Pureed potatoes and coddled egg in a jar (a la Eggslut in DTLA)

Ingredients

Makes 12 eggs

  • 12 duck eggs or chicken eggs
  • 5 cups (1.25 L) water
  • 1 cup (250 ml) sea salt or rock salt

Optional Seasonings

  • 1 to 2 Tbsp (15 to 30 ml) Shaoxing wine
  • 4 star anise
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) Szechuan peppercorns

Beet Pickled Eggs

Apparently a popular way to pickle eggs is in beet juice, so that the egg whites turn a pretty fuchsia pink. A few weeks after I made my first batch I was served beet pickled eggs in a salad at a bar/restaurant in Gettysburg. They were pickled all the way through the yolk, turning the yolk slightly pink as well.

The longer you keep the eggs in the pickling liquid, the deeper it penetrates into the eggs. I'm guessing to pickle them all the way through you have to keep them in the liquid at least a couple of weeks.

Elise Bauer

Video

How It Works

If you just set the egg on the bottle, its diameter is too large for it to slip inside. The pressure of the air inside and outside of the bottle is the same, so the only force that would cause the egg to enter the bottle is gravity. Gravity isn’t sufficient to pull the egg inside the bottle.

When you change the temperature of the air inside the bottle, you change the pressure of the air inside the bottle. If you have a constant volume of air and heat it, the pressure of the air increases. If you cool the air, the pressure decreases. If you can lower the pressure inside the bottle enough, the air pressure outside the bottle will push the egg into the container.

It's easy to see how the pressure changes when you chill the bottle, but why is the egg pushed into the bottle when heat is applied? When you drop burning paper into the bottle, the paper will burn until the oxygen is consumed (or the paper is consumed, whichever comes first). Combustion heats the air in the bottle, increasing the air pressure. The heated air pushes the egg out of the way, making it appear to jump on the mouth of the bottle. As the air cools, the egg settles down and seals the mouth of the bottle. Now there is less air in the bottle than when you started, so it exerts less pressure. When the temperature inside and outside the bottle is the same, there is enough positive pressure outside the bottle to push the egg inside.

Heating the bottle produces the same result (and may be easier to do if you can't keep the paper burning long enough to put the egg on the bottle). The bottle and the air are heated. Hot air escapes from the bottle until the pressure both inside and outside the bottle is the same. As the bottle and air inside continue to cool, a pressure gradient builds, so the egg is pushed into the bottle.

Quick Pickled Egg Tip

I did find that the pickling liquid needs to have vinegar diluted with water. Straight vinegar is just too acidic. I like adding sugar because it helps balance the acidity of the vinegar and I like a slightly sweet pickle.

If any of you are old hands at making pickled eggs, please feel free to share your expertise (or favorite recipe) in the comments.

Featured Video

How to Make Pickled Eggs?

You can customize this basic pickled eggs recipe to your own taste. Or consider the two popular variations we present below. 

Step 1. Hard boil the eggs and peel them. Use the boiling method you believe to work best or refer to ours in the recipe card. If we may suggest – be sure to cool the cooked eggs immediately, if possible in an ice bath in order to make the peeling easier. 

Step 2. Boil the water, salt, vinegar and other ingredients in order to dissolve the salt and bring the pickling liquid to temperature (must be used hot). Simmer for five minutes.

At a minimum use 1 1/2 tbsp kosher or sea salt (never iodized) to 2 cups of water (this yields about 5 % brine solution) and 2 cups of vinegar. 

You can flavor the brine with whatever you’d like – from mustard seeds and peppercorns to garlic cloves, shallots and tarragon.

Step 3. Arrange the peeled eggs in a large mason jar with a wide mouth (or a similar glass container with an air tight lid). Pour the hot pickling solution over them and immediately close the lid.  Refrigerate.

The eggs will be ready to enjoy after two to three days of soaking up the flavors.  

Seal the jars as soon as you pour the hot pickling

Seal the jars as soon as you pour the hot pickling liquid over the hard boiled eggs.

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How to Eat Pickled Eggs (and Twists)

There are so many ways to enjoy this delicacy – from simply seasoning the eggs with a bit of salt to slicing them in circles and assembling an open faced sandwich with some mayo and finely chopped green onions. 

  • You can take bites from a whole egg, with a side of remoulade or you can present the eggs sliced in half lengthwise and top them with capers or thinly sliced onions and drizzle them with oil and vinegar, like a salad.
  • In the case of red beet eggs, serve the sliced eggs along with the beet slices. You can season with salt and pepper, perhaps a drizzle of olive oil. 
  • Use your favorite deviled eggs recipe or make an egg salad with perhaps some fresh dill.
  • Mustard is an excellent condiment for these. You can either place a dab of mustard onto egg halves or use the method from the German Rhur region where they take an egg half, carefully scoop out the yolk and fill the white with spicy mustard, a bit of oil and vinegar. They then eat the egg yolk and quickly chase it with the filled white.

Using slices of pickled shallots and a bit of Dijon mustard makes for a great garnish.

These ideas for twists on pickled eggs are worth considering:

  • In Germany it is very much the norm to pickle the eggs with the crushed shells on. Individual eggs are later peeled, right before being consumed. This is the way of choice eight out of ten times – just browse German recipes for Soleier and you’ll be convinced. Depending on what other ingredients are used in the pickling liquid this method results in an irregular, webby appearance on the whites’ surface resulting from the colored liquid reaching in through the cracked shells. 
  • Add your favorite craft beer to the pickling liquid – similarly to these Beer Pickles. A balanced, citrusy IPA or a malty, sweet ale are suitable. Add the beer to the other ingredients of the pickling liquid before bringing them to boil. The alcohol and hops will help preserve the eggs. Use a 1:1:1 ratio of brine, vinegar and beer. 
  • Use caraway seeds and thinly sliced garlic cloves in the pickling liquid or your favorite pickling spice.

Needless to say – pickled eggs are excellent to pair with beer, especially highly carbonated, hoppy German pilsners or malty English ales.

Reader Success Stories

  • Myasia Jackson

Mar 22, 2018

    Myasia Jackson Mar 22, 2018

    “I will probably try this at home when I get a chance. It will be easy, and I will probably make a video. Thanks, guys!”…” more

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