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Chim cút nướng quất/tắc muối / Roasted kumquat quails

We’re excited to share with you a real simple dish we created that’s been a runaway hit at every dinner we’ve served it. At the heart of the dish is our love for the flavor of salted kumquats, with its floral citrus scent transformed into an earthy and complex ancient aroma after months of aging. That flavor paired with juicy, just slightly gamey quails proved to be a winning combination, one that we haven’t encountered anywhere else.

Roasted kumquat quail - photo courtesy of Elaine Vo

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Khô bò (beef jerky) with lemongrass, kumquats, cinnamon, star anise, and cloves

Growing up, I have always loved my Mom’s khô bò (beef jerky). Each bite was tender and packed full of flavors. It was an addictive snack by itself or in a beef jerky salad with green papaya or spaghetti squash. Store-bought beef jerky, which is hard to chew and tasting only of soy sauce and chilli pepper just can’t compete. When I bought a food dehydrator for one of our cooking experiments (making beef crackling, subject of another post), it was time to ask Mom for her khô bò recipe.

What she sent back was just a list of ingredients (with no measurements, of course :)) and a general sketch of the method. It was so different from the detailed recipe she wrote for spring roll dipping sauce. A measure of my progress in cooking? After a couple batches with consistent success (defined by how much people enjoyed my khô bò), here’s my adapted recipe.

Homemade khô bò / beef jerky

Enough rambling already, let’s get to the recipe!


Muối quất muối (Salted-kumquats salt)

Ah no, redundant blog post title isn’t redundant.

We’ve posted about salted kumquats before, and various uses for them including as marinade for grilled quails. At the end of the day though, we still had an excess of incredibly fragrant and salty brine. What to do? Open our own salt field (er… dish) of course!

Salted kumquat salt crystal

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