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Spatchcock Quail with Southeast Spice Marinade: Elevating Street Food to Special Occasion Fare

Spatchcock Quail with Southeast Spice Marinade
Spatchcock Quail with Southeast Spice Marinade

Introduction: Spatchcock Quail with Southeast Spice presents a tantalizing fusion of street food flair and familial tradition, originating from the vibrant culinary landscapes of Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam. In this expertly crafted recipe, we marry the succulence of quail with a delectable sweet soy glaze, transporting diners from the bustling markets to cherished family gatherings where these flavors thrive. Join us on a culinary journey as we delve into the nuances of preparation, grilling techniques, and the harmonious marriage of flavors that define this dish.

Unveiling the Ingredients: Our culinary adventure begins with the assembly of our ingredients, each carefully selected to infuse depth and complexity into our dish. From the rich umami of sweet soy sauce to the fiery kick of Korean red chili flakes, every component plays a pivotal role in crafting a symphony of flavors. The quail, a delicately sized yet robust bird, serves as the canvas upon which we paint our culinary masterpiece.

Crafting the Sweet Soy Glaze: Central to the allure of our Spatchcock Quail is the sumptuous sweet soy glaze, a harmonious blend of sweet, tangy, and savory notes that elevate the humble quail to new heights. The marriage of sweet soy sauce, vinegar, oyster sauce, garlic, and ginger forms the foundation of this marinade, infusing the meat with layers of flavor that intensify with each bite. Gochugaru, the vibrant Korean red chili flakes, adds a subtle heat that dances on the palate, tantalizing the taste buds without overwhelming the senses.

Mastering the Spatchcock Technique: With our ingredients assembled and our marinade prepared, we embark upon the art of spatchcocking, a technique that not only ensures even cooking but also maximizes the surface area for flavor absorption. By delicately removing the backbone and flattening the quail, we create a canvas that readily absorbs the nuances of our sweet soy glaze, resulting in tender, succulent meat that melts in the mouth with each savory bite. You can buy Spatchcocked Quail from Steadfast Farms, SPPS, and find it both on the Online Store and in Retail Locations found on our website.

Embracing the Grill: As flames dance upon the grill, we usher our marinated quail into the embrace of smoldering hardwood embers, where they undergo a metamorphosis from raw ingredients to culinary delights. The interplay of direct and indirect heat imparts a smoky complexity to the quail, while periodic basting with reserved marinade ensures a luscious glaze that glistens in the firelight. With each flip, the quail undergoes a transformation, its skin crisping to golden perfection while retaining the juiciness within.

A Symphony of Flavors: As our Spatchcock Quail nears completion, we prepare the final accompaniment: Roaring Red Chili Sauce. This piquant condiment, crafted from roasted garlic, Thai bird chilies, and fragrant cilantro, serves as the perfect counterpoint to the rich umami of the quail. With a squeeze of lime and a dash of fish sauce, we elevate this humble sauce to a crescendo of flavor, adding depth and dimension to every bite.

Conclusion: In the realm of culinary delights, few dishes possess the allure and complexity of Spatchcock Quail with Southeast Spice Marinade. From its humble origins as street food fare to its transformation into a cherished family tradition, this dish encapsulates the essence of culinary craftsmanship and cultural heritage. As you savor each succulent morsel, may you be transported to the bustling markets and vibrant gatherings where the aroma of grilled quail mingles with laughter and joy.

Spatchcock Quail with Southeast Spice Marinade Recipe

Level: Easy

Cook Time: Total: 2 hours 40 minutes (includes marinating time)

Yield: 4 servings

Special equipment: an open fire set up with a grill grate; 16 bamboo skewers


Sticky Soy Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup sweet soy sauce

  • 1/3 cup white vinegar

  • 1/4 cup oyster sauce

  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic

  • 2 tablespoons chopped ginger

  • 2 teaspoons gochugaru (Korean red chili flakes)

  • Kosher salt


Roaring Red Chili Sauce:

  • 4 to 5 cloves garlic

  • 3 fresh Thai bird chilies

  • 1 large shallot, halved

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons canola oil, plus more for brushing

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 cups chopped fresh cilantro leaves

  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce

  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce

  • Juice of 2 limes


Sticky Soy Glaze:

  1. In a large bowl, mix the sweet soy sauce, vinegar, oyster sauce, chopped garlic, chopped ginger, gochugaru, and 1 teaspoon salt. Set aside.


  1. Lay 1 quail on a cutting board with the breast side down. Using kitchen shears, cut along the backbone from the tail end. Flip the quail over and press down to flatten.

  2. Season both sides of the quail with salt and pepper. Place quail in the sticky soy glaze, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

  3. Preheat the grill for direct and indirect heat cooking.

  4. Remove quail from marinade, reserving marinade for basting. Skewer each quail through the left thigh and breast, then through the right thigh and breast.

  5. Grill quail over direct heat, flipping every 1-2 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through (about 10 minutes). Brush with reserved marinade and cook until the glaze is dry and sticky (3-5 minutes more).

  6. Serve quail with Roaring Red Chili Sauce, sticky rice, and grilled vegetables.

Roaring Red Chili Sauce:

  1. Preheat the grill for indirect heat cooking.

  2. Brush garlic, chilies, and shallot with oil and sprinkle with salt. Grill until soft and tender (3-5 minutes per side).

  3. Remove from grill and stem chilies. Quarter shallots.

  4. In a mortar and pestle, combine chilies, garlic, shallots, salt, and pepper into a coarse paste. Add cilantro and combine. Stir in fish sauce, oyster sauce, lime juice, and 2-3 tablespoons of oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Enjoy your Spatchcock Quail with Southeast Spice Marinade, accompanied by the zesty Roaring Red Chili Sauce, for a culinary adventure that tantalizes the taste buds and transports you to the vibrant streets of Southeast Asia.

USDA's safe handling instructions for poultry:

  1. Keep it Cold: Store raw poultry in the refrigerator at 40°F (4°C) or below. If you won't be using it within 1-2 days, freeze it at 0°F (-18°C) or below.

  2. Thaw Safely: Thaw poultry in the refrigerator, in cold water, or in the microwave. Never thaw poultry on the counter, as bacteria can multiply rapidly at room temperature.

  3. Separate: Keep raw poultry separate from other foods, especially those that won't be cooked, to prevent cross-contamination.

  4. Cook Thoroughly: Cook poultry to a safe internal temperature to kill any harmful bacteria. The safe minimum internal temperature varies by type of poultry:

    1. Whole poultry: 165°F (73.9°C) measured in the thickest part of the bird, including the breast, thigh, and wing joint.

    2. Ground poultry: 165°F (73.9°C).

    3. Poultry breasts: 165°F (73.9°C).

  5. Use a Food Thermometer: To ensure poultry is cooked to the proper temperature, use a food thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat without touching the bone.

  6. Refrigerate Promptly: Refrigerate leftovers promptly at 40°F (4°C) or below. Discard any cooked poultry that has been left at room temperature for more than 2 hours (or 1 hour if the temperature is above 90°F or 32°C).

Following these safe handling instructions helps prevent foodborne illness and ensures that poultry is safe to eat.

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