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Izakaya-style Marinated Quail Eggs
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Marinating Time
8 hrs
Total Time
8 mins

These marinated quail eggs are often served at izakaya (Japanese-style tavern) as a small appetiser as soon as you are seated. Marinated in sweet soy-flavoured sauce, they are surprisingly tasty. And also surprisingly easy to make.

Total time does not include time to marinate.

Recipe Type: Appetiser
Cuisine: Japanese
Serves: 12 eggs
Author: Yumiko
Ingredients (tbsp=15ml, cup=250ml)
  • 12 quail eggs
  • 3 tbsp dashi stock
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp sake
  1. Place the quail eggs in a saucepan large enough to have eggs in a single layer. Add water to cover the eggs and bring it to a boil over medium high heat. (note 1)

  2. Boil for 2 minutes (note 1), then turn the heat off. Place a lid on and cook in the hot water for another 2-3 minutes.

  3. Drain and add cold water to cool the eggs down. When the eggs cool down, peel the shells (note 2).

  4. Mix the Marinade ingredients in a bowl.

  5. In a small jar or air-tight container with a volume of minimum 300ml (10.1oz)(note 3), place the eggs and add the marinade. Ensure that all eggs are covered in the marinade.

  6.  Place a lid on and keep them in the fridge for overnight up to 2 days.

  7. Take the eggs out of the marinade and serve them in a small bowl.

Recipe Notes

1. If you want the egg yolk to be set in the centre of the egg, roll the eggs in the water regularly using chopsticks or a fork while the water is getting boiled and for the first 1 minute of boiling the eggs.

2. To peel: Shake the saucepan with the eggs in it vigorously so that the eggs hit against each other as well as the side of the saucepan. I also add water to the saucepan. Start peeling from the round end of the egg.

3. The eggs need to be completely covered in the marinade. To make sure that the eggs do not appear above the surface of the marinade, I placed a tiny round plastic lid which fits inside the jar.

Because the amount of marinade is just enough to cover the eggs, it is the best to use a round jar. My jar is a round (almost) jar of about 7cm diameter and 9cm tall. A slightly wider jar is OK, and a taller jar is fine too.

You can use an air tight small container too. It is also possible to use a zip lock bag to marinate the eggs. But in this case, you need to shake the bag several times while marinating so that there will be no white patches.

4. The leftover marinade can be reused for another batch of eggs to marinate. Alternatively, it can be used as part of the simmering sauce to cook vegetables as it contains all the typical Japanese seasonings.