Chicken eggs are some of the most commonly eaten foods around, but there are a lot of other types of eggs to enjoy. If you are looking for something a little different, try eggs from another animal and add a little kick to your next meal.
Types of Eggs
Besides chicken eggs, there are several other types of edible bird eggs that are readily available in gourmet markets. Duck and quail eggs are probably the most popular with ostrich and goose eggs becoming more and more common. Even eggs from pheasants, turkeys, and emus can be found in more stores and on more menus around the country.
Quail, Ostrich and Emu Eggs
The most obvious difference between all these types of eggs is the size, with quail eggs being the smallest and ostrich eggs being the largest. A second difference is color. Emu eggs are a greenish black color, similar to that of an avocado; quail eggs have black spots all over them; and, some duck eggs can be blue.
The shells of some of these eggs are also much thicker than chicken eggs and can be difficult to open. Ostrich eggs, for example, are notoriously difficult to open and may even need the help of a saw. However, quail eggs are extremely delicate and should be handled with care.
An Egg is an Egg
As for the taste, each egg has its own flavor, but all still taste like eggs. Depending on how discerning your taste buds are and how the egg is used, you may or may not be able to taste the difference in eggs.
For instance, duck eggs have a slightly stronger taste than chicken eggs and, because ostrich eggs are so large, they have more of an “egg” and gamey flavor. Quail eggs are so small that they have a less strong flavor and are typically eaten raw.
Cooking with Exotic Eggs
As far as cooking with other types of eggs, you can pretty much do anything you would do with a chicken egg; however, you need to take into consideration the size of the egg.
For example, one ostrich egg equals about 20 to 24 chicken eggs and you would need to use about 4 to 5 quail eggs to equal one chicken egg. So, if you are thinking about substituting chicken eggs for any other type of egg for baking (cakes, cookies, muffins), make sure you know exactly how many eggs to use because it could drastically affect the outcome.
It is a good idea to stick with chicken eggs for baking and use the other varieties for omelets, poaching, hard boiling, scrambling, etc., where the exact amount will not affect the outcome of the product. Besides baking, different varieties of eggs can be cooked any way chicken eggs can; they are perfect as substitutes in omelets, egg salads, deviled eggs, or simply eggs over easy.
Rare Quail Eggs Over Steak Tartare or Duck Eggs over Asian Noodle Soup
Certain types of eggs, however, do have better ways to be cooked. For example, barely cooked quail eggs taste delicious over steak tartare while duck eggs are perfect poached and placed in a bowl of Asian noodle soup (when you cut them open, the yolk runs out and mixes with the broth).
If you are unsure of how a different type of egg will taste in a recipe, try eating it over easy first so you can get the flavor and figure out what to do with it. As always, have fun and be creative with new flavors!
Salmon Tartare with Fried Quail Eggs Recipe
Makes 2 servings
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons wasabi powder
- Salt to taste
- 1/4 cup cooked rice
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
- 6-ounces sushi grade salmon, diced
- 2 quail eggs
- Combine mayonnaise with wasabi and salt to taste. Mix rice with sesame seeds.
- Spoon a small amount of mayonnaise on two plates then top with rice and salmon.
- When ready to serve, crack each egg into a skillet and cook for a minute or two, or until the white is cooked but the yolk is still soft.
- Place each egg on top of each plate of salmon.
Duck Egg Hash Recipe
Makes 2 servings
- 2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 white onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons duck fat
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups cooked duck meat, shredded
- 1 duck egg
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a casserole dish with butter.
- Sauté the potatoes and onions in duck fat until tender; season with salt and pepper.
- Add the duck meat to the potato mixture and spoon into a prepared casserole dish; top casserole with duck egg.
- Bake in oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until eggs are cooked to desired doneness.
Ostrich Egg with Rosemary and Caper Aioli Recipe
Makes 8 servings
- 1 ostrich egg
- 2 tablespoons capers
- 3-ounces toasted walnuts
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 chicken egg yolk
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Vegetable oil
- 8 slices country bread
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and place ostrich egg in water. Boil egg for 1 hour, adding more water if needed.
- Combine the capers, walnuts, rosemary, garlic, egg yolk, salt, and pepper in a food processor. Blend until coarsely chopped then slowly drizzle in oil until a thick emulsion is made.
- When egg is finished cooking, remove shell and membrane and slice into 8 pieces. Spoon aioli onto each piece of bread then top with an egg slice.