Fried quail with cucumber and lettuce wedges


  • Serves 4 people

  • 4 jumbo quail, butterflied and halved lengthways
  • 200 ml light soy sauce
  • 100 ml chicken stock
  • 40 gm caster sugar
  • 2 pieces orange rind, removed with a peeler
  • 10 gm (2cm piece) ginger, thinly sliced
  • 1 star anise, coarsely crushed
  • For deep-frying: vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp each Chinese five-spice and dried chilli flakes
  • ¼ iceberg lettuce, cut into thin wedges
  • ½ telegraph cucumber, cut into 4cm batons
  • To serve: lime wedges and coriander sprigs
01   Place quail in a single layer in a non-reactive dish and set aside. Combine soy sauce, stock, sugar, orange peel, ginger and star anise in a small saucepan, stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Cool, pour half over quail and set aside to marinate for 10 minutes. Return remaining mixture to heat and cook until syrupy (5-7 minutes), strain through a fine sieve into a heatproof bowl and set aside.
02   Meanwhile, preheat oil in a deep-fryer or deep-sided frying pan to 180C. Combine five-spice, chilli and 2 tbsp sea salt flakes in a small bowl and set aside. Drain quail (discard marinade) and pat dry with absorbent paper. Deep-fry in batches until golden and crisp (3-4 minutes). Toss through reduced marinade, season with five-spice salt and serve with lettuce, cucumber, lime and coriander.
This recipe is from the December 2009 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller magazine.
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