Barbecued quail or turkey steaks for Christmas

Neil Perry
Neil Perry's barbecued quail for Christmas.
Neil Perry's barbecued quail for Christmas.  Photo: William Meppem

Part of a Christmas feast, this dish is designed to go in the middle of the table with steamed rice for a fantastic, tasty lunch. You could swap the quail for turkey steaks – just don't overcook them.


4 jumbo quails (160g each)

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2cm piece ginger, finely chopped

2 small spring onions (white part only), finely chopped

2 tbsp liquid maltose (available at Chinese food stores)

2 tbsp soy sauce 2 tbsp oyster sauce

1 tsp freshly ground white pepper 1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder

1 tbsp Shaoxing wine

2 tsp quality dark sesame oil

1 punnet micro herbs, to serve


1. Butterfly the quail along the back bone.

2. Using a mortar and pestle, crush the garlic, ginger and half the spring onion. Place in a large bowl with all remaining ingredients, except micro herbs, and stir to combine.

3. Toss quail in marinade, cover and refrigerate overnight.

4. Preheat barbecue or grill pan on medium-high. Shake excess marinade from quail and cook skin-side down for 4 minutes or until skin is caramelised. Turn and cook for 3 more minutes until flesh still has a blush of pink. Place on a serving platter.

5. Bring marinade to boil. Drizzle over quail, top with micro herbs and serve.