Chef Michael Mina


Michael Lomonaco of Noche - New York City
Adapted by StarChefs

Yield: 4 main course or 8 appetizer servings

  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1 lemon, juiced and cut into quarters
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, crushed to release its oils
  • 2-3 star anise
  • 2 Tablespoons molasses
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 whole chili pepper pods, or ½ teaspoon crushed chili peppers
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 Tablespoon grated ginger
  • 8 whole quail, preferably with breast bone removed
  • 2 cups mesclun salad mix, or your own mix of tender salad greens
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • ½ cup fragrant extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 papaya, pitted, peeled and sliced
  • 1 mango peeled, pitted, and sliced
  • ½ cup shelled pumpkin seeds, toasted 2-4 minutes in a 250° oven and salted

Combine the orange and lemon juice, bay leaves, crushed lemongrass, star anise, molasses, soy, chili, garlic and ginger and marinate the quail for several hours, or overnight, covered, in the refrigerator.

To make the dressing for the salad, combine the mustard, vinegar and honey and whisk in the olive oil to create an emulsion.

Remove the quail from the marinade and grill over an outdoor barbecue for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, or cook over medium heat in a cast iron skillet for 10 to 12 minutes, turning frequently to avoid burning. Remove from the heat and let the quail rest for several minutes before serving.

Toss the salad greens with the dressing and divide among 4 plates. Top each salad with 2 quail for a main course and garnish each with several slices of papaya and mango and sprinkle with toasted pumpkin seeds.