Peruvian Grilled Quail

Well quarantine day one quickly turned into quarantine day twenty something. The time went by so fast for me! But here we are. I don’t think I have ever been bored in my entire life, especially on this property, so as much as the anxiety creeps in about the world outside of here I am enjoying my time working from home, walking the dogs, gardening and of course- cooking every day!

Besides cooking what I enjoy cooking I have been doing more research to take us around the world from our porch. I randomly started reading about Peruvian food influences and was completely enthralled. Peruvian food is heavily influenced by Chinese and Japanese immigrants. Latin food and Asian food? My two favorites. Cumin and soy sauce. What could go wrong? It turns out the wide-reaching flavors of this fusion cuisine is grounded in centuries of culinary history.

Being a history major and a foodie makes me sucker for food history. So much can be told about mankind through food! Even a hunter or a farmer has a story, a history, with the food they eat. My food research led me down a rabbit hole which produced an epic dinner tonight: Peruvian Grilled Quail, charred asparagus, red onion and cotija cheese with homemade cilantro lime crema. It sounds complicated but like many things I cook, it wasn’t terribly difficult. The spicy charred sauce that went on the quail could be slathered on a shoe and I would probably eat it. I can’t wait to try it on other proteins! So toss out the boring “Quail popper” recipes and give this one a try. No quail? Sub chicken, turkey, pork or even cauliflower! I bet it would be just as delicious.


  • Two whole quail, skin on
  • 2 garlic cloves or a tablespoon of garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce, or if you are like me, three turns in a circle
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of sambal (chili paste)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Ground cumin, black pepper, sea salt, chili powder
  • 4 skewers, soaked in water


  1. Defrost your whole birds. Dust them with your dry spices: cumin, black pepper, sea salt, chili powder and garlic powder (if using).
  2. Combine the wet ingredients and pour over quail in a bowl. Marinate (I marinated mine in the fridge for around 7 or 8 hours).
  3. In the meantime soak your skewers.
  4. Get a fire hot. I did this over open flame so I can’t tell you how hot.
  5. Skewer your birds, two skewers to each so that they lie flat.
  6. Grill quail starting with the bottom side down, until evening charred and cooked.
  7. Before serving grate with lime zest.

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