Bavaria meets Asia!
One of the current projects I am working on for a new Travel, Food and Lifestyle magazine, will take me to Bavaria a couple of times this year. I am really looking forward to it as not only does the State of Bavaria have a uniquely varied landscape and wonderfully multi-faceted locals, but also the Bavarian cuisine, which is hearty and rustic traditionally, has been undergoing an impressive reform. That is where my project docks on and takes it a step further.
First allow me to welcome all the new German – Bavarian readers to my blog coming from the Bavarian magazine. For you I have published the recipe in German in a printable form.
Ihr findet das Link zum Rezept in Deutsch unten. Ich hoffe es schmeckt euch!
For my regular readers here is a bit more about the project!
Traditional Bavarian food is generally hearty and very filling, with many meat and potato-based dishes. However, many chefs are now experimenting with new creations, making their menus healthier and lighter or fusing traditional ingredients with international influences. I have been very keen to discover the trend. When the client, a publishing house in Germany, called, explaining their focus on Bavaria: travel, lifestyle and culinary experiences and they wanted me to help them with the culinary aspect of the magazine I instantly knew which way to go!
The challenge I take on is to come back and prepare another more international dish using the same ingredients.
In the next few months, I will meet up with a few talented chefs and cooks in their kitchens across Bavaria. They will prepare a Bavarian dish they choose, with their specific signature and I will photograph their special dish and interview them. However, it does not end here, the challenge I take on is to come back and prepare another more international dish using the same ingredients. It's an exciting concept that I helped to develop with the client.
Late January I headed to Nürnberg for my first job at the Zirbelstube Restaurant & Hotel. Nürnberg is situated in the Bavarian region of Franconia and as I got the gist while I did some research, that there are often huge differences between the different regions of the state – mostly however in people’s minds! Nürnberg is best known for its famous Christmas market – the Christkindle Markt – or the very popular small and piquant Nürnberger sausages.
The ginger and chili were my guiding ingredients!
I, however, was not at the Zirbelstube Restaurant for sausages! Sebastian Kunkel the young and sincere chef of the restaurant was going to share his special dish with me. The dish prepared was venison with white poppy seeds, celeriac mash, ginger and chili kale served with dried fruit compote. When Sebastian sent me his suggestion for the dish per email I instinctively knew which direction I was going to take my own creation. The ginger and chili were my guiding ingredients!
While Sebastian used a variety of dried fruit, like figs, cranberries, plums and apricot for his bold compote rounded off with typical Bavarian “Weißbier”, I chose to use only plums deglazing it with some Mirin rice wine.
The magazine is due out next week and I really wanted to share my version with you. I loved all the ingredients that Sebastian used as they were versatile and easily transferable to the idea I had in my head. Ginger and chili embraced the dish and I kept Sebastian’s idea of using it in the kale, but also spiced up my swede, which I cut into juliennes and gently sautéed. Sebastian used a spice mix which included aromatic spices like juniper berries, cloves, all spice, star anise, mustard seeds. I used the idea and some of the similar spices and created my own using cumin and fennel seeds, star anise and a bit of cinnamon for a wonderful savory mix for the meat and the vegetables. While Sebastian used a variety of dried fruit, like figs, cranberries, plums and apricot for his bold compote rounded off with typical Bavarian “Weißbier”, I chose to use only plums deglazing it with some Mirin rice wine.
Making this simple bowlful of ramen noodles topped off with nourishing veggies and a piquant sweet and sour dried fruit and served with succulent venison filet strips is somewhere between home-y and fine-dining. The venison, used distinctively for the project, can be easily substituted with the more common beef or pork filet. For vegetarians use big meaty oyster mushrooms instead. As each item is prepared individually for the ramen bowl the steps are not complicated and anyone who has made your typical “bowl food” or ramen bowls will appreciate the simplicity of the dish.
As one dish it is just explosive!
What I love about meals like this is that the ingredients complement each other by counterbalancing the flavors perfectly. So while you have the chili and ginger in the kale, swede and plum compote, they work and taste differently with each pairing. As one dish it is just explosive!
Recipe: Ramen Bowl with Sesame Poppy Seed Venison Ginger Chili Kale and SwedeMeeta K. Wolff
- 2 star anise
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 cassia cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon dried lemon peel
- 300g Venison, cut in approx. 2 cm slices
- 200g fresh kale, washed and and the leaves removed from the stem.
- 1 small swede, cut in fine strips
- 4-6 com thick piece ginger, finely chopped
- 2 red chilies, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 300g ramen noodles
- 100g poppy seeds
- 100g sesame seeds
- 80g dried plums
- Coconut oil
- Sesame seed oil
- Mirin - rice wine
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 bunch spring onions
- To make the spice mix put all the whole spices except the lemon peel in a skillet and gently heat for 30 seconds to 1 minute until fragrant. Then place everything including the lemon peel in a spice grinder and grind until fine. You will have a lot more than you need for this recipe. Place in a clean dry jar and store for up to a month.
- Bring some salted water to a boil in a pot. Add the kale in portions and blanch for 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and put the leaves in ice cold water. This will slow down further cooking and retain the vibrant green color.
- In a small heat about 1 tablespoon of coconut oil on high heat. Add 2 teaspoon each of ginger and garlic, 1/2 teaspoon chili and 1/2 teaspoon of the spice mix - sauté until onions are transparent and fragrant. Reduce heat and then add the swede strips, toss well to coat - sauté well until soft. Add a few drops of sesame oil, season and remove from wok. Keep warm.
- Reheat the wok and add 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil. Again add 1 teaspoon each ginger and garlic, 1/2 teaspoon chili - sauté for a few minutes. Add the kale and toss well and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes. Add a few splashes of mirin and a drizzle of sesame oil. The kale should still be crunchy and vibrant green in color.
- Cook ramen noodles according to packet instructions. In the meantime throw in the rest of the ginger, garlic in 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil in the hot wok. Add the dried plums, 1/2 teaspoon spice mix and stir well. Pour about 1/2 liter mirin, add the brown sugar and allow everything to caramelize and thicken for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Pat the venison dry. Season with salt and cracked pepper and some spice mix. Heat a skillet with some coconut oil and brown the venison on each side for about 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to rest.
- In the meantime begin assembling the bowls by dividing the ramen noodles in four bowls. Top with the swede strips, kale, spring onion slices and the caramelized plum compote. Mix the sesame and poppy seeds in a plate and coat the venison slices with the seeds. Cut in strips and place on top of the noodles. Sprinkle with some poppy seed and sesame mix and serve hot.
I hope you enjoyed the little insight to one of my projects. I love sharing the images and recipes here and allow you to be a part of it. The ramen bowl is big on flavor and just needs a bit of prep to make sure you can follow the steps one after the other without much fuss. The leftover spice mix can be stored in a jar and used to season, other meat and veggie dishes. The spices in the mix are typically found in cuisines from India, Middle East and other Asian countries so you can use it in everything from curries to tagines.
Rome 2017 | Food & Lifestyle Photography and Styling Retreat
Power-packed 2-day photography retreat in the stunning rolling hills of Sabina!
Meet like-minded people and focus on your passion for food / lifestyle photography in a positive and encouraging environment. I believe in providing a memorable experience - be it the stunning landscapes, the delectable dishes we cook, the knowledgeable tours we take and the incredible insight of the people connected with the workshops.
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