Tailoring venison to Chinese tastes

Tailoring venison to Chinese tastes

Friday, June 12, 2020

Deer Industry NZ (DINZ) has been working with chefs in China to develop recipes showing how venison can be used in traditional Chinese cuisine styles. These will be used in resources to help our venison marketers to promote our farm-raised venison there.

In this photo montage we can see chef Shen going through his paces, as well as one of the dishes he has developed.  

DINZ venison marketing manager Nick Taylor says that while venison is not typically used in any of the eight main Chinese cuisine styles, chefs in China – as with elsewhere in the world – are always keen to experiment. Their customers too are much better travelled than earlier generations, have tried other cuisines on their overseas trips and are open to buying dishes based on novel ingredients adapted to their favoured local cuisine style.

“The venison marketing companies are being very active and some high end restaurants now have premium venison cuts on their menus,” he says.

There is also demand for cuts like venison shanks and ribs that are ideally suited to the slow cooking styles that are a part of traditional Chinese cuisine.

Their market development work is paying off. Taylor says sales of venison to China have grown steadily in the last three or four years, to the point where it was, until the outbreak of Covid-19, an important second-tier market taking 10 per cent of exports.  

With restaurants opening again across China and farmed venison’s status as a legal meat clarified (see separate story), Taylor sees exports of NZ venison to China resuming and growing rapidly in the months ahead.

For the foodies among you, DINZ will be sharing some of the new Chinese-style recipes they have had developed. They need to be translated, scaled up for a home cook and some of the Chinese ingredients substituted for similar ones that can be found in Kiwi supermarkets and Asian stores.