This time, "Cuisine of the World" features German cuisine. We visited "BERND'S BAR," which serves authentic German cuisine in Tokyo, with Hirokazu Iwashima and his family, who were previously posted for Marubeni in Germany, and learned about how to make "Jäger Schnitzel," a typical pork escalope dish from German home-cooking.
"We tend to have the impression in Japan that Germans are simple and sturdy types of people, but what I felt myself from living there was that they are very hard-headed or even stubborn about maintaining a consistent stance on things, or way of thinking about things, through to the end," says Mr. Iwashima, who was posted in Dusseldorf, Germany for about 5 years for Marubeni.
For those 5 years, as a family of 3, they visited almost every possible tourist spot together at the weekends, but one of the most impressive things to Mr. Iwashima was how, no matter where they went, the traditional streetscape had been preserved. He was astonished that the thoroughness of these efforts: for example, "the 'Dresdner Frauenkirche' church had been painstakingly restored, over a period of almost 60 years, little by little, like a jigsaw puzzle." Perhaps this hard-headedness of German people is expressed in this dedication to preserving history and tradition.
In addition, Germany is also a country where people place emphasis on and take care over selecting foods and ingredients which are in season at the time. "I will never be able to forget the flavor of 'spargel' (white asparagus), which is supposed to mark the coming of spring. In Germany, they go 'asparagus picking,' similar to how we in Japan go bamboo shoot picking." Mr. Iwashima's impression of Germany is a "food culture which place emphasis on the natural tastes of ingredients." For example, perhaps because they do not use preservatives in milk, the milk on sale in the stores quickly turns into yogurt. Rather than pursuing ever greater convenience, the German people seem to take care to use and look after the blessings of nature and the natural way of doing things which they have inherited from the past.
"Schnitzel" pork escalope is a dish from traditional family cuisine in Germany. It is a very simple dish but today it is very popular menu item at the "Imbiss" chain of German-style fast food restaurants. "Whenever we were stuck, we used to say 'Let's have a schnitzel,' that's how often we had them. There are loads of different ways of cooking them, so they are very handy," says Mrs. Iwashima. From the food culture and national characteristics they encountered during their time in Germany, the Iwasakis felt that the Germans had succeeded in preserving a special "something" that has been lost in Japan.
|Sliced pork loin (100g per slice)||4 slices|
|Vegetable oil||as required|
|Salt and pepper||as required|
|German style pasta ("Spaetzle")||as required|
Step 1: Sprinkle salt on both sides of the meat. Then sprinkle pepper and place the meat in a frying pan.
We use authentic natural German rock salt, "Alpen Salz." It contains a rich variety of minerals which give a deeper flavor.
Step 2: Cook the meat thoroughly in the frying pan. Fry it for about 5 to 7 minutes on each side, until it is browned.
Use tongs to press the meat to check how it is cooking and cook it properly.
Step 3: Fry the white mushrooms and shimeji mushrooms in another pan and add the milk and fresh cream. Heat this up to make the Jäger Sauce.
Mix in the pepper before you stir it, and allow it to come to the boil slightly.
Step 4: Fry the hand-made "Spaetzle" (German style pasta), which you have boiled up already, until it turns golden brown and place on a plate.
Do not use any oil, only butter, when frying the "Spaetzle."
Step 5: Put the meat onto the plate with the "Spaetzle" and serve up the "Jäger" Sauce by spreading it on top of the meat. Add the mini tomatoes to garnish, and it is ready to eat.
From: “Shareholder’s guide Marubeni,” Vol.106 (published in Jun 2009)