BBQ quail

Fire up the barbie for Christmas and get an Asian twist going on. This dish is designed to go in the middle of the table with steamed rice for a fantastic, tasty lunch.


  • 4 jumbo quails (160g each)
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2cm piece ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 small spring onions (white part only), finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp liquid maltose (available at Chinese food stores)
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • 2 tsp quality dark sesame oil
  • 1 punnet micro herbs, to serve


Butterfly the quail along the back bone.

Using a mortar and pestle, crush the garlic, ginger and half the spring onion. Place in a large bowl with all remaining ingredients, except micro herbs, and stir to combine.

Toss quail in marinade, cover and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat barbecue or grill pan on medium-high. Shake excess marinade from quail and cook skin-side down for 4 minutes or until skin is caramelised. Turn and cook for 3 more minutes until flesh still has a blush of pink. Place on a serving platter.

Bring marinade to boil. Drizzle over quail, top with micro herbs and serve.

NOTES: You could swap the quail for turkey steaks – just don't overcook them.

First published in the Good Weekend. Photography by William Meppem and Jennifer Soo. Styling by Hannah Meppem. Food preparation by Nick Banbury.