Chim Cut Roti: Ultimate Guide to Making Vietnamese Roasted Quail

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Written By Hot Thai Restaurant

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We’re diving into the aromatic world of Vietnamese cuisine with a dish that’s as intriguing as its name suggests: chim cut roti. This dish, featuring roasted quail with a blend of spices that’ll dance on your palate, is a culinary adventure we can’t wait to share with you. It’s not just a meal; it’s an experience that encapsulates the vibrant and diverse flavors of Vietnam.

Roasted to perfection, chim cut roti is a testament to the art of balancing flavors and textures. The crispy skin, tender meat, and the unique blend of spices make it a standout dish that’s beloved in Vietnamese street food culture. Whether you’re a seasoned foodie or new to Vietnamese cuisine, this recipe is sure to impress. Let’s embark on this flavorful journey together, and bring a taste of Vietnam right into our kitchens.


Embarking on this culinary journey, we’ll start with the key elements that make chim cut roti a standout dish. Here’s everything you’ll need to bring the vibrant flavors of Vietnam right to your table.

For the Quail

  • 4 whole quails, cleaned and patted dry
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the Marinade

The marinade is where chim cut roti really begins to sing, infusing the quail with fragrant spices and flavors that are characteristically Vietnamese.

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon five-spice powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Mixing these ingredients will create a harmonious blend that perfectly complements the quail’s natural flavors.

For the Dipping Sauce

No Vietnamese dish is complete without a dipping sauce, and chim cut roti is no exception. This sauce adds an extra layer of flavor, enhancing the dish’s overall taste profile.

  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1 red chili, deseeded and finely chopped

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved. The result is a tangy, sweet, and spicy sauce that perfectly complements the roasted quail.

Tools and Equipment

After exploring the key ingredients necessary for creating the mouth-watering chim cut roti, it’s time to dive into the tools and equipment we’ll need to bring this Vietnamese delicacy to life in our kitchens. Equipping ourselves with the right tools will make the cooking process smoother and more enjoyable, ensuring our roasted quail comes out perfectly.

Mixing Bowls

The first set of tools we can’t do without are mixing bowls. We’ll need at least two bowls of different sizes. One large bowl is essential for mixing the quail with the aromatic marinade, ensuring each bird is evenly coated with those fragrant spices. A smaller bowl will be handy for preparing the dipping sauce, blending the intricate flavors that complement the roasted quail.

Measuring Spoons and Cups

Accuracy matters when we’re dealing with the blend of spices and ingredients that give chim cut roti its characteristic flavor. Measuring spoons and cups will help us maintain the right proportions, ensuring our dish has the perfect balance of saltiness, sweetness, and umami.

Baking Sheet

A heavy-duty baking sheet or a roasting pan is crucial for roasting the quail. We prefer using a non-stick baking sheet for ease of cleaning, but any baking sheet with a rim will do the job. The rim is important to catch any juices that drip, preventing any oven messes and ensuring our quail stays moist.

Wire Rack

Placing a wire rack on top of the baking sheet is a pro move to achieve that perfectly crispy skin. The rack allows hot air to circulate around the quail, ensuring it roasts evenly on all sides. For an extra crispy finish, make sure the quail is positioned a few inches above the baking sheet.

Kitchen Tongs

When it comes to flipping the quail during the roasting process, kitchen tongs are indispensable. They provide the precision and grip needed to handle the quail delicately without piercing the skin. A good pair of long-handled tongs will protect our hands from the heat, making the cooking process safer.

Meat Thermometer

To ensure our quail is roasted to perfection, a meat thermometer is a must-have. The ideal internal temperature for roasted quail is 165°F (74°C). By inserting a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the bird, we can cook with confidence, knowing our chim cut roti will be perfectly cooked every time.

Prep Work

Before we dive into the fascinating process of making chim cut roti, let’s get our quails and kitchen ready for action. Proper preparation is key to ensuring that the flavors we’re aiming for truly come to life.

