Pan-roasted Squabs In Nước Táu Sauce (Bồ Câu Quay Nước Táu)

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Save Recipe Pan-roasted Squabs in Nuoc Tau Sauce
  • 2Servings
  • 15 mPrep Time
  • 15 mCook Time
  • 30 mReady In
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Squad is another term for young pigeon or its meat, typically under four weeks old. Squab and pigeon are part of the cuisine of many countries, including France, Egypt, the United States, Italy, Northern Africa, and several Asian countries.

In Vietnam, squab and pigeon are often roasted to be eaten with or without xôi, Vietnamese sticky rice. They are also found in porridge and stew dishes and are eaten mainly for medicinal benefits.

In roast dishes, squab and pigeon are marinated in a home-made sauce called nước táu. Nước táu sauce, or more precisely nước táu marinade, is by mainly cooking roasted star anise, tsaoko cardamom, and cinnamon branch barks. Lanxangia tsaoko is also known as Chinese black cardamom or tsaoko cardamom (tsaoko in Chinese, and thảo quả in Vietnamese). In Vietnam, Saigon cinnamon bark (Cinnamomum loureiroi, also known as Vietnamese cinnamon) is used.

nuoc tau ingredients
Nước táu ingredients

Five-spice condiment is optionally added to the sauce. Sometimes ginger and roasted onions/shallots are also added to mask the gamey flavor of beef, goat or some other gamey meat.

To add a golden brown color to the sauce, honey, maltose or soy sauce may be used. Usually, when cooking birds, honey is a common choice.


Step by step method

  • Marinating

    Roast star anise, tsaoko cardamom, and cinnamon barks, and add water to cook the nước táu sauce. Put the squabs into the nước táu saucepan to cook for 4-5 minds then bring out to drain.

  • Honey glazing

    Brush the squab skin with honey and let the meat marinated for about 5 mins.

  • Roasting and serving

    In a roasting pan, heat the oil and add the squabs and roast them until they become brown. Bring out and absorb excess oil with kitchen tissues. Chop the birds into 4-6 pieces. Place on a serving dish coated with vegetables.

  • Making a dipping mixture

    In a small dipping bowl, add salt, black pepper, lime wedges, and some chilli slices.

Tips & variations

  • You should not roast the birds too long because the bird's meat is partially cooked in the nước táu sauce. Or else, the birds may be too dry.

  • The recipe should work with other birds.

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