Deep-Fried Quails


These quails make a great starter. I love picking up the pieces with my fingers and chewing on the bones.


  • 4 quails
  • 1 teaspoon Sichuan salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon shaoxing
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • 30 g (1 oz/¼ cup) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 1 spring onion (scallion), finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves
  • 1 long red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • chilli sauce, to serve


Quarter the quails, remove the backbones and wing tips, clean the insides and pat dry with paper towel. Mix the Sichuan salt and pepper, sugar, soy sauce and shaoxing until the sugar dissolves, then add the quail pieces, toss together and marinate overnight.

Heat the oil in a wok or deep-fryer until just smoking (180°C/350°F). Coat each quail piece in flour, shaking away any excess, and deep-fry in batches until golden brown. Remove from the wok and drain on paper towel.

Arrange the quails on a plate and sprinkle with the combined spring onion, coriander, chilli and garlic. Serve with chilli sauce on the side.