Monday we put the boat in at Fowlers Camp and headed out to our fishing spot off Eagle Bluff. We’ve been fishing there for years always catching heaps of just undersized pink snapper and the occasional size one that we can bring home. It’s a beautiful spot that we often have to ourselves apart from the dolphins there fishing for the small pinks. We came home with 2 pinks and 1 black snapper and a big flathead-something we’ve never caught there before. I cooked one of the snapper whole in the oven, stuffing the cavity with lemongrass, ginger, kaffir lime leaves and coriander stalks. Simple but good food!
It was so nice out there Monday, we headed out again Tuesday but couldn’t even catch the bottom!
Today, we spent the afternoon out crabbing at Monkey Mia. We had to wait for some dimwits on the boat ramp-they couldn’t back a trailer then pulled out and did all the tying down of their boat while we waited for them, then we only got 6 crabs and soaking wet in some promised rain that finally arrived. It was lovely to get home to a hot shower.
Before we left, I made the spicy salt and marinade, while Russ split the quail for tonight’s dinner. We didn’t shoot these quail, but bought them in Perth to enjoy one night in the future on our trip north. Tonight was the night. After an average day at Monkey Mia dinner was a feast!
I like my quail treated simply so the flavour still comes through-I think intense marinades kill all that-this recipe is one of the best. We ate the quail with a Green Papaya salad made with some of our last Carnarvon ingredients. It amazes me how long this good, fresh produce actually lasts; even now one week and 5 days after purchase the stuff is still better than if I’d brought it “fresh” at a supermarket today!
This recipe comes from a book Taste of China I bought years ago and is a family favourite for quail. I save the rest of the spicy salt, sieve it and use it on fish (especially sand whiting) and squid.
Fried Quail with Spicy Salt
Salt and Pepper Mix
- 4 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons Szechuan peppercorns, crushed
- 1 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
- 4 quail
- 1 teaspoon salt and pepper mix
- (see above)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice wine
- 2 -3 tablespoons plain flour
- oil (for deep frying)
- lemon wedges, to serve
- To make the spicy salt and pepper, combine the ingredients and dry fry over a low heat for 2-3 minutes or until aromatic.
- Split each quail in half down the middle and clean well. I like to remove the back bone with my knife and pull out the ribs, breast bone and wishbone with my fingers.
- Marinate with the teaspoon of spicy salt and pepper, sugar, soy and rice wine for 2-3 hours, turning frequently.
- Coat each quail piece in flour, dusting off the excess.
- Fill a wok to 1/4 full with oil and heat the oil to 190c.
- Fry the quail for 2-3 minutes each side then remove from the wok and drain on kitchen paper.
- Serve with the lemon wedges on the side.