Updated: Apr 26
Journey at Home Day 31
A week ago, at my niece's suggestion, I made pickled eggs. I never had them before, so it sounded like a culinary journey that I needed to take. I love pickles—cucumbers, beans, beets, carrots, and more. Eggs sounded intriguing. The recipe I used is from Delicious Table. It is pretty easy to follow, but it does require pickling spices.
Delicious Table links to a pickling spice recipe that includes star anise and juniper berries. I had the juniper berries, but not the star anise, so I found a different recipe on the web whose ingredients I had on hand:
2 Tbl whole mustard seeds
1 Tbl whole allspice berries
2 tsp whole coriander seeds
1 tsp red pepper flakes (or more)
1 tsp ground ginger
2 bay leaves, crumbled
2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
6 whole cloves
I pickled only 6 eggs so I could see how much I liked them. The hard boiled eggs went into the pickle brine for a week. Today, I had two for lunch.
The first thing I noticed about the eggs was the texture. The whites become firmer than normal hard boiled eggs, but the yolks were the same. The whites tasted as they absorbed the pickle flavor whereas the yolks hadn't, at least not in a week.
The flavor was quite interesting. The eggs had the vinegar tang of pickle, but the cinnamon, cloves, and allspice gave hints of Thanksgiving spicing. It was very unlike dill cucumber pickles. Although I added extra red pepper flakes, the eggs weren't hot. The Delicious Table recipe calls for jalapeño peppers as well (and dill too), but I didn't have any fresh hot peppers. I would have enjoyed the kick.
I imagine that the flavors and aroma of the pickled eggs depend a lot on the specific spices in the pickling mix. It would be fun to experiment with various mixes. I love juniper, so next time that would be something I'd add.
I rate the dish as an exotic—something that I would enjoy once in awhile, but not something I want to have all the time. Six eggs is the right amount for me. The benefit of making the pickle juice is that I can now use it for other things, like cucumbers or cabbage or beans (and even more eggs).