The ABC’s of pickled eggs: simplest Guide and Recipe!
► This isn’t exactly new, before the advent of refrigeration techniques, eggs were pickled in vinegar to ensure their preservation.
► Pickled eggs are delicious with deli meats for a light supper, as an appetizer or to take on a picnic.
Even to take to work.
► I always love to have pickled eggs in the fridge.
With a piece of bread, an apple and cheese, it’s the perfect dinner.
► It’s also great in a salad. Besides being super useful, it’s exceedingly easy to prepare, and increases the salad’s nutritional value.
How to Choose the Eggs to Pickle
You know when you’re peeling hard-cooked eggs, and the shell sticks, it looks like your egg is already chewed? The problem is that your egg is too fresh.
For hard-cooked eggs — which is what you need to make pickled eggs — an older egg is better because the air pocket at the bottom expands and loosens the inner membrane of the shell. See how to hard-cook eggs properly here.
Choosing the Vinegar
Here you really have a choice. The classic one is white vinegar, even if some find it a bit aggressive.
White wine vinegar or cider vinegar are good, and relatively neutral.
For a little Asian twist, you can use rice wine vinegar.
But if you really want to wow your friends, use red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar or Chinese black vinegar.
A black or red egg can be disgusting and great at the same time!
The Seasoning makes it personal
It depends on your taste, and on how adventurous you feel! I’ve made pickled eggs with all kinds of ingredients.
I’ve used mustard seeds, black pepper, bay leaf, onion flakes and chili pepper.
I’ve made Mexican style pickled eggs before, with: hot peppers, cumin, coriander and garlic.
Be creative, create your own blend of pickling spices!
The basic recipe to pickle eggs
For pickled eggs, the basic recipe is more or less the same. Then what you have is the variations in the ingredients, which basically comes down to personal taste — and experimentation! Even the quickest, simplest recipe, can yield delicious results — like this one:
For a one liter mason jar, use 9 peeled, hard-cooked eggs (more or less cooked, according to your taste).
- Place the eggs in your mason jar;
- Add a teaspoon of salt, your seasonings and enough clean water to fill about half of the jar;
- Fill the rest of the jar to the very top (we don’t want any air there) with the vinegar of your choice (see notes above), put the lid on;
- Let the eggs marinate in the refrigerator for 3 weeks, or to taste.
Enjoy, or, if you used a black vinegar, enjoy in front of your friends!
When can I eat my pickled eggs?
This depends on the herbs / spices you used, and how much you value the flavors, but here’s a guide (assuming storage in a cool place):
• In hurry? Give it 2-3 days and they should have absorbed some flavors;
• Generally, after about 2 weeks, they’ll have an acceptable taste for the demanding;
• After a month the taste of the pickles has fully developed.
Once open, jars (with the eggs always covered by the liquid) can be kept in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks.
Please note: here, “open” doesn’t mean you’re not using the lid, it means you opened the jar for the first time after the pickling process.
Bonus info and Tips:
For a quick pickled(ish) egg recipe, place hard cooked eggs in cucumber or beet juice. Refrigerate for at least two days before serving.
To make a homemade pickling spice blend, use 1 tsp (5 ml) black pepper, 10 cloves, 1 bay leaf and 2 whole Mexican peppers, dried.
Beet Pickled Eggs: Add slices of a cooked and peeled beet to the marinade for beautiful magenta pickled eggs.
Jalapeno Pickled Eggs: Add a sliced jalapeno pepper (remove the seeds for a milder flavor) to the jar before sealing.
If desired, add 1/4 cup (60 ml) steamed spinach for a green color and subtle spinach flavor.
Spicy Pickled Eggs: Add 1/4 tsp (1 ml) of each of these ingredients to the marinade: mustard seeds, coriander seeds, cloves and turmeric.
Then add a star anise. The result is spicy, golden eggs.
Using high quality ingredients will allow for the best quality results.
- Use organic eggs;
- Use high quality vinegar;
- Use organic herbs / spices.
For an even greater variety of taste and aroma, instead of the classic vinegar, you can use:
- wine vinegar;
- fruit vinegar;
- apple cider vinegar.
They are all particularly suitable for use in a preservation vinegar solution.
Vinegar prevents the formation of bacteria and should have a minimum of 5% acid.
It is therefore important not to reduce its amount or proportion, in the recipes.