Tea-Smoked Quail with Baby Lettuce and Asian Dressing
1 bunch of fine asparagus
3 large handfuls of baby lettuce leaves
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp Sesame oil
2 tbsp Soy sauce
2 Spring onions
1 tbsp Honey
For the tea-smoking mixture:
2 tbsp jasmine tea
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp long grain rice
For the dressing:
2 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tbsp Mint, chopped
1 tbsp basil leaves, chopped
2 tbsp Coriander, chopped
3 tbsp sunflower oil
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tbsp soft brown sugar
1½ tbsp nam pla (Thai fish sauce), (nam pla)
First, prepare the dressing. Mix together the garlic, mint, basil, coriander, sunflower oil, lime juice, soft brown sugar, fish sauce and chilli sauce. Set aside for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6.
Brush each quail with a little sesame oil. Place the quails on a rack that will fit inside a lidded wok.
Cut out a 20cm circle of kitchen foil. Fold the foil into a container about 12cm in diameter.
Mix together the jasmine tea, brown sugar and long grain rice. Pour the tea-smoking mixture into the foil container and place it in the bottom of the wok.
Place the wok on a hob and turn the heat to full. Once the smoking mixture starts to smoke, add the rack with the quail and place it over the foil container. Cover the wok tightly and leave on the hob for 8 minutes.
Remove the covered wok from the heat, without lifting the lid. Set it aside for 5 minutes, then uncover.
Transfer the quails to a roasting rack and place in the oven for 2-3 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a pan of salted water to the boil. Add in the asparagus and blanch for 3 minutes; drain the asparagus and plunge into ice-cold water. Cut into 2.5cm pieces.
Mix the asparagus and the baby lettuce leaves together. Toss with the dressing.
Cut the quails into small pieces. Serve the quail pieces on the dressed salad