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Tea Smoked Quail BBQ Recipe

Friend of Heat Beads® BBQ Briquettes & local BBQ enthusiast, Julian Wu, shares his delicious Tea Smoked Quail BBQ recipe.


  • 6 quails
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon sichuan pepper
  • ½ teaspoon five spice powder
  • 6 spring onions
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 1 cup of sake, shaoxing wine or dry sherry
  • ½ cup of genmai cha (Japanese green tea with toasted rice) with just enough water to dampen the mixture through, just under 1/3 of a cup



Butterfly the quail and remove any giblets remaining in the cavity.


Place salt, sichuan pepper and five spice in a heavy bottom saucepan, and toast spices until the fragrance is released and the mixture is just about to start smoking. Take off the heat and grind to a fine powder in a mortar and pestle.


Sprinkle the quails with this mixture and leave for a few hours to overnight in the fridge.


About an hour before you want to start cooking the quails, chop the spring onions including the green parts into rings, and chop the ginger into a fine dice. Mix these with the sake, shaoxing wine or sherry.


Drain off any blood that has seeped from the quail and discard. Then marinate in the spring onion, ginger and wine mixture for about an hour.


While the quails are marinating, prepare your barbecue for indirect grilling and light your Heat Beads® BBQ Briquettes.


When your barbecue is ready, remove the quails from the marinade and place away from the coals on the grill, skin side up.


Place your chunk of smoke wood on the coals and pour the soaked tea mixture over the coals. Cover your barbecue. Cook and smoke the quails for approximately 40 minutes.


If you like the skin a bit crispy, flip the quails skin side down, directly over the coals for a minute or two until they just start to sizzle.

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