2 tspwhite peppercorns2 tbspgrapeseed oil1garlic clove, finely chopped80 ml (⅓ cup) eachlemon juice and lime juice26kaffir lime leaves12butterflied quailHerb and lychee salad½ cup (loosely packed) eachVietnamese mint and coriander¼ cupbean sprouts2spring onions, thinly sliced, placed in iced water to crisp, then drained6lychees, halved1 tbspgrapeseed oil2 tsp eachlemon juice and lime juiceTo serve: fried shallots (see note)
Dry-roast peppercorns until fragrant (1 minute), then finely grind in a mortar and pestle. Combine half the pepper in a non-reactive container with oil, garlic and half the juices. Finely shred 2 lime leaves, add to mixture, then add quail, cover and refrigerate, turning once, to marinate (30 minutes).
Meanwhile, for herb and lychee salad, combine herbs, bean sprouts, spring onion and lychees in a bowl, toss to combine, cover and refrigerate until required. Just before serving, add oil and juices, toss lightly to combine and scatter with fried shallots.
Preheat a barbecue or char-grill pan to high heat. Remove quail from marinade and season skin with sea salt. Barbecue, skin-side down, until golden (1-2 minutes). Place two lime leaves on each quail to cover breasts, turn and barbecue until just pink (1-2 minutes). Discard lime leaves, transfer quail to a platter. Combine remaining pepper, remaining juices and 1 tsp salt in a bowl and serve with quail, with herb and lychee salad.
Note Fried shallots are available from Asian grocers.
This recipe is from the January 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.