Spicy Quails With Mushrooms

Tony Tobin's East meets West recipe combines deep-fried quail breasts with richly spiced mushrooms to flavourful effect
By Tony Tobin
Spicy Quails With Mushrooms
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: medium



  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 4 allspice berries, crushed
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 6 large quail breasts
  • vegetable oil, for deep and shallow-frying
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 12 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 12 oyster mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • splash of soy sauce
  • 12 green beans, sliced
  • 12 basil
  • black pepper

For the Laksa paste:

  • 2 red chillies
  • 1 tsp shrimp paste
  • 1 tsp dried shrimps
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds, dry-fried and ground
  • 1/2 stalk lemongrass, finely sliced
  • 2cm piece of galangal, peeled and chopped
  • 1 bird's eye chilli
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp roasted peanuts
  • 400 ml light olive oil


1. First make the laksa paste. In a food processor blend together the chillies, shrimp paste, dried shrimp, turmeric, coriander, lemon grass, galangal, bird's eye chilli, shallot, garlic and peanuts into a paste, adding a little water if necessary.

2. Heat the olive oil in a wok, add the paste and gently fry, stirring often, until the paste is fragrant.

3. Mix together the chilli powder, pepper, allspice and sea-salt and rub into the quail breasts.

4. Heat the oil for deep-frying in a wok or deep fat-fryer to 180°C. Add the quail breasts and fry for 5 minutes, until crispy. Remove and keep warm.

5. Heat a wok until hot. Add a tablespoon of vegetable oil and heat through. Add the onion and fry, stirring, until softened and beginning to brown.

6. Add 4 teaspoons of the laksa paste (reserving the remainder for future use) and stir-fry over high heat.

7. Add the shiitake and oyster mushrooms and toss thoroughly. Add the fish sauce and soy sauce and stir-fry briefly.

8. Add the green beans and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the basil and season with salt and freshly ground pepper if needed.

9. Divide the mushroom mixture among 4 warm serving plates. Top each plate with a deep-fried quail breast. Serve at once.

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