Banana-blossom salad with seared quail and chilli, lime and coconut dressing


  • Serves 6 people

  • 3 small red chillies, coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp kecap manis
  • 6 quail (about 135gm each), butterflied
  • Chilli, lime and coconut dressing
  • 25 gm light palm sugar
  • 100 ml fish sauce
  • 100 ml lime juice
  • 50 gm chilli jam (see note)
  • 50 ml coconut cream
  • Banana-blossom salad
  • 125 gm (1 cup) unsalted peanuts
  • 6 green onions, thinly sliced, white ends only
  • 1 Spanish onion (200gm), thinly sliced
  • 1 cup shredded coconut flesh (see note)
  • 1 cup (firmly packed) coriander leaves
  • 75 gm (1 cup) fried shallots
  • 1 banana blossom, thinly sliced, placed in acidulated water, drained before use
  • 3 long red chillies, finely sliced
01   Pound chilli and garlic to a coarse paste in a mortar and pestle, stir in remaining ingredients. Place quail in a single layer in a non-reactive container, pour marinade over and refrigerate (1-2 hours), turning to coat occasionally.
02   Meanwhile, for chilli, lime and coconut dressing, pound palm sugar and fish sauce in a mortar and pestle to dissolve sugar. Add lime juice and chilli jam, then slowly whisk in the coconut cream. Adjust seasoning to taste and reserve. Makes about 250ml.
03   Heat a chargrill pan over medium heat, remove quail from marinade and cook in batches, turning often until cooked through (10-12 minutes). Set aside and keep warm.
04   Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180C. Roast peanuts on an oven tray until golden (3-5 minutes). Cool, coarsely chop and transfer to a bowl. Add remaining salad ingredients, drizzle half coconut dressing over, toss to combine. Serve immediately with quail and extra dressing.
Note Chilli jam is available from selected food stores. For fresh shredded coconut, open coconut and scrape with a citrus zester.







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