Tea-Smoked Quail

Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Balance and Harmony

By Neil Perry

Published 2008

  • About

Less commitment in effort than the previous duck dish, this quail is no less delicious. We steam the quail first and smoke it later; being smaller, quail seems to keep more of the smoked flavour. You can serve the quail with pickled cucumber and shiitake mushrooms, or pickled cabbage. It also works a treat as part of a cold-cut platter.



    Place a steamer over a pot of boiling water. Put the quails on a plate into the steamer and steam for 8 minutes, then remove and cool. Rub the quails all over with sesame oil.

    Cut out a circle of foil about 20 cm (8 inches) in diameter. Scrunch up the sides to make a container about 12 cm ( inches) in diameter. Put the tea-smoke mix in the container and place it in the bottom of a wok, then place a rack over the top. Turn up the heat to full and, once the mix starts smoking, add the quails. Cover with the lid and leave over the heat for 5 minutes. Remove the wok from the heat but don’t lift the lid. Allow the wok to cool and the smoke to slowly dissipate. Lift the lid after about 20 minutes and remove the quails.

    Heat a wok until just smoking. Add the peanut oil and, when hot, stir-fry the quails on all sides until they are crisp and deep mahogany brown. Drain them well on paper towel and sprinkle with Sichuan salt and pepper to serve.