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Grilled Quail with Goji Berries and Pine Nuts

Corey Lee uses Chinese dates, also called jujubes, in this elegant riff on a classic Chinese combination of poultry, fruit and nuts. Instead of the dates, look for goji berries, which are also a dried, red fruit.


slideshow  More Poultry Recipes


  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

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  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • 3 tablespoons goji berries (see Note)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 8 semiboneless quail
  • Vegetable oil, for brushing
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Cilantro leaves, for garnish


  1. In a saucepan, bring the water, sugar, soy sauce and five-spice powder to a simmer. Add the goji berries. Let stand, off the heat, until the berries are plumped, 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, toast the pine nuts over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool.
  3. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Brush the quail with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the quail over high heat, turning once, until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer the quail to plates, breast sides up. Using a slotted spoon, remove the goji berries from their liquid and scatter them over the quail. Garnish with the pine nuts and cilantro, drizzle lightly with the goji liquid and serve.


Goji berries are available in specialty-food stores and health-food markets.

Suggested Pairing

Spicy, black cherry–scented Pinot Noir.

Contributed By Photo © Anson Smart Published December 2010

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