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Quail larb tacos with grilled pineapple salsa

You'll need

15 gm (3cm piece) galangal, sliced 2 tsp white glutinous rice (see note) 16 deboned quail, finely chopped (see note) 5 golden shallots, thinly sliced 60 ml (¼ cup) lime juice, or to taste 60 ml (¼ cup) fish sauce, or to taste ½ cup (firmly packed) coriander, finely chopped, plus extra leaves to serve ¼ cup (firmly packed) mint, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 tbsp crushed light palm sugar, or to taste ½ tsp roasted dried chilli flakes, or to taste   White corn tortillas 250 gm (1¾ cups) white masa flour (see note)   Barbecued pineapple salsa 500 gm pineapple (about ½ pineapple), thickly sliced ½ Spanish onion, finely chopped 1/3 cup coarsely chopped coriander Juice of 2 limes 2 tsp olive oil


  • 01
  • For white corn tortillas, combine flour, 340ml hot water and a large pinch of salt in a bowl and mix with your hands until a soft dough forms. Cover closely with plastic wrap and set aside to rest (15 minutes). Divide dough into 35gm pieces and roll into balls. Line a tortilla press (see note) with two squares of baking paper, then, working with one ball at a time, press gently but firmly in press to form a thin disc. Set aside on baking paper and cover with a tea towel.
  • 02
  • Dry-roast galangal in a small frying pan over high heat until fragrant and toasted (4-6 minutes), transfer to a mortar and pestle, pound until finely ground, transfer to a bowl and set aside. Add rice to pan and cook, shaking occasionally, until roasted (3-5 minutes), transfer to mortar and pestle, pound until finely ground and set aside.
  • 03
  • Heat a wok over high heat, add quail and 60ml water and stir continuously until cooked through (3-4 minutes). Remove wok from heat, add ground galangal, ground rice and remaining ingredients (except extra coriander), toss to coat quail, adjust seasoning to taste and set aside.
  • 04
  • For barbecued pineapple salsa, preheat a char-grill pan over high heat, add pineapple in batches and char-grill until golden (1-2 minutes each side). Dice and transfer to a bowl. Add remaining ingredients, season to taste and set aside.
  • 05
  • Preheat a cast-iron frying pan over medium-high heat, add tortillas one at a time and cook, turning once, until bubbles appear on the surface and base browns (30-45 seconds each side). Wrap in a cloth napkin to steam, soften and keep warm.
  • 06
  • Serve warm tortillas topped with quail, barbecued pineapple salsa and extra coriander.

Note White glutinous rice is available from select supermarkets and Asian grocers. Ask your butcher to debone the quail for you. White masa flour (also known as masa harina or harina de maíz) is a white nixtamalised corn flour; it's available from Mexican food shops including Monterey Mexican Foods.

We've used white corn tortillas for this recipe, because they have a smoother texture and a subtler corn flavour than yellow corn tortillas. If you don't want to use quail, substitute 800gm pork mince.

At A Glance

  • Serves 16 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 16 people

Drink Suggestion

Exotic, creamy viognier.

Featured in

Nov 2012

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