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Posted on Mar 31, 2007 in Bento, Curry, Eggs, For Kids, Gluten Free, Lactose Free, Meat, Recipe, Rice, Tips | 31 comments

Curried quail egg lunches: Multi-boiling

Curried quail egg lunches: Multi-boiling


Morning prep time: 8 minutes (15 min. for two lunches). I cooked washed quail eggs and sausages together to save prep time, used leftover homemade yellow rice with alcaparrado (olives, pimientos and capers), nuked broccoli in the microwave steamer, and put ketchup into the sauce container. What took the most time was peeling the hard boiled quail eggs before a brief simmer in curry/soy/water (recipe below). Japanese bento cookbooks show a lot of quail eggs in children’s lunches, often colored with natural flavorings instead of dye. Yellow: curry powder or takuan packing liquid, pink: umeboshi packing liquid with red shiso or red ginger packing liquid (benishoga), purple: grape juice, brown: soy sauce, etc.

I quickly made the little egg into a “goldfish” by sticking a little sprig of parsley into one end (ouch!), and affixing a black sesame seed ‘eye’ to the egg with a little honey to make sure it didn’t fall off in transit (a hazard of intricate bento designs). Bug’s lunch is packed in a 350ml Lock & Lock container from a lunch set.

Curried egg lunch for toddler

To save time in the morning, combine prep of different ingredients into one pot (or steamer, pan, broiler, etc.) — saves on both prep and cleanup time. If I’d planned it better I would have thrown the broccoli in the pot at the same time. My secret’s out — I don’t do a lot of prior planning of the exact makeup of our lunches, I just wing it as I’m packing. It is helpful to think of one item the night before, though, so you’re not completely at a loss. EDIT: Someone pointed out that the quail eggs they buy sometimes have dirty shells, so it’d be best to wash the eggs before cooking them with other food.

Prep for quail eggs and sausages

Here’s my lunch, the same as Bug’s except my curried quail eggs are on skewers with little plum tomatoes. Bug actually got excited when he saw my skewers, so I ate maybe one and a half and gave the rest to him. Everything’s more exciting when it’s on a pick! My lunch is packed in a 500ml Feel at Ease box that I got for about US$1 at a local Japanese dollar store (Ichiban Kan).

Curried egg skewer lunch

Curried Quail Eggs

  1. Put quail eggs in a small pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Turn off heat, cover, and let sit for a few minutes. Peel.
  2. Put about 1/3 cup water in the small pot you used when boiling the eggs, add 1/2 tsp. curry powder (or more) and a splash of soy sauce. Simmer on low heat for 3 minutes or so, stirring occasionally, until the color is how you want it. Cool and eat!

Note: If you can’t find fresh quail eggs (often in the egg section of an Asian grocer), you may be able to find cans of hard-boiled quail eggs. I haven’t been impressed with the texture of the canned eggs so far, but…



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  1. Those canned quail eggs are darned creditable. I used them to make Scotch Eggs once, in a burst of Conspicuous Consumption: cover with sausage meat, roll in beaten egg and then crumbs and then deep fry until golden brown. English pub food, the kawaii/twee version for a lady’s tea.

  2. One thing which makes me think twice about using skewers is that it screws up my food lay-out! I have a hard time putting stuff around the skewered food ^_^;;

    And fab tip about boiling / steaming food together. I do that too and I agree, it saves a lot of time and cleanup.

  3. OH yeah, and I encountered your favorite Aidell’s sausages during a food fair i went too. I wanted to grab a bag since you seem to like it so much but gyaaaah! It was a bit pricey. They sold it in set party packs only, and I really didn’t want to spend 1k PHP (that’s around $20. That’s way expensive here, considering I can buy fantastic hungarian cocktail sausages from a high-end deli for 100-200 PHP.

  4. great tips as usual! and oh you are so lucky to have a store nearby for bento supplies for great prices! you should definetely put some on ebay..

  5. I did the same thing with quail eggs, but used purple potato salad to make “faux” Scotch eggs too! Mmm, English pub food…

  6. that is one HUGE strawberry in Bug’s lunch!! Wow!

