New Zealand Food Writers Competition

In 2013 I entered the New Zealand Food Writers Competition which was held by Deer Industry New Zealand and They teamed together to create a competition which would showcase and celebrate healthy and delicious meals containing farm-raised venison and fresh New Zealand grown vegetables.

Their were three different categories which you could enter:

•Healthy Family Recipe: A meal for a family using the more cost-effective venison items such as mince, stir-fry or dice. The serving must be in line with Ministry of Health recommended Food & Nutrition guidelines, something for the kids to get their iron and protein and half a plate of vegetables.
•Café Style Recipe: A recipe that represents the best of NZ café culture and showcases the versatility and ease of preparation of farm raised venison and fresh New Zealand grown vegetables. A creative take on a dish that could be prepared by the chef at a café anywhere in the country. Must be capable of being plated within 10 minutes of starting.
•Best overall recipe: In the opinion of the judges, this recipe best demonstrates the ease of preparation and delicious healthy versatility of New Zealand farm-raised venison and fresh New Zealand grown vegetables.

I entered the Café style recipe, which was influenced by my trip to South East Asia in 2012. Here is what I submitted to the judges.

Cervena Venison and shiitake Dim Sum in Aromatic Broth with steamed Vegetables.

Venison and Shiitake Dim Sum in Aromatic Broth with steamed Vegetables
Venison and Shiitake Dim Sum in Aromatic Broth with steamed Vegetables

My Inspiration

My name is Robyn Joynt and I am a student living in Dunedin, New Zealand. As a student, I like to create affordable meals that still have an interesting flavour profile. Incorporating half a plate of vegetables into these dishes is important so I gain my 5 plus a day.

Last year in the mid-semester break I went on a trip to South East Asia, travelling across Malaysia and to Singapore with a local family. On this trip I discovered flavours and techniques I had not seen before, they used many flavours that I, as a Kiwi, had not encountered in New Zealand.

With this in mind I wanted to create a dish that was inspired by my travels to Malaysia, but also used ingredients that were familiar to Kiwis, which would be the New Zealand farmed Venison. My dish is a fusion of the exotic flavours used in South East Asian cookery, and a familiar, yet sought-after ingredient used in New Zealand cuisine. Together creating an affordable meal that could be served in a café with ease, but still be packed full of flavour, as if you where eating this dish at a street stall in South East Asia.

This dish is high in iron, protein and vitamin C. The vegetables I have used in this dish are high in vitamin C which significantly aids the absorption of iron.

The components of this dish will keep well for service in a café because the vegetables can be pre-steamed, broth can be made in advance and heated to order adding the vegetables at the end to heat through. The venison dim sum have a short cooking time of 5-6 minutes and can be produced and served within a 10minute time frame which suits the fast pace of New Zealand café scene.

Cervena Venison and shiitake Dim Sum in Aromatic Broth with Steamed Vegetables.

Ingredients: Dim Sum:
• 400g Cervena venison mince
• 2x Garlic clove, finely chopped
• 3cm knob Ginger, finely grated
• 1tsp Sesame Oil
• 2 spring onions, fine dice
• 3 shiitake mushrooms, soaked and finely diced (Add shiitake liquid to broth)
• 1 tsp.soya sauce
• Pinch salt & pepper
• 1 egg (egg wash)
• 8 wonton wrappers
• 1 Tbsp. white sesame seeds

Aromatic Broth:
• 1.5 L chicken stock
• 5cm ginger, peeled rough chop
• ¼ red chili
• 4x garlic clove
• 4x kaffir dried lime leaves
• 1 star anise
• 3 cardamom pods
• 2 cloves
• 1tsp coriander seeds
• 5cm lemongrass stalk , root end only, sliced
• 1 tbsp palm sugar
• 2 tbsp fish sauce
• 1 tbsp lime juice

Steamed Vegetables:
• 1 carrot, washed peeled and julienne
• 2 Bok choy, washed and trimmed
• 1 yellow capsicum, julienne
• 8 florets broccoli
• ½ c mung beans
• 3 tbsp fresh coriander
• 1 spring onion , thinly sliced

Method: Broth: In a large pot combine the first 11 ingredients and shiitake liquid. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes to develop the flavour. Finish with lime juice and fish sauce. Strain into a bowl, pressing to release all the liquid. Discard soils. The broth can be made 2 days ahead. If making ahead, refrigerate, leaving solids in the broth for a greater depth of flavour. Strain before use.

Dim Sum: Heat sesame oil in pan, fry garlic, shiitake, ginger and spring onion to develop flavour. Cool and add to venison mince along with soya sauce and seasoning. Get your wonton wrappers and with a large circle cutter cut into circles. Brush wonton wrapper with egg wash and place 1 tbsp of mince mix into the center of the wrapper. With a smaller cutter push the wonton wrapper inside and top up with mince mix leaving 50mm of wrapper over hanging.

Vegetables: In a steamer over a rapid boil steam broccoli for 2 ½ minutes, carrots and bok choy for 1 minute place in an ice bath to stop further cooking. Strain and add to hot broth to heat through before serving.

To serve: Reheat broth if made ahead, place venison dim sum in a steamer over boiling water and steam for 5-6 minutes , sprinkle with sesame seeds and place on top of steamed carrot, bok choy, broccoli and julienne capsicum in serving bowl. Top with hot broth, garnish with fresh coriander, spring onion and mung beans. Serves 2-4.

I unfortunately did not win the competition but they loved my recipe and chose to publish it with New Zealand Venison and is featured at the top right on the 2013 winning recipe page.


Leave a Reply

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: