Air Fried Quails with Five Spice & Butter (Chim Cút Nướng Air Fryer | Ngũ Vị Hương Bơ)

13 February 2022

I’m really loving my air fryer! It’s a healthy alternative to deep-frying in oil. Also, it’s small so I can cook small batches of food without having to preheat and dirty up a large convection oven, which uses the same technology but on a larger scale.

But my favorite is that it contains the mess. Imagine hot oil splatters all over the kitchen and your clothes with traditional frying. And having to barricade your little ones out of the kitchen for their safety.

Because of its portability, I can take out the contained mess and put it in the sink. If you have a husband like mine who only cleans what’s dirty in his line of sight, this would work out well for you too! You can place a dirty air fryer basket in the sink. You can’t do that with a convection oven.

I have an Instant Pot air fryer and pressure cooker combo. Two great appliances in one. All you need to do is switch out the lids. This saves me a ton of counter space, which is always a plus.

Now let me be clear. Air frying doesn’t replace frying in oil. You just don’t get that ultra crunchy texture. But if you don’t like to deal with the mess and the oil, then an air fryer can be ideal for you too.

Crispy Air Fried Quails with Five Spice & Butter (Chim Cút Chiên Giòn)

Crispy Air Fried Quails with Five Spice & Butter (Chim Cút Chiên Giòn)

Fried quails are one of Vietnam’s many street food cheap eats. Munching on these from street food vendors is what I love about Vietnam. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like I get to go back to Vietnam anytime soon due to the pandemic without spending weeks in quarantine. So I’m replicating one of my favorite street food snacks using an air fryer.

If you don’t have an air fryer, check out my regular fried quail recipe.

These delicious quails are marinated in a simple mixture of oyster sauce, sugar, Chinese five-spice, cooking wine, garlic powder, and onion powder, then air-fried to buttery golden perfection. Serve it with a side of lemon, salt and pepper dipping sauce.

For a more traditional flavor, chase the quail with hot and peppery Vietnamese coriander/mint(rau răm). You can simply have this on its own as an appetizer or with steamed rice for a more complete meal.

Recipe below and a detailed Youtube video tutorial up above.

Happy cooking!

Crispy Air Fried Quails with Five Spice & Butter (Chim Cút Chiên Giòn)

Crispy Air Fried Quails with Five Spice & Butter (Chim Cút Chiên Giòn)


Air Fried Quails with Five Spice & Butter (Chim Cut Nuong Air Fryer | Ngu Vi Huong Bo)

Serves 4-6



  • 6 whole quails (cut the backbone so quails lay flat; rinse and pat dry)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Shaoxing cooking wine
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)
  • Equipment Needed

  • Air Fryer
  • Lemon Salt Pepper Dipping Sauce (optional)

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1⁄2 ground black or white pepper
  • Vegetables (optional)

  • Lettuce
  • Vietnamese coriander/mint (rau ram)


  1. In a small bowl, combine the oyster sauce, sugar, Chinese five spice, cooking wine, ground black pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. Mix well.
  2. Marinate quails with the mixture for at least one hour or overnight in the fridge for better results.
  3. Right before air frying, coat marinated quails in melted butter.
  4. Prep your air fryer by spraying it with a good layer of cooking oil to prevent sticking. Place the marinated quails into the air fryer basket and air fry for 20-30 minutes at 400°F. Flip half way through.
  5. Optional: Transfer quails onto a bed of lettuce or Vietnamese coriander/mint with the side of lemon salt and pepper dipping sauce (optional).
Crispy Air Fried Quails with Five Spice & Butter (Chim Cút Chiên Giòn)

Crispy Air Fried Quails with Five Spice & Butter (Chim Cút Chiên Giòn)

Blog – Vietnamese Home Cooking


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