  7. I have never tried quail eggs- do they taste much different from chicken eggs?

  8. You’re probably right, but it seems like a lot of work/effort when I’m already doing the web stuff and looking after my son.

  9. No different — pretty much the same taste as chicken eggs (just smaller, perfect size for bentos and little fingers).

  10. I finally found organic strawberries at a good price (one of the foods that’s actually worth picking up in organic version if you can find them — regular ones really pick up pesticides and aren’t good for toddlers).

  11. Great news zjabelle! Enjoy working with them!

  12. Thinking of picks, these are likely too elaborate for your current lunches, but aren’t they cool anyway? :)

  13. Off topic, but there’s a guy who made a scotch egg with an ostrich egg once and blogged it. Absolutely amazing, it looked delicious too.

  14. Ooh, very cool!

  15. Hilarious! I’ll keep that in mind for when I’m packing a bento for an elephant. ;-)

  16. I found the link, here. Absolutely hilarious, I can imagine it being a great novelty piece for a party. :D

  17. i did! :D

  18. Where do you get sausage like that? I have never seen it in the stores, maybe I am blind.

  19. The sausages are from Aidells — their chicken and apple mini sausages (no gluten or MSG, very short/natural ingredient list). I like them better than any other cocktail sausages I’ve tried so far. Here’s a link from the company’s webpage with a store locator:

  20. You probably have known this already, but just in case - when you peel egg shells, it is easy to do so after leaving eggs in a bowl of cold water for about a couple of minutes. Then you could peel the shell in the bowl, in the water, so that the tiny little pieces won’t stick to your fingers. When finishing peeling, you could rinse off the eggs ;) Coloring eggs is a great idea, I will dye them when I have time!

  21. Good tip, Yumi — thanks!

  22. Would I be able to ask if eggs can be cooked and then frozen? Thanks!

    • Jun, unfortunately hard-boiled eggs don’t do well in the freezer. They can be refrigerated as is for a few days, or put in regular or slightly salty water and refrigerated for a week or so.

  23. I just made curried chicken eggs (quail eggs are hard to come by where I live) and they were awesome =) Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  24. @26 from Erin: My pleasure, Erin — I’m glad they turned out well for you!

  25. I was a little concerned when my husband decided to get 2 dozen little “Silver Seabright” chickens last summer. I mean, that’s a LOT of chickens…UNTIL they started laying the cutest little eggs! They’re fresher than anything I could buy and just slightly bigger than a quail egg. (They also have blue and green shells!) Have you thought of making several days worth of eggs and storing them in the fridge in the marinating liquid? I know I’m not usually in the mood to peel off tiny egg shells at 6am.

    My best friend in HS’s mom would boil up a whole dozen hard-boiled eggs on Sunday, and have them ready for lunches all week. She had 3 boys though.

    Also, something else I learned this summer, don’t wash your eggs until you’re ready to use them. Egg shells are very porous, but they come from the chicken with a natural sealant of some sort on them, which helps keep out the bacteria. Clean visible debris off your eggs as soon as possible, but don’t run them under water or scrub them until you’re ready to use them! :)

    Thanks for the recipes and inspiration. Be well, and enjoy your son, they don’t stay little for long!

  26. @28 from Leigh: How interesting about your Silver Seabright chicken eggs! I’d love to try some sometime. Making a batch of eggs at the beginning of the week is definitely a timesaver — keeping them in their marinating liquid only intensifies the flavor. You can also keep regular (unflavored) peeled hard-boiled eggs covered with cold water in the fridge for about a week.

  27. I don’t have access to quail eggs so I use regular chicken eggs. How long do you boil them so the yolks aren’t baby poop green? I haven’t gotten that right yet.

    I have made a nice first bento for tomorrow! I don’t know if I’ll be able to cook in the morning, too crazy here : )

  28. Nice Post! You a great idea! I wish read your review first because I already purchased here at

  29. do you pack an icepack for bentos like this? or just in an insulated lunch box? i am so lost as to when to pack food hot or cold due to safety concerns

  30. At last a new use for all my excess quail eggs. I raise the little birds and a new way to cook/use!