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Malt Vinegar Pickled Eggs

Bob Adkins grew up eating pickled eggs made by his grandmother. Now that he's a chef, he's sharing the tradition with his customers.

Chef Bob Adkins created a brine for pickled eggs, which includes onion, rosemary, jalapeños and malt vinegar.

Chicken farmers… Are you overloaded with eggs this time of year? Giving them away is always a nice perk for your friends, but have you ever tried making pickled eggs instead?

Chef Bob Adkins will be giving us a pickling demo today. “I always remember my grandmother having a big jar of pickled eggs with beets. It’s something I really enjoy, something that you used to see a lot of times in bars and old saloons,” he says.

His pickled eggs were a hit at a local Bloomington, Indiana bar. Revelers could pull an egg from the tub for only $1.00.

The first step in this recipe is a technique you can incorporate in other recipes, says Adkins. “There’s really only one surefire way I’ve ever known to boil eggs, and boiling is a misnomer,” he says. Instead, simmer the eggs so the shells don’t break. (Follow his complete instructions in the recipe below.)

As for the brine, he encourages you to experiment with ingredients. Consider adding mustard seeds, lime, soy sauce or whatever else suits your fancy!

Malt Vinegar Pickled Eggs


  • 30 eggs
  • 1 large Spanish onion, sliced
  • 2 jalapeños, sliced
  • 1/4 cup fennel seeds
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 40 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons crushed red chili flakes
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 8 cups malt vinegar

Cooking Directions

  1. To cook the eggs, cover eggs with 2-3 inches of water and bring to one boil on high heat. Remove from heat, let stand 10-15 minutes, then “shock” them with cold water.
  2. While the eggs are simmering, combine all the brine ingredients and bring to a boil. Then turn down the heat and simmer for a few more minutes.
  3. While the brine is simmering, remove the shells from the eggs. (If you are using farm-fresh eggs, Chef Adkins suggests letting them sit for a week before boiling for easier peeling.) Then, slice an X pattern down to the yolk in each egg to allow the brine to seep in.
  4. Combine eggs and brine. First combine the two in a boil-proof bowl (like stainless steel) and then transfer to jars for storing in the fridge once the liquid has cooled.
  5. The eggs should soak for a minimum of two days, but a week or more is best. Chef Adkins says the eggs will get better and better the longer they soak in the brine.

Lauren Glapa

Lauren Glapa is a journalism student at Indiana University. She is passionate about radio and loves to report on issues of social justice.

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