Marinated Grilled Quail with Chili-Lime Dipping Sauce

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  • Raw Quail
  • 8–10 whole quails
  • 150 grams (about ½ cup) rice vinegar
  • 100 grams (about 1/3 cup) honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste  
  • Chili Lime Salt
  • 100 grams (about 1/3 to ¼ cup) salt
  • 80 grams (about 3 tablespoons) ground black pepper
  • 3 thai chilies, thinly sliced
  • lime zest from one lime
  • Quail and Dipping Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons grape seed or canola oil
  • 2 large scallions, trimmed
  • 2 limes, cut into 8 wedges

“This delicious dish redefines the essence of Vietnamese street food. In Vietnam, grilled, marinated meats are often served with simple sauces for dipping, sometimes as simple as a blend of fish sauce, ginger, chili, a touch of sugar, and lime juice. The vinegar and honey in this marinade makes a shine and glaze on the skin when the quail hits the grill, and it pairs well with the smokiness of the grilled scallions. We serve the quail alongside little bowls with salt lime, chilies, lime zest, and lime wedges to make a dipping sauce.” - Thai Dang, Executive Chef, Embeya in Chicago


  1. Using scissors or a small, sharp knife, cut quail down the back to butterfly.
  2. Whisk together remaining ingredients.
  3. Marinate quail with half of the mixture; chill remaining marinade.
  4. Cover and chill, at least 2 to 3 hours.

Chili Lime Salt

  1. Mix together all ingredients; set aside.

Quail and Dipping Sauce

  1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Drain quail; rub oil on all sides and just to coat scallions.
  3. Grill quail, skin side down until seared; about 1–2 minutes.
  4. Brush exposed side with reserved marinade.
  5. Flip; continue to cook over indirect heat or cooler side of grill for 1 to 2 minutes, brushing with remaining marinade.
  6. Divide chili lime salt and lime wedges between 8 to 10 small bowls.
  7. Serve with quail and scallions.