Crispy Quails with Chile Jam and Three-Bean Salad

Bryan Caswell left Texas for nine years, but there are some things he couldn't shake, like three-bean salad. It gives a Southern touch to his Asian-accented quail, which marinates in ginger, garlic and soy sauce. Caswell learned to make chile jam in Bangkok, but he says Texans love the heat.



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  • Active:
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  • Servings: 4
  • Time(Other): Plus 2 hours marinating

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  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced peeled ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 3 shallots, quartered
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon five-spice powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 8 semiboneless quails
chile jam
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 ounces tamarind paste (see Note)
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 large jalapeños, preferably red, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground dried shrimp (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 4 ounces yellow wax beans
  • 1 cup frozen butter beans, thawed
  • 1 cup frozen black-eyed peas, thawed
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure ancho chile powder
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil

How to make this recipe

  1. In a blender, puree the ginger with the garlic, shallots, soy sauce, sugar, rice vinegar, five-spice powder and pepper. Transfer the marinade to a resealable plastic bag, add the quails and seal, pressing out the air. Let marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

  2. In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the tamarind paste and simmer for 2 minutes, mashing with a wooden spoon to dissolve the paste. Strain the tamarind puree through a coarse sieve into a small bowl, pressing on the solids.

  3. In a medium saucepan, heat the grapeseed oil until shimmering. Add the garlic, shallots and jalapeños and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until the garlic is lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add the granulated sugar and brown sugar and cook until melted. Stir in the tamarind puree and simmer until thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the fish sauce and dried shrimp.

  4. In a small bowl, whisk 3 tablespoons of the chile jam with the soy sauce and lime juice to make a dressing.

  5. In a saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the wax beans until crisp-tender, 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beans to a colander and rinse under cold water. Pat dry and cut into 1-inch pieces, then transfer to a bowl. Boil the butter beans and black-eyed peas for 1 minute, then drain. Add the butter beans, peas, tomatoes, shallot, cilantro and chile powder to the wax beans. Add three-fourths of the dressing and toss.

  6. Heat 2 large skillets until very hot. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil to each skillet. Drain the quails and pat dry; add to the skillets, breasts down, and brown over high heat, turning once, until crisp, about 6 minutes.

  7. Mound the salad on plates. Top with the quails and drizzle with the remaining dressing. Serve the chile jam on the side.


Tamarind paste is available at specialty food shops and Asian markets.

Suggested Pairing

The Asian spices and chile jam suggest a white with sweet fruit flavor. Try an Oregon Pinot Gris.

Contributed By Photo © Quentin Bacon Published November 2006

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