French quails are a type of quail. I didn’t get them from France and neither were they raised in France.
I just bought them from Jusco/Aeon. Go to the poultry section. Sometimes they are thawed, sometimes they are sold frozen in packs. FYI, this is not pigeon or what is called in Cantonese as “Yu Ghap”. This is “Umm Choon”, from which you get those small spotty cute eggs
I actually wanted to make them like how I had them in restaurants, but I still can’t get that savoury taste without getting too salty. I think the trick is to add MSG. Like how commercial fried chicken smells so savoury without being too salty. I don’t know how to explain this sense of mine, but a well salted meat smells a lot better than a less salted meat when fried. MSG errmmm… is a type of sodium salt too, but far less salty. So I think it’s ok if it’s not as tasty when I do this at home.
If you love fried chicken you can fry this. If you want a cleaner kitchen, you can roast the quails.
Roast or fry….your choice 🙂
5 Spice French Quail
2 Tbsp shao xing wine
2 Tbsp light soy sauce
2 slices ginger
1 stalk of spring onion (white part only)
Spice Rub (mix together)
1 tsp 5 spice powder (not the Penang reddish type)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 tsp corn starch (omit this if baking)
1. Cut quails into half, and clean the insides. Drip dry excess water.
2. Rub the quails with Shao Xing wine to get rid of the frozen smell.
3. Smash the ginger and onion to release flavour and mix with soy sauce. Rub this soy sauce, onto the chicken, using the ginger and onion as ‘sponge’. Let the quails sit for 30 minutes.
4. Drain the quails from the wine and soy sauce, discard the ginger and onion. Then sprinkle the dry rub all over the quails. Gently pat the dry rub onto the quails. Let the quails sit for at least 1 hour.
5. Cook the quails either by deep frying until golden or roasting them at 200C for around 30 minutes until golden.
*If you want to use chicken instead, substitute with half a chicken at around 800-850gm.