Place the shallots and garlic in a mortar and pound into a paste. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the oyster sauce, white pepper, fish sauce, five-spice powder, and oil and mix well. Add the quail and let marinate for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the salt mixture. In a small sauté pan over low heat, dry roast the salt and peppercorns until fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes. Divide salt mixture into small ramekins.
Preheat oven to broil. Place quail, skin side up, on a baking sheet and place under the broiler on the top rack. Cook to desired doneness, about 10 to 15 minutes. If barbecuing, preheat grill to moderate heat. Cook each side about 3 to 5 minutes. Serve on a bed of cabbage salad with the salt mixture on the side. Squeeze lime juice into the salt mixture before dipping pieces of quail in it.
source from: vietnameseportal