The West was built in good part by Chinese and Japanese immigrants who supplied both hands and brains to build railroads and cities, ranches and farms. Also, some of the first trappers who had been brought to our northwest coast by John Jacob Astor were Hawaiians. It is not surprising, therefore, that teriyaki came to the West early on.
At the Fort we serve well over one thousand of these quail a week. We start with partially deboned birds so that the little rib cage has been removed. The legs, thighs, and wings are still attached, and with the large breast, quail makes a delicious dish when two or three birds are served.
- 1 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup Mirin rice wine or dry sherry
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp minced fresh ginger
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced or smashed
- 2 whole anise (found in Asian section of most groceries or in bulk at natural food stores; optional)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped orange peel
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 cup water
- 8 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 ounce partially deboned quail
- 4 orange slices for garnish
Combine all the marinade ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Let cool.
Place the quail in a single layer in a pan, pour the marinade over, and let the quail marinade for 2 – 4 hours. Beware of leaving the birds in for more than 8 hours because they will become unpalatably salty.
When ready to cook the quail, heat the grill to medium or preheat the broiler. Cook the quail for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Garnish with a twisted orange slice.