Quail Marinated in Plum Wine and Barley Miso

Nic Watt & Roka

“I came up with this recipe while I was experimenting with quail recipes. For a small game bird, quail has a very full flavour which is enhanced and complemented by the ginger and plum in this recipe. The barley miso brings an additional subtle flavour which completes the dish. It’s become one of the menu favourites at Roka."


Serves 4

4 large quails, boned
200ml/7 fl oz/scant 1 cup plum wine
1 tbsp umeboshi plum paste
2 tsp soy sauce
1½ tsp sesame oil
2 tsp barley miso
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp ginger paste
4 umeboshi plums
sea salt and ground black


1 Ask your butcher to spatchcock the quails, discarding the carcass but leaving the breast and legs attached.

2 T o make the marinade, put the plum wine, plum paste, soy sauce, sesame oil, barley miso, garlic paste and ginger paste into a mixing bowl and whisk together to incorporate. Add the quails, stir to coat with the marinade, and leave to marinate for 4 hours in the fridge, covered.

3 When ready to cook the quails, preheat the grill. Grill the quails skin side down first, basting each side with the marinade 3 or 4 times while cooking. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side.

4 While the quails are cooking, remove the stones from your pickled plums and dice the flesh roughly.

5 To serve, season the cooked quails with sea salt and black pepper. Serve with a spoonful of diced pickled plums and a final fine pinch of sea salt.