Look What I Made: Scotch Quail Eggs

Scotch quail eggs (photos by Travis Awalt)

The first time I heard of scotch eggs, I thought ‘scotch and eggs don’t sound like they go together.’ But that’s also what I said about whiskey salad and the tursammock (turkey sandwich hammock), and we all know the genius of those… wait. Those were dreams. Scratch that. So what did I know about scotch eggs? Not much, turns out. Scotch eggs have nothing to do with scotch (whew!), and everything to do with wrapping hard boiled eggs in sausage and frying them. OK then. As a friend put it to me recently, ‘I like (expletive) wrapped in different (expletive). And fried.’

Me too.

And I’m a fan of hard boiled eggs. Let’s be honest though – hard boiled eggs, and by extension many dishes featuring them, are not sexy.* There’s something decidedly old-mannish about hard boiled eggs (no offense old dudes, as I plan to proudly join your ranks some day), like they’re best enjoyed straight from the pocket of a high-waisted track suit, while playing chess at a park. With that in mind, I’ve done here what you can nearly always do to improve a dish’s image: I made it bite sized. Everybody loves smaller versions of foods** (see: sliders, tiny enchiladas, mini-quiches, meatloaf muffins etc). They’re portable, adorable, and resistance to their charms is futile (evil laugh). And, in this case, since the servings are far smaller than regular-sized scotch eggs, you can eat more than one without fear of PICR – Possible Imminent Coronary Reprisal.

Quail eggs

To make these little scotch eggs little, I used canned quail eggs. If you can find fresh quail eggs, you are a more advanced shopper than me. The canned variety are already boiled and have yolks that turn very creamy, almost like a deviled egg, when given this treatment. You can find them at pretty much any supermarket, although different stores stock them in different places, so you might have to search a bit. The other big advantage of the canned eggs is that they cut your prep time in half. Portable, adorable and quick; all good things. Not to mention, a unique brunch offeringAnd I know you’re slutty for brunch. We all are.


Note: You could switch up the outer breading to anything from crushed tortilla chips or Frito’s to corn flakes. 

Scotch Quail Eggs

(makes about 20)

1 can of quail eggs, rinsed and patted dry

1 lb ground pork, bulk Italian sausage or breakfast sausage

panko bread crumbs (probably at least a cup)

flour for dredging (probably at least a cup)

1-2 regular eggs, lightly beaten

neutral oil for frying

skewers (optional)

Sausaging up the quail eggs

1. Get your oil (2″ or so) going just below medium high heat. The easiest way I’ve found to wrap the eggs in sausage is to pull off a bit of sausage, about half the size of a ping pong ball and flatten it down with your thumb. Then gently press the egg into the sausage and gently pull the excess around, enveloping the egg. Now, you guessed it, gently roll the sausage/egg ball between your palms to smooth it out.

You know the drill here…

2. Set up the standard dredging station of flour, egg, breading. Roll each egg in flour, shaking off the excess, then dip it in the egg, followed by a roll in the panko crumbs.

Ready for a dunk

3. Gently drop the breaded eggs into the hot oil (I used a wire strainer). Fry the eggs for about 3 minutes; they cook fast. They’ll float when done.


*Sushi : Jennifer Lawrence :: Hard boiled eggs : Don Rickles

**Everybody loves smaller versions of everything. Case in point: babies.


  • Jeff Hayden

    They looked delicious when I thought they were donut holes or cake balls.

  • Liz

    You can find quail eggs at Kazy’s. The thought of canned quail eggs makes me feel a bit queasy.

  • James D

    You can get fresh quail eggs at Hong Kong Market on Walnut St, very cheap, and duck eggs too. They have them canned as well.

    • Travis Awalt

      In my experience, the duck eggs at HKM are typically balut (yeah, google ‘balut’) and not the duck version of chicken eggs. If you did this recipe with balut, it would probably scar people for life.

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  • Kelly

    i just googled . . . now I’m scarred for life!

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  • Autumn Reo

    Or be easy on yourself and go to the http://www.bbcpub.com in Uptown and get their Quail Eggs Benedict. Tasty and you don’t have to worry about “balut” eggs. These are good and tasty – and have Genoa salami, poached quail eggs, and BBC hollandaise sauce.

  • Cheo

    Works very well.
    Finely ground venison or mutton ;
    with ginger, curry or galangal added to the flour

  • Cheo

    Vary this by using finely minced mutton or venison,
    seasoned with juniper or caraway. Kiss the flour
    with ginger, curry, or galangal.