"Buttonhole" quail eggs

"Buttonhole" quail eggs
This little appetizer consists of a small finger of toast, a slice of cured ham and three quail egg yolks arranged on a rectangle of egg white. It is a bit tricky to make, but very attractive to serve, and delicious, of course.
126,2634.7/5 for 3 ratings
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Last modified on: June 26th 2011

For 6 canapés, you will need:

Change these quantities to make: 2 canapés 3 canapés 6 canapés 12 canapés 18 canapés

How long does it take?

Time required for this recipe:
PreparationCookingStart to finish
56 min.3 min.59 min.
At what time?
  • When will I finish if I start the recipe at a certain time?
    When should I start for the recipe to be ready at a certain time?
Work this out...


Just a few minutes.

Step by step recipe

Stage 1 - 7 min.
"Buttonhole" quail eggs : Photo of step #1
Cut 3 slices bread into rectangles about 5cm x 2.5cm (2 x 1 inches).

Cut 3 slices smoked ham to the same size.

Stage 2 - 5 min.
"Buttonhole" quail eggs : Photo of step #2
Butter both sides of the bread.

Stage 3 - 15 min.
Crack open the 18 quails egg and separate the yolks from the whites.

Note: The action needed to crack quail's eggs is not easy to describe; you might like to watch this short demonstration video.

Stage 4 - 2 min.
"Buttonhole" quail eggs : Photo of step #4
Melt 30 g butter in a small pan over medium heat. When hot, add 1 teaspoon water, then pour in the egg whites.

Stage 5 - 10 min.
"Buttonhole" quail eggs : Photo of step #5
When the whites are cooked, salt and tip onto a chopping board, and cut out rectangles the same size as the pieces of bread.

Cut 3 circles of 1 cm (0.5 inch) diameter out of each rectangle. For this it is best to use the nozzle of a forcing bag of the right size.

Stage 6 - 1 min.
"Buttonhole" quail eggs : Photo of step #6
In the same pan, fry the ham for 1 minute on each side.

Stage 7 - 4 min.
"Buttonhole" quail eggs : Photo of step #7
Then fry the slices of bread until golden brown on each side.

Stage 8 - 5 min.
"Buttonhole" quail eggs : Photo of step #8
Turn down the heat under the pan. Arrange a slice of ham on each piece of bread, then a rectangle of egg white. Salt and pepper lightly.

Stage 9 - 10 min.
"Buttonhole" quail eggs : Photo of step #9
Finish by placing an egg yolk in each hollow.

This is the tricky moment in the recipe. You need to do this gently so as not to break the egg yolks.

Leave like this on low heat for about 5 minutes to warm the yolks through, but they should not cook.


Everything can be prepared in advance, only the yolks need to be added at the last minute.

You can add a little surprise flavour in the hollow of the whites under the yolks, something strong like a drop of wasabi, a few drops of vinegar, or whatever you can think of.

Nutritional information

Whole recipe
Energetic valueProteins CarbohydratesFats
892 Kcal or 3,735 Kj69 gr98 gr73 gr
45 %27 %9 %11 %
Per 100 g
Energetic valueProteins CarbohydratesFats
182 Kcal or 762 Kj14 gr20 gr15 gr
9 %5 %2 %2 %
Per canapés
Energetic valueProteins CarbohydratesFats
149 Kcal or 624 Kj11 gr16 gr12 gr
7 %4 %2 %2 %
% are calculated relative to a Recommended Dietary Intake or RDI of 2000 k-calories or 8400 k-joules by day for a woman (change to a man).

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Note : These prices are only approximate.


Home made.

More recipes?

This recipe uses (among others)
ButterButter: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Cream sauce with Vin Jaune, Coconut tuiles, French onion soup, Clarified butter, Potimarron (chestnut pumpkin) "au gratin", ... All
Quail eggQuail egg: You can check-out other recipes which use it, like for example: Quail egg canapés, ... All
BreadBread: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Italian toast, Bistro-style red endive salad, Ham and cheese slices with spring onions, Welsh (French Welsh Rarebit), White asparagus salad, ... All
Smoked hamSmoked ham: You can check-out other recipes which use it, like for example: Endive gratin with cancoillotte, Madras rice, Rolls of fish in smoked ham, Fish petals, vegetables julienne, and beurre blanc, Gougères, ... All

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