Tea-smoked quail with Chinese five spice and buttered spinach

Tea-smoked quail with Chinese five spice and buttered spinach

By
From
A Year In My Kitchen
Serves
4

Tea-smoking is an ideal way to cook small, delicate game birds like quail. I serve them with spinach here, but you could substitute Asian greens, such as pak choi, Chinese broccoli or water spinach, as this dish has a definite Asian feel. As always when I use spinach, I am referring to the young, small, bright green leaf, also known as pousse.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 quantity see method for ingredients
2 tablespoons chinese five spice powder
8 quails
300g young leaf spinach
1 tablespoon groundnut oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 red chilli, deseeded and very finely chopped
1cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
500ml see method for ingredients
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon palm sugar or caster sugar
1 tablespoon lime juice, or to taste

Method

  1. Prepare the tea-smoking mixture, then mix in the five spice powder and set up the tea-smoking equipment as described in the toolbox.
  2. Tea-smoke the quails according to the toolbox instructions, cooking them for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the quail to stand in the baking tin with the lid on for a further 8 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the spinach. First, rinse it well under cold running water until you are sure it is clean. (Spinach needs to be washed thoroughly as it can be very dirty.)
  4. Place a large wok over a high heat. When it is smoking hot, add the groundnut and sesame oils and swirl to coat the base. Add the quail and toss for 2 minutes. Lower the heat slightly, add the chilli, ginger and garlic and cook for a minute to release their flavours.
  5. Ladle in the stock, turn the heat to high and allow to bubble and reduce slightly. Add the fish sauce and sugar and stir well. Finally throw in the spinach and allow it to just wilt and fall. The sauce will make it appear beautiful and glossy.
  6. Take off the heat and finish with a generous squeeze of lime juice. Taste and add a little more if necessary. The sauce should be sweet, pungent, sour, salty and citrusy – all at the same time! Serve at once.

Note

  • Chinese five spice is a mixture of Szechuan peppercorns, cloves, fennel seeds, star anise and cinnamon, which you can buy as a mix of whole spices or ready ground. If you take the time to roast and grind your own spices (in equal proportions), your Chinese five spice powder will be infinitely better.
Tags:
seasonal
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