Chim Cút Rôti or Five Spice Roasted Quail is a common appetizer in many Vietnamese restaurants. Quails are marinated for at least a few hours, then pan fried and covered in a sticky sweet and salty sauce. This is not a dish for date night as you will end up using your fingers to eat the quails. However, the mess is worth it for this finger licking treat.
Difficulty: Easy / Serving: 4 / Time: at least 3 hours to marinate and 30 minutes to cook
6 quails (You can find frozen quails at the Asian supermarket.)
1/4 teaspoon of Five Spice seasoning
1 tablespoon diced onion
2 and 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
1-2 cloves of garlic
1 1/2 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder
6 tablespoons of coco rico soda
3 tablespoons soy sauce or Knorr liquid seasoning
1 and 1/2 tablespoon of sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 and 1/2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon of annatto oil (optional)
A few stalks of cilantro (garnish)
A few stalks of scallion (garnish)
Cut the quails in half.
Season the quails with 1/2 teaspoon of chicken bouillon powder, 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt, 1/4 teaspoon of Five Spice seasoning, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of minced garlic, 1 tablespoon of diced onion, 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper, 1/2 tablespoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil. Marinate the quails for at least 3 hours in the fridge or if possible overnight.
Heat a large pan with 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil and 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of minced garlic. Once the garlic turns golden brown, sear the quails. Rotate the quails so that each side is cooked in the garlic oil until they form a golden crust. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Make the sauce in a bowl by mixing 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1/2 tablespoon of sugar, 6 tablespoons of coconut soda and 1 teaspoon of chicken bouillon powder.
Wipe the pan down with a paper towel. Heat the pan on high with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and 1-2 cloves of garlic to flavor the oil. When the oil is heated, add the sauce to the pan. Add the quails and coat the quails with the sauce.
Allow the quails to simmer for a few minutes until the quails have absorbed all the sauce. Add 1/2 teaspoon of annatto oil for color. (see below for directions on how to make annatto oil)
*Make annatto oil:
In a small pot, add 1 cup of corn or vegetable oil and heat on high. Add 1 stalk of scallion to the oil. When the scallion starts to brown, turn off the heat and take it off the stove. Let the oil cool for 1 minute. Add 1/3 cup of ground annatto to the oil and stir. Using a strainer, strain the oil into a bowl and discard the annatto powder. We will only need a small portion of this oil for the recipe, store the rest for later use. This oil will last for weeks in the fridge.
Serve the quails with a side of rice or lettuce.