Quail with red cabbage salad

Serves 4
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Indy Lifestyle Online

I'm very fond of quail and cook with them often. This particular dish is rich and deep in flavour yet still clean and summery. You will need to start this dish a day ahead as the quail need to marinate overnight.

4 quail: allow one per person
1litre/1¾ pints water
1 thumb of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
125g/4oz Shaoxing wine (Chinese rice wine)

For the marinade

3tbsp light soy sauce
3tbsp dark soy sauce
1tbsp hot bean sauce
1tsp 5 spice powder (Try making your own with an equal mixture of cinnamon, Szechuan peppercorns, star anise and fennel seeds roasted in the oven and pounded to a fine powder in a pestle and mortar.)
4tbsp sugar
3tbsp fermented bean curd

For the salad

red cabbage, shredded
2 shallots, peeled and finely sliced
small bunch of coriander, leaves only
2 limes, cut into wedges

Place the quail on a board. Cut each bird down the backbone and press flat with your hand to butterfly them. Bring the water to the boil and add the ginger and Chinese wine. Return to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the quail and simmer for a further 3 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and leave the quail to cool in the broth.

Meanwhile, make the marinade. Blend all of the ingredients together with 125ml (4fl oz) of the quail broth. Remove the quail from the broth and rub with the marinade. Cover and place in the fridge overnight.

Next day, half an hour before you are ready to start the barbecue, remove the quail from the fridge. Light your barbecue. Drain the quail, reserving the excess marinade and place them on the grill, skin down, for 2 minutes. Turn and grill for 30 seconds on the underside.

Toss the cabbage, shallots and coriander together and place on a plate. Lay the quail on top and spoon the reserved marinade over the top. Serve immediately.

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