Cleaning the Quail

First things first, cleaning the quail. Begin by rinsing each quail under cold water to remove any leftover feathers or debris. It’s crucial to check the cavity for any remnants or giblets, removing them if found. Pat the outside and inside dry with paper towels. This step is not just about cleanliness; it’s about ensuring the marinade can thoroughly coat and penetrate the meat, leading to a more flavorful dish.

Preparing the Marinade

Next up, let’s concoct the marinade that will infuse our quail with an exquisite blend of flavors. In a large mixing bowl, combine the following ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 tablespoon of finely minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of finely minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of five-spice powder
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil

Whisk these together until well combined. The aroma that rises from the bowl will be your first hint at the beautiful dish we’re about to create. This marinade is the heart of chim cut roti, balancing sweetness, saltiness, and the unmistakable punch of spices.

Marinating the Quail

Once our marinade is ready, it’s time to bring the quail and marinade together. Lay the quail in a dish or a large zip-top bag. Pour the marinade over the quail, ensuring each one is generously coated. Using your hands or kitchen tongs, turn the quails in the marinade to coat them evenly.

Let them marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, though marinating them overnight will deepen the flavors significantly. Remember to turn the quails a few times during the marinating process to ensure every nook and cranny is flavored.

Marinating the quail is a step where patience pays off. As the quail bathes in the marinade, the ingredients tenderize the meat and imbue it with the distinct and delightful flavors characteristic of chim cut roti. This step is crucial for achieving the full, vibrant taste profile that makes this dish a standout.

Cooking Instructions

Let’s dive right into the heart of making chim cut roti, where the magic happens, and those flavors come to life. Following these steps will ensure your dish is as authentic and delicious as it gets.

Preheating the Oven

First things first, preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius). It’s crucial to get the oven hot before the quails go in. This ensures a crispy skin and evenly cooked meat. While the oven heats, take this time to arrange your marinated quails on a roasting tray lined with parchment paper for easy cleanup. Make sure they are spaced well apart to allow the heat to circulate evenly around each quail.

Roasting the Quail

Place the roasting tray in the center of your preheated oven. This position allows for optimal heat distribution. Roast the quails for about 25 to 30 minutes. Halfway through, you’ll want to check on them. The goal is to achieve a golden-brown exterior while ensuring the meat is wonderfully tender and cooked through. Oven temperatures can vary, so it’s wise to use a meat thermometer. The quails are perfectly roasted when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74 degrees Celsius).


For that extra layer of flavor and a gloriously glossy finish, basting is key. Approximately 10 minutes before your quails are fully cooked, baste them with the remaining marinade. This step not only adds moisture but also intensifies the flavors, creating a richer taste experience. If you find your quails are browning too quickly, you can tent them loosely with aluminum foil to prevent them from burning. Remember to remove the foil in the last few minutes of cooking for that final touch of crispiness.

Making the Dipping Sauce

After perfecting the roast on our chim cut roti, it’s time to complement it with a dipping sauce that accentuates the dish’s flavors. This sauce is a harmonious blend of sweet, tangy, and spicy elements, bringing out the best in the roasted quail.

Mixing Ingredients

To start, we’ll gather all necessary ingredients for our dipping sauce:

  • 1/4 cup of fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup of rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of warm water
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 red chili, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of lime juice

First, in a mixing bowl, combine the warm water and sugar, stirring until the sugar completely dissolves. Next, add the fish sauce and rice vinegar to the mixture, ensuring everything is well combined. The base of our sauce is now ready.

It’s time to add the aromatics for that punch of flavor. Stir in the minced garlic and finely chopped chili to introduce a spicy kick that contrasts beautifully with the sweet and tangy base. Finally, blend in the lime juice for a refreshing zest that will cut through the richness of the chim cut roti.

Adjusting Taste

Taste testing is crucial at this stage. We aim for a perfect balance between the sauce’s sweet, tangy, and spicy components. If the sauce tastes too tart, consider adding a little more sugar. If it’s too spicy, a bit more sugar or water can help mellow out the heat. Conversely, if it lacks a punch, a bit more lime juice or a dash of chili can elevate the flavors.

Remember, the key to a great dipping sauce is customizing it to suit your palate. Feel free to adjust the quantities of any ingredient to achieve the balance you desire. This sauce should act as the perfect accompaniment to your chim cut roti, enhancing and elevating the dish to new heights.

