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What chefs are doing with quail eggs

Raw, hard-boiled and pickled takes on a petite ovum.
 (Photograph: Erica Gannett)
Photograph: Erica GannettPickled quail eggs at Yusho
 (Photograph: Erica Gannett)
Photograph: Erica GannettQuail egg shooter at Slurping Turtle
 (Photograph: Erica Gannett)
Photograph: Erica GannettKale Caesar salad with hard-boiled quail eggs at Purple Pig
By Julia Kramer |

The richness of quail egg yolks helps them cross over from savory to sweet. At Slurping Turtle, sous chef Cyndie Ha sets a raw egg in a shot of condensed milk, coconut milk and ginger-lemongrass syrup. It looks a little like a tequila shot, but trust us, this time you’ll know when you’ve had too many. 116 W Hubbard St (312-464-0466).

What’s the difference between a hen egg and a quail egg? “It’s like the difference between feed-lot cattle and farm-raised, grass-fed cattle,” explains Matthias Merges, the chef-owner of Yusho, who further enhances quail eggs’ deep flavor by pickling them in a mixture of cider vinegar and charred kombu (kelp) for 10 to 14 days. 2853 N Kedzie Ave (773-904-8558).

Like Yusho, the Purple Pig’s small-plate focus leads the restaurant to seek out big flavors it can pack into little bites. Hence, hard-boiled quail eggs were the perfect size for the restaurant’s take on a Caesar salad, in which cavolo nero (Tuscan kale) is capped with a boquerone (large white anchovy). 500 N Michigan Ave (312-464-1744).

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