vivid the colors get.

And that was it!  Quick mix and a soak and we had us some sweet creamy deliciously purpled miniature monster egg treats touched with just a hint of warm spice.  So why not try out an unusual Halloween treat, make these naturally dyed purple Sweet Pickled Quail's Egg to give out as monster egg treats and see if your little ones don't delight over it as much as over their usual candies!  

Happy Halloween from all of us at The Hong Kong Cookery!

Sweet, Pickled, Purple, Quail, Eggs, recipe, dyed, natural dye,  甜, 醃, 鵪鶉蛋
Sweet Pickled Quail Eggs Recipe
Prep time: Cook time:



Peel and cube sweet potato.  Cover with 1" water in small pot and boil for 10 mins or until tender.  Remove the sweet potato (use for an amazing purple colored sweet potato mash!)) and then boil down the cooking water until 1 cup left.  This is to intensify the dye.  

Add in vinegar, sugar, salt and spices and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.  Let the pickling solution cool completely.

Place eggs carefully in a small pot and cover with 1" cold water.  Bring gently to a boil.  Once boiling remove from heat and cover and let sit for 3 mins.  When time is up plunge at once into ice water and let eggs sit for 5 mins or until completely cooled.

Crack the cooled eggs gently all over and then peel.  Rinse peeled egg under cold water to remove any bits of shell that are sticking.  Pat peeled eggs dry with kitchen towel and place carefully into glass jar.  

Pour the cooled pickling solution over the eggs until covered completely.  Close the jar, give it a shake to distribute the pickling solution and refrigerate for 1 day at least and up to 2 weeks.  Enjoy your monster eggs!



  1. Love this idea!! Actually love everything on your blog - thank you so much for writing! It's so hard to get good English blogs for us Hong Kong kids that were too terrible at languages to learn to read Chinese! More importantly.. What fridge did you buy?!?! On a hunt for Tiny but efficient fridge myself

  2. Thanks MaggieS! So glad you like our blog and ditto on Chinese being hard. My little girl is learning now and it's painful to watch her!

    Now for that elusive fridge - we found two tallish fridges distinguished by a shallow depth of 569mm (that being our particular kitchen fridge space problem) I think they are actually the same fridge but anyways one is a Whirlpool and one is a Philco. They are available at both the major large appliance stores in town. Hope that helps! ~ellen

  3. What is five spice power?

    1. Five spice powder is a mixed ground spice consisting of star anise, cloves, chinese cinnamon, sichuan pepper and fennel seeds. ~ellen