What is a pickled egg and where are the best ones?

pickled egg

What is picked egg and where can you can get the best ones? Here’s our complete guide to this pickled masterpiece.

So, what is pickled egg? Quite simply it is an egg that has been preserved usually through vinegar, but also through other means such as brine (salty water). In this interests of this pickled egg lesson we are not generally talking about all the weird Chinese varieties.

The sordid history of the pickled egg

People have been preserving eggs almost since the down of time, or at least since we started easting eggs. The clear and obvious reasons for this are to preserve the egg, after all eggs can and do go rotten.

As stated different means were used to do this, with vinegar and brine being the most popular in the western world. Their modern history has been one of being popular bar snack, as well as some serious gentrification.

Photo: Debra Snock

Pickled eggs in bars

In the old days pubs in England did not do food, the exception to this were crisps, pickled onions and pickled eggs. This was for the most part similar in the United States.

Pickled eggs in bars, often spicy too have since gained iconic stature as snacks because often times they could stay in the bar for years. This meant they could get to crazy spicy levels and often lead to being a challenge in themselves.

You can read about the best pickled eggs in Cambodia here.

Pickled eggs and fish and chips shops

The other place where pickled eggs remained a firm favorite is at fish and chip shops. Here they are sold one by one alongside picked onions and pickled gherkins.

They are the sold alongside fish and chips, or chips and whatever else anyone is selling. At a fish and chip shop picked eggs are predominantly pickled with white vinegar rather than with malt vinegar of which onions are often pickled with.

You can read about the correct way to eat fish and chips here.

Being a fish and chip staple means that they are also sold where there are GOOD fish and chips, such as in Australia and New Zealand. I have rarely seen them in Papua New Guinea, not even at a Kai Bar.

How to make a pickled egg?

Making a pickled eggs is quite easy and usually means just putting it n white vinegar. Of course one can add garlic, beets (as they do on the USA), or even chilis. Generally speaking though pickled onions are known for their simplicity and ease, meaning simple is often best.

Of course there are other ways to pickle them too, which we will cover next.

Pickled Onions around the world

Pickling and preserving are same same but different, so whether a Chinese Century Egg fits this is up for question. A century eggs is usually preserved in lime, which makes it far harder than a regular pickled egg.

The Chinese and myself also pickle eggs in soy sauce, which is pretty damned good. There are also other variations….

One of these is the urine egg, which though I have not tried are known as a delicacy. These involve dirty middle aged men collecting pre-pubescent urine and then preserving them is said urine. Good for the man, or not I smell a nonce…..

How to eat a pickled egg?

You may add salt and pepper, or eat it with your chips. No self respecting gentleman would ever take more than two bites eating a real pickled egg…

And that is the 411 on everything you need to know about the pickled egg….