Battle. Chef. Brigade! One of my most eagerly awaited games from 2017 is finally out and it’s just as awesome as I hoped it would be! You’ll be seeing a lot more recipes from this game next month but I couldn’t help putting these Iceberg Turnip Pastries together after finally finishing the game last week. Vive la Brigade!
Battle Chef Brigade is not a game that can be described in few words. I’ll do my best, but the amount of cool stuff they crammed into this game is seriously unbelievable. It’s not even a mash-up I would have considered possible at first, but the team over at Trinket Studios made it work and truly surpassed all expectations!
In the game you play as a fledgling chef named Mina who is determined to leave her stifling home town to join the illustrious ranks of the titular Battle Chef Brigade. The Brigade is a force of good in this world, made up of top ranked culinarians charged with the safe preparation and practiced cookery of monsters for the hungry people of Victusia. This is no easy task mind you, and annual tournaments are held to determine which up and coming hopefuls have what it takes to be counted among these wonder chefs.
That’s the gist of the story, but where this game really shines is in it’s gameplay, and specifically in its fusion of gameplay styles. Each ingredient added to a dish will be accompanied by a number of connected colored circles known as “taste gems” that stack into a 4×4 puzzle grid. It’s up to the player to rotate these gem arrangements in order to connect three of the same color (green for earth, red for fire, and blue for water,) fusing them together into a single “level 2” gem. These level 2 gems can be similarly upgraded once again meaning that the player must constantly be add more ingredients to a dish to fill in the space left behind by these fusions. The more high level taste gems in your dish before the time is up, the more points your dish will earn!
If you were ever a fan of Iron Chef, you’ll feel right at home in these cooking duels. Similar to famed cooking show, it’s not just about making good food, but the right kind of good food. Before each match, Chairman Kamin will assign the match a main ingredient that must be present in every dish you make. In addition to this, your food will be judged by a panel of one to three separate judges each with their own taste affinities (related to one or more of the three colors/elements listed above.) That’s right, often times you’ll be juggling more than one recipe at a time so you really need to stay on your toes in this kitchen!
But what about outside the kitchen? I mean the ingredients have to come from somewhere right? This is where the game breaks from its Iron Chef underpinnings and introduces an entirely separate but wholly complimentary element of gameplay: hunting. That’s right, there’s no neatly arranged basket of ingredients in this kitchen colosseum! The chefs must find their recipe components in the monster infested forests, caves, and mountains that surround them. This moves the game from match-3 puzzle game to platform beat-em-up in a fraction of a second and I gotta say, it feels so good to beat up some enemies after struggling with a particularly difficult puzzle.
Now all that might sound like a lot already, but I haven’t even mentioned the compelling plot, super fun art style, incredibly diverse cast of characters, daily jobs, cooking equipment, or special game modes yet! Suffice it to say you really need to play the game to get the full experience. However, there is one experience I can help deliver to you, the taste!
The dishes in Battle Chef Brigade are dependent on two factors, the starting ingredient, and the chef who’s preparing it. In fact, each different chef in the game (there are about 18!) has their own unique style based on real world regional cuisine! How cool is that? A game after my own heart!
The dish I chose this time around is one that can be created by our main character Mina if she begins the recipe using an ingredient called an Iceberg Turnip. Originally, I didn’t know where to start attempting to recreate this Iceberg Turnip Pastry because I’d never heard of such a thing. I mean, I could stuff a pastry with turnips for you and call it a day, but knowing the research and care that the Trinket Studios put into this game, I had a hunch that it was based on something real.
And what do you know!? Turnip pastries (or more accurately daikon radish pastries) are fairly common in China which fits perfectly in line with Mina’s Chinese style of cuisine. The coolest thing about this recipe if you ask me (apart from it being blue if you want it to be) is the pastry dough. As you know, I’m a pastry guy by trade, but making puff pastry in the french style was really all I knew before this. That being said, I absolutely love this method and can’t wait to try it out in more recipes. Also, because it doesn’t contain butter like the French style does, this puff pastry dough is less expensive to make, but more importantly, it requires no resting!
So here’s my first course from Battle Chef Brigade. I don’t know if I’m good enough to be in The Brigade (my monster fighting skills are a little rusty) but I think Mina would be impressed with the recipe all the same. I want to give a big shout out thank you to the members of Trinket Studios for their insight into the game development process they have shared with me! So seriously, go check out Battle Chef Brigade on Steam and Nintendo Switch, you won’t be disappointed!
Now let’s get cooking!
