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Hot and Spicy Quail (Chim Cut Ro-Ti)

No recipe image available.Vietnamese are fond of game birds, especially in the North where there is not as great a variety of food as in the South. The use of chile peppers is the legacy of Portuguese visitors who arrived as early as the sixteenth century.

Recipe Ingredients:

4 dressed quail
4 tablespoons sesame oil

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed or 1 tablespoon garlic purée
4 green onions, chopped
1 l/2 inch of lemon grass root, chopped
1 teaspoon chile powder or paprika
1 tablespoon fish sauce (nouc mam)
1 tablespoon palm sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons water
Lime juice

Cooking Directions:

  1. Split quail down the bony side and flatten to get a broad breast. Score breast with deep cuts.
  2. Make the marinade by heating vegetable oil in a skillet and frying garlic, onions, and lemon grass for a few minutes. Add chile powder, fish sauce, sugar, salt, and water and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove and cool.
  3. Marinate quail and chill for two hours.
  4. Heat broiler or barbecue and broil for 15 minutes on each side, basting frequently with sesame oil and marinade, until bird is crisp, aromatic and sizzling. Serve with a good squeeze of lime juice over quail.

Makes 4 servings.

Tip: If you don't have a broiler, roast quail in a hot oven for 30 minutes, turning once and basting frequently.