Grilled Vietnamese Five-Spice Cornish Game Hens

Course : Grilling
Serves: 4
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4 medium Cornish game hens -- (14 ounces, each)
4 cloves garlic
2 small shallots -- or 3 green onions, white part only
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon five spice powder
1 1/2 tablespoons Vietnamese fish sauce -- (nouc mam)
1 1/2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons dry sherry

Preparation / Directions:

This aromatic grilled game hen can be easily served Western style with rice, coleslaw or a green salad. [But it would be better with Thai cucumber salad or Vietnamese carrot salad.] Halve the hens through the breast. Flatten with the palm of your hand. In a mortar or food processor, pound or mince garlic, shallots and sugar. Add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Pour mixture over hens; marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight in refrigerator. Set hens, skin-side down, on rack and grill over medium coals for 15 minutes. Turn and grill 15 minutes longer or until they are thoroughly cooked. Serve with Nuoc Cham dipping sauce.

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