Recipe: Grilled Quail with Citrus-Miso Glaze

b55cde21-59b7-478d-9b0d-546b6e745061 A savory-sweet glaze teams up with plucked quail and your grill for a spectacular cookout after the hunt or later at home.

By Danielle Prewett, Wild + Whole

Citrus pairs really well with wild game, and this recipe is no exception. This orange-miso glaze takes on a flair that is both savory and sweet. When you brush this sauce on whole, plucked birds while grilling, the sugars begin to caramelize and intensify in flavor. This recipe works really well with all small game birds, especially quail. Doves are shown in the image.  

The best part about this recipe is how easy it is to make. There are only 4 ingredients in the glaze. You can make it in advance at home and bring a jar of it out in the field for a simple but flavorful cookout after your hunt.

The key to grilling small game birds such as quail is to cook them hot and fast. You want the grill heated to at least 500 degrees and the meat cooked to medium for quail, medium-rare for dove. You can eat these right off the fire. Serve them with cilantro, roasted cashews and sliced green onions. Reserve some of the glaze for drizzling over jasmine rice and sautéed baby bok choy.

This recipe calls for a  favorite Japanese spice mix, Shichimi Togarashi. This spicy seasoning is a blend of orange peel, dried garlic, nori (dried seaweed), chilis and some other spices. It has a bit of a kick which balances out the sweetness of the glaze. You can find this spice mix online or simply substitute with a mix of crushed red chili, dried garlic and orange zest.


Serves 4-6, Makes 1 Cup Glaze


• 8 - 12 Small Game Birds (Quail or Dove) Plucked
• Duck Fat or Oil for Cooking
• 2 t. Shichimi Togarashi 
• ½ t. Salt
• ½ t. Sesame Seeds
• 1 Green Onion, Thinly Sliced
• Handful of Fresh Cilantro
• Handful of Crushed Roasted Cashews or Peanuts

Citrus-Miso Glaze
• 2 C. Fresh Orange Juice
• Large Knob of Ginger
• 3 T. Honey
• 2 T. Red Miso Paste



1. Prep the birds by plucking to keep the skin on and patting very dry. Mix the Shichimi Togarashi, salt and sesame seeds together. Rub each bird with a little bit of oil or duck fat and sprinkle with the spice mix. Set aside until ready to grill.

Citrus-Miso Glaze

1. Heat a small pot over medium high heat and add the Orange Juice.

2. Peel the skin off the knob of ginger and grate on a Microplane until you have 2 full Tablespoons. Add to the pot with the Orange Juice along with the honey. Bring the liquid to a soft boil, reduce the heat and simmer until reduced in half (1 Cup), about 35 minutes or so. Remove the pot from the heat and let it cool. Once cool to the touch, whisk in the Miso Paste until combined. Reserve half the glaze for serving on the side, and use the other half for brushing on the birds as they grill.


1. Preheat the grill at a high setting, so that your grill is at least 500 degrees, and have your citrus-miso glaze handy. Once hot, add each bird face side down and grill for a couple of minutes to give it a slight char. Flip the them over and brush the glaze over each, close the lid and continue grilling. If your grilling something small such as dove, cook about 6-8 minutes, or about 10-12 minutes for something larger like quail.  Keep brushing the glaze on top of each bird a couple times. Cook the meat to medium for quail, medium-rare (meat is still pink) for dove.

2. Serve with reserved citrus-miso glaze and sprinkle with green onions, cilantro and crushed nuts.