salad of quails eggs poached in rooibos tea with crispy bacon

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The lovely earthy flavour of the Rooibos tea gently flavoured these quails eggs which went so well with mixed leaves, crispy bacon bits and toasted pine nuts.

quails eggs cooked in rooibos with crispy bacon and mixed leaves

The idea behind this came from one of my favourite Cape Town chefs, Franck Dangereaux from The Foodbarn. I tweeted asking him what awesome thing I could do with quail eggs and one of his suggestions was to marble them in Rooibos tea.  So I decided to brew a pot of very strong Rooibos Espresso and I boiled the eggs in that (about 5 minutes too hard). I then gently cracked them all over by rolling them on the countertop and let them sit in the tea until it cooled.

When I peeled them the marbling hadn’t penetrated the membrane immediately under the egg which was a little disappointing, so I just re-soaked the peeled eggs in the strong tea until they had turned a lovely brown colour and absorbed the flavour.

So these were not exactly poached out of the shell, but I think since I recently ‘properly’ poached my first quail egg, this is something to try.

Egg and bacon = a marriage in heaven. I drizzled over my favourite vinaigrette and scattered over a few toasted pine nuts which I always have on hand stored in my freezer.

I wanted to pair this with an interesting salt, so sprinkled on my Hawaiian Red Alae Salt which is mild in flavour, pink in colour and rich in minerals from the clay where it originates.

The other awesome ideas Franck suggested were to fry them in cayenne pepper or poach them in red wine. So those will be parked at the back of my mind for future experimentation.

In the past, I have enjoyed them simply hard-boiled and dipped into celery salt.

a tasty salad that will do well as a dinner party starter to impress


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  1. This reminds me of Chinese tea eggs where the eggs are steeped in black tea, soy sauce and five spice.

  2. Hi Phuong, that sounds so delicious. Yum!

  3. love the eggs, very clever, I’m nicking that idea soon. lol

  4. Hi Ryan, Fab! Thanks for a lovely lunch yesterday.

  5. A beautiful combination of ingredients! I should eat more lentils,
    this salad would be a great way to add them to my diet.

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