Asian-Style Soy Sauce Quail (Chim Cut Ro Ti)
Soy sauce quails (chim cút rô ti in Vietnamese) are very popular in Asian cuisine. You might think the flavor is similar to my soy sauce hen recipe, but it's totally different. Quail has a very distinct flavor. The meat is darker and more tender than the regular poultry and requires little marinating time.
This dish isn't meant to be fancy. In Vietnam it's street food. That means you have to dig in with your fingers and get messy.
Yields: 6 servings4 quails
2 Tbs canola oil
2 Tbs garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp cayenne powder
1 tsp black peppercorns, freshly ground
1 tsp smoked paprika powder
2/3 cup soy sauce
2 1/2 Tbs sugar
1/3 cup water
2 Tbs lime juice, feshly squeezed
1 bunch cay salad son
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 tsp roasted sesame seeds
In a regular bowl, pour the soy sauce. You should get at least about 2-inches high of soy sauce. If not, use a smaller bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of garlic, the sugar, black pepper, paprika and cayenne powders.
Clean the birds. Pat them dry with a paper towel, then cut them in 2 vertically using sharp poultry shears. Marinate your birds in the soy sauce mixture for 30 minutes.
Place a large pan on high heat. Pour the oil, place the quail skin down (with as little marinade as possible). Brown the skin for 2 minutes.
Lower to a medium high heat, flip the quails and cook for 2 minutes. Flip again. Add the water, then bring to a boil.
Add half of the marinade to the liquid. Cook for 8 minutes. The liquid should reduce in half. Add the lime juice. Coat the skin of each piece to get a nice brown/caramel color. Taste the sauce at the bottom of the pan. If it's not salty enough, pour more marinade. Be sure to heat up any marinade you add to avoid contamination. Otherwise discard the rest. Do not try to oversalt the bird if it's not necessary. Cook for another 2 minutes.
The bottom of the pan should have a layer of oil. You're ready to eat!
Serve with 1 cây salad son. You can eat it Asian-style with a little dipping bowl full of lime juice (1 tablespoon), black peppers, scallions and roasted sesame seeds for garnish.
You can marinade the birds with yogurt one day prior to cooking then rinse off the yogurt under tap water, but it is optional, I just find the meat to be even more tender. If you're in a rush, marinating the meat for at least 30 minutes is sufficient.
The lime juice helps balance the sweetness of the marinade.
My favorite soy sauce is the Da Bo De brand. It has a very nice flavor and is not too salty. You can this particular suace in downtown San Jose, like at Dai Thanh Asian market on 420 S 2nd St, in San Jose. Well, it's not the prettiest. Don't expect to enter an Asian version of Whole Food, but it has all the fresh Vietnamese produce at a very reasonable price. This is one of the best "ethnic" grocery store in the area.
Salad son is a typical Asian herb that has a very particular flavor, close to the French mâche salad. You can find it in any Asian store in downtown San Jose.Published By: on March 7, 2009.