Quail eggs add an interesting touch to any soup. Even the simplest and plainest-looking soup is perked up with the addition of quail eggs. They are usually added to the Chinese birds’ nest soup but quail eggs can go into a lot of other soups, including a simple cabbage soup. This recipe starts by boiling beef bones to make a rich broth. If you already have broth (see homemade broth how-to), you can skip the broth-making part, go directly to the next steps, and just add bits of cooked beef, pork, chicken, or turkey* to the soup.
Place the beef bones in a pot, pour cold water to cover, and bring to a boil. Skim off the scum that rises to the surface. Add a whole onion, whole garlic, and a teaspoonful of peppercorns. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for an hour to an hour and a half. Lift out the bones and, if there is any meat attached, pull it off and cut it into small cubes. Discard the bones. Take out the garlic and onion from the broth.
Pull off the skins of the onion and garlic and discard. With the garlic, it is easier if you cut off the root end and just press the garlic meat out of the skin. Chop the garlic and onion. Or mash them if you want them to be indiscernible in the soup. Strain the broth. Reheat. Add the diced tomatoes and shredded cabbage. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Just before serving, add the quail eggs. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with fresh herbs like sweet basil cilantro, or both.
Wilted spinach and fried egg
There’s this spinach and tofu dish we had at Miyabi a couple of months ago that I’ve been itching to replicate at home. One time, I had spinach in the fridge but no tofu. Then, I saw a recipe for fried eggs and wilted greens in a blog that focuses on the South Beach diet and I decided to do my spinach dish with eggs instead of tofu. The result was a very tasty and filling brunch. In a small pan, heat the soy sauce, black vinegar, and rice wine. Stir in the ginger. When the mixture starts to bubble, add the spinach. Cook over high heat, uncovered (the spinach will expel water and you want to let as much of the water evaporate) until the spinach wilts, about five minutes. Transfer the spinach and liquid into a shallow bowl, top with the fried egg, and drizzle with light soy sauce and sesame seed oil. Enjoy while hot.