Assemble and Serve

After we’ve meticulously prepared the chim cut roti and crafted the perfect dipping sauce, it’s time to bring our aromatic Vietnamese dish together and get ready to enjoy a delightful feast.

Arranging the Dish

First, let’s arrange our roasted quail on a serving platter. Ensuring each piece is showcased beautifully, we lay them out with enough space between so that each quail stands out. If you have fresh herbs like cilantro, basil, or mint, now is the time to tuck a few sprigs around the quail for a pop of color and freshness. This not only adds to the aesthetic appeal but also infuses a subtle hint of herbaceous flavor that complements the spices of the chim cut roti.

Next, we pour the dipping sauce into a small bowl. Place this bowl on the platter with the quail or alongside it if your platter is smaller. The sight of the golden-brown quail next to the vibrant sauce is truly inviting, promising a burst of flavors with every bite.

Serving Suggestions

To turn our chim cut roti into a complete meal, we recommend serving it with a side of fluffy jasmine rice or fresh Vietnamese-style baguette slices. These sides are perfect for soaking up the delightful sauce and ensuring not a drop goes to waste.

For a balanced meal, consider accompanying the dish with a simple salad or steamed vegetables. A salad dressed lightly with a vinaigrette made from lime juice, fish sauce, and a hint of sugar complements the rich flavors of the chim cut roti beautifully, offering a refreshing contrast.

Lastly, don’t forget the beverages. A light beer or iced tea pairs wonderfully with the spicy and savory notes of the dish, rounding out what promises to be an unforgettable dining experience. Enjoy the fruits of your labor and savor each flavorful bite of this beloved Vietnamese street food delicacy.

Make-Ahead Instructions

Preparing a dish like chim cut roti for family gatherings or dinner parties can seem daunting, but with a little foresight and our make-ahead tips, you’ll find it wonderfully manageable. Let’s dive into how you can get ahead of the game and enjoy your event with as little kitchen stress as possible.

Marinate the Quail

The secret to a flavorful chim cut roti lies in its marination. You can marinate the quail up to 24 hours in advance. Simply prepare the marinade as instructed, ensuring each quail is well coated with the blend of spices and liquid ingredients. Place them in a sealable bag or container and let them sit in the refrigerator. The longer the quail marinates, the deeper the flavors will penetrate, enriching the overall taste of the dish.

Prepare the Dipping Sauce

The dipping sauce can also be prepared well in advance. In fact, some argue that the sauce’s flavor improves with time. Prepare the dipping sauce according to the recipe, adjust it to your taste preferences, then store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Give it a good stir or shake before serving to make sure all the flavors are well combined.

Prepping the Garnishes and Sides

Fresh herbs and side dishes that accompany chim cut roti can also be prepared ahead of time. Wash and chop the herbs, storing them in airtight containers with a damp paper towel to keep them fresh. If you’re planning to serve the dish with jasmine rice or a salad, these can be prepared a few hours in advance. The rice can stay in the rice cooker on the ‘keep warm’ setting, and salads can be tossed without the dressing and refrigerated until it’s time to eat.

By following these make-ahead instructions, you’ll ensure that the actual day of your dinner or gathering is smooth and enjoyable. With the majority of the heavy lifting done the day before, all that remains is roasting the quail and assembling the plates. This approach not only simplifies the process but also allows you to fully immerse yourself in the joy of cooking and, most importantly, in the pleasure of sharing this delightful dish with your guests.


We’ve walked you through the delightful journey of making chim cut roti, a dish that’s as enjoyable to prepare as it is to eat. By now, we hope you’re ready to impress your guests or treat yourself to a meal that’s a feast for the senses. Remember, the beauty of this dish lies in its simplicity and the joy of sharing it with others. So don’t hesitate to tweak the recipe to suit your taste, and most importantly, have fun with it. Whether it’s a family gathering or a cozy dinner for two, chim cut roti promises to be a memorable addition to your culinary adventures. Let’s get cooking and make some unforgettable memories around the dining table.

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