Pickled eggs are essentially peeled hard-boiled eggs that have been preserved in a solution of vinegar, salt and a selection of spices. They can be kept for several weeks or even months in a sealed jar and do not have to be stored in the refrigerator.
There are many recipes for pickled eggs, which means that you can choose one that will suit your taste in food. Some recipes may be very hot and spicy and will contain ingredients such as chilli peppers, Tabasco sauce and other "hot" spices whilst those who prefer a sweeter flavour should go for recipes that contain brown sugar, beetroot, onion and cinnamon.
Basically, the vinegar and water are boiled together with the spices, the liquid is reduced and cooled and then poured over the hard-boiled eggs. The eggs will be placed in an airtight jar with a lid and then stored in the refrigerator.
Pickled eggs have been around for years, even before fridges were introduced. During those times, people found a way of preserving the eggs, so that they remained fresher for longer.
Nowadays, pickled eggs have become a favourite for picnics, camping and other such activities and also offer a different way of eating and flavouring eggs. Pickled eggs, as with pickled onions, are however an acquired taste and may take a while getting used to.
Other ways of serving pickled eggs are with a fresh green salad
, in a sandwich, accompanying cold meats or a homemade potato salad or with fish and chips, as the British do. The longer the eggs are kept in the pickling liquid, the stronger the flavour of the egg will be.
Pickled eggs are a great source of protein; they are low in fat and calories and contain very little carbohydrates, making them a healthy option for those on a diet.
If you are going to pickle eggs at home, try using a simple recipe to start off with. Some recipes can be quite complicated and may put you off trying them out. Below are a few simple recipes to start off with and if they are successful you might want to create your own recipe that suits your individual taste.
All recipes will call for you to use vinegar. The most adequate types of vinegar to use for pickling are good quality bottled malt vinegars, which may be either brown or white in colour, although cider vinegar may also be used, which some may prefer, as the flavouring is not so strong.
The recipes will also ask you to use a variety spices, such as cinnamon, cloves
, peppercorns or allspice. If you do not have these spices to hand, it is also possible to buy ready mixed pickling spices in a jar from your local supermarket, which work equally well.
The eggs that you use to be pickled should be as fresh as possible, especially as they may be stored for a long period of time.