Barbecued miso poussin with lemon, garlic and chilli dip

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Scott Hallsworth's tasty barbecued poussin recipe is packed with bold Japanese flavours. The birds are marinated in a sweet miso and chilli sauce before grilling over a hot barbecue, though you can just as easily cook them in the oven if the weather is not looking good. The marinade is extremely versatile: use it for salmon, scallops, steaks, even tofu. This recipe is taken from Junk Food Japan by Scott Hallsworth, published by Absolute Press. Photography by David Loftus.

First published in 2017




Grilled poussin

Den miso for the marinade

To finish the marinade

Lemon-garlic-chilli dip

Daikon salad


  • Japanese Mandolin slicer
  • Barbecue


To begin, make the den miso for the marinade. Prepare a bain marie by filling a pan of water and sitting a heatproof bowl snugly over the top (ensuring the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water). Whisk together the miso, sugar, mirin and sake and pour into the bowl. Cook over a high heat for about 20 minutes, stirring continuously. Remove and chill
Make the marinade by mixing 100ml of the den miso and the chillies together. Use a sharp knife to cut each poussin clean in half and make a couple of score marks, one in the fat part of the drumsticks and one in the thighs. Marinate in the miso-chilli marinade for at least 6 hours and up to 12 hours
To make the dip, whisk together all the ingredients, except the oil. Slowly whisk in the oil until emulsified. This will keep in the fridge for a month
To make the salad, thinly slice the daikon on a Japanese mandoline and layer the slices in piles of 5 or 6. Using a knife, shred very thinly. Do the same with the carrot and cucumber and mix together. Add the mint and coriander leaves and drizzle with the yuzu, soy sauce and extra virgin olive oil
Set up your barbecue and get the charcoal very hot. Once the flames start to die down a little and the embers begin to glow, put your poussins on the grill. If you’re concerned about the poussins not being cooked through enough and burning, take off the barbecue and finish cooking in a hot oven, about 180°C/gas mark 4 for 8–10 minutes. To check the birds are done, insert a thin metal skewer or the sharp end of small knife into the thickest part of the thigh, pause for a couple of seconds, then hold the skewer to your lip; if its scorching hot they're done
Once cooked, serve with the daikon salad and the dip on the side
First published in 2017

As head chef at the acclaimed Nobu for six years, Australian-born Scott Hallsworth has mastered the ins and outs of Japanese cuisine, which he now showcases in his fun, playful dishes at Freak Scene.

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