Roast quail in honey and maltose

Roast quail in honey and maltose

The Real Food of China
Leanne Kitchen

Live quails are a common sight in Chinese produce markets and they’re brilliantly suited to roasting in the southern Chinese manner. There, a combination of ingredients such as five-spice, honey, hoisin sauce, maltose, and even fermented red tofu are used to burnish (mostly) pork with a deliciously sticky glaze — you’ve no doubt seen roast meat hanging in Cantonese restaurant windows. We like our quails a little pink in the middle — a very un-Chinese approach to meat cookery.


Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons maltose
2 tablespoons honey
125ml dark soy sauce
2 teaspoons ginger, very finely chopped
1 teaspoon five-spice
3 teaspoons sesame oil
6 jumbo quails


  1. Combine all the ingredients, except the quails, in a saucepan. Place over a low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until well combined. Cool to room temperature.
  2. Meanwhile, using poultry shears or a large, sharp knife, cut down either side of the backbone of each quail, discarding the backbones. Place each quail, skin side down, on a chopping board, then cut each bird in half along the breastbone. Combine the soy sauce mixture and quail halves in a dish, turning to coat well. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 6–8 hours to allow the flavours to develop, turning the quails occasionally.
  3. Preheat the oven to 220°C. Place a large piece of foil over an oven rack to catch the drips, tucking the foil around the rack to secure it, then put a cake rack, or similar, on the foil. Remove the quails from the marinade, reserving the marinade, and place them, skin side up, on the cake rack in the hot oven. Cook for 8–10 minutes, brushing the quails occasionally with a little of the marinade, or until just cooked through (but still a little pink in the middle). Serve hot or at room temperature.
Real Food of China
Back to top
    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again