+ Turnip Pastries +
makes about 20 dumplings
|Daikon Radish||2 lbs|
|Green Onion||1 Tbsp, sliced|
|Fresh Ginger||2 tsp, grated|
|Garlic||2 tsp, grated|
|Soy Sace||1 Tbsp|
|AP Flour (1)||1¼ cup|
|Veg Oil (1)||⅓ cup|
|AP Flour (2)||1¼ cup|
|Veg Oil (2)||⅓ cup|
|Sugar (2)||1½ Tbsp|
|Water (2)||⅓ cup|
|Veg Oil (3)||2 cups (for frying)|
- Sharp knife and a cutting board
- Vegetable peeler and grater
- Mixing bowls
- Small saute pan
- Heavy bottomed pot (for frying)
- Metal tongs
- Kitchen towels
- Small rolling pin
1) We’ll begin by putting together our filling. Peel the daikon radish and grate it on the fine sized side of your vegetable/cheese grater. You’ll lose a lot of water in the process, so it may help to grate directly into a mixing bowl to save yourself a mess. Use a colander and squeeze the daikon shavings in order to remove as much liquid as possible, then return it to the bowl.
2) In a small saute pan, place 1½ tsp of vegetable oil along with the ginger, garlic, and green onion, and set it over low heat to infuse for about 2 minutes. We’re not looking to brown the garlic here, just to soften everything up and flavor the oil. Next, add in the mirin, soy sauce, and sugar to the pan and heat until the sugar is completely dissolved, then pour everything in to the bowl with the daikon. If you’d like the full experience of eating blue food, now would be the time to add a tiny bit of food coloring/dye to the mix :].
3) To finish up the filling, completely peel, devein, and chop the shrimp into small pieces. Add it to the daikon mixture and mix thoroughly. Place the filling in an airtight container and refrigerate until needed.
4) Now it’s time to create the pastry (my favorite part!) Start by combining the AP flour (1) and Vegetable oil (1) in a bowl until it comes toegther. It will be crumbly, but you should be able to pack it together into a mound. Cover this “fat dough,” as I’ll be calling, it with a damp towel to keep it from drying out. Next, in a separate bowl, combine the AP flour (2), vegetable oil (2), Water (2), and Sugar (2). This dough, which we’ll refer to as the “water dough,” will be much easier to work with. Mix it together until smooth and evenly combined then cover with a damp towel as well.
5) The next step is combine the two doughs in order to create alternating layers of “fat” and “water.” Divide both balls of dough into 10 even portions each and be sure to keep them under the damp towels whenever you’re not working with them. Roll one portion of the water dough out in a circle to about 4″ diameter and place a balled up portion of the fat dough in the center of it. Next, use your fingers to completely envelop the fat dough with the water dough. Repeat these steps with the remainder of the dough balls.
6) Let’s roll out! Lightly flour your work surface as roll out one of our layered dough balls into a rectangular shape about 7″ long and then roll it up like a sleeping bag tucking the end of the dough underneath the roll.
7) Next, we’re more or less going to repeat that last step once again by flattening out the roll into a long thin rectangle. Roll it back up on itself to get these cute little cinnamon bun looking things and cover again with a damp towel.
8) Lightly flour your surface once again and use a sharp knife to slice one of your roll-ups in half. I chose this spiral pattern, but you can also cut perpendicular to that and get a nice parallel line pattern as well. Take one of your cut halves and place it cut side down on your work station and use a small rolling pin to roll it out into a 5″ circle. Note: try to roll the edges thinner than the center of the dough. You can see another example of this in my Koopa Buns recipe for Paper Mario:TTYD.
9) Now we can put it all together! Place about 2 tsp of the shrimp and daikon filling into the center of the dough (be careful not to overfill!) Wrap up the dumpling by squeezing together the thin edges of the dough until completely sealed. Use a small amount of warm water along the outside to help it stick together if necessary. Twist the top of the edges together for an attractive pleated look!
10) Heat your frying oil to 350°F and fry the pastries for 3 to 4 minutes each using metal tongs to flip them a few times throughout until they’re golden brown and delicious!
Hey! Thanks for reading all the the way to the end! You’re awesome :D! If you haven’t already and are looking for more nerdy food stuff, consider following me on Twitter, Facebook, tumblr and Instagram. I post a lot of work in progress pictures for the blog as well as stuff from my Twitch streams. If that sounds like something you’d be into, please check out those links above! Anyway, take care everyone and I’ll see you next time with an all-new recipe!
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