If there's one thing food lovers fear the most about being stuck in the wild (aside from being shredded by tigers, bears, and whatnot), it's the absence of the delicacies civilization offers.
But it doesn't have to be that way.
Discovery Channel's new show, Kings of the Wild, shows us just that. Starring modern-day explorer and hunter Josh James from New Zealand and British chef Matt Tebbutt, the survival-slash-cooking show takes us through a gastronomic journey filled not with five-star dishes and expensive kitchen devices but with fierce environments and the most basic of tools provided by Mother Nature.
The duo must hunt, forage, and cook as they show us that we can still "eat like kings" even without the luxury of standard kitchen equipment and using wild ingredients.
Kings of the Wild shared with FHM several of their recipes to prove that it's possible to create delectable delights in the wild.
We have to clarify a few things first though:
- The following still require kitchen know-how and a level of expertise (both in surviving and cooking)
- You'll still need basic equipment, like pots, pans, and knives (which you can bring if you have a large enough bag to your outdoor adventures)
- The environments these were prepared in have a natural supply of herbs and other plants that are used in a ton of recipes. Choose your destinations wisely.
- These were accomplished by a two-man team. Don't go solo.
If you have all the basic requirements on tap, then you're on your way to successfully cooking these (literally) wild recipes in the middle of nowhere:
Coconut fish curry with lime leaves, chili, and fresh limes
A different take on fish curry, this meal is as flavorful as it is wild, with exotic marine ingredients as its calling card.
What you'll need:
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 red onion, finely sliced
- 1 diced aubergine
- 2 carrots, peeled and sliced on the angle
- a small piece of ginger, finely grated
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed to a pulp
- 5/6 fresh Kaffir lime leaves
- 2 tsp shrimp paste
- 1 small red chilli chopped, seeds and all
- 3 lemongrass stalks, split & smashed
- 2 tbsp medium curry powder
- 1 heaped tbsp light muscovado sugar
- 1 bunch coriander, stems finely chopped and kept separate
- 1/2 bunch of mint, roughly chopped
- 1/2 bunch of Thai basil, to tear
- 400g can coconut milk
- 2-3 tablespoons of Thai fish sauce
- 500g thick white fish, cut into chunks, either on or off the bone
- 300g raw prawns in shell but split down the back
- 1 lime, halved
Prepare it: Heat the oil with a large frying pan. Add the vegetables and sauté for five minutes. Add the chili, garlic, ginger, shrimp paste, lime leaves, lemon grass, sugar, and curry paste. Stir then add coconut milk. Put some water inside the empty can, swill, and pour the mixture onto the curry. Let it simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the fish and the coriander stalks then cook for five to eight minutes. Taste, season, and add the Thai fish sauce to boost the flavor. As a finishing kick, sprinkle fresh herbs, and squeeze lime juice over the curry. Serve with rice.
Steamed prawns, galangal, and salt
If you like steamed meat, this dish will make your mouth water like crazy. Featuring flavorful prawns bathed and dressed in a variety of natural condiments and spices, this one's a winner for any seafood lover. Don't worry; if you're in the middle of a forest without a steamer, you can use a hollow bamboo tube instead.
What you'll need:
- 24 raw king prawns, in the shell but split down the back
- 50ml ml water
- 50ml rice wine
- big pinch of sea salt
- 1 nob of ginger or galangal shredded
- 1 bunch of shredded spring onions
- 1 tsp light brown or palm sugar
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 clove of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
- a small splash of sesame oil
Prepare it: Sprinkle ginger or galangal, spring onions, salt, water, and rice wine on the prawns. Put the prawns in a container (can be a huge leaf wrapping), then place it inside the steamer or bamboo tube with boiling water. Close it and steam for five to six minutes or until the meat has changed color, from gray/blue to pink.
Remove the prawns. Mix the sugar with the garlic, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Spread the mixture over the prawns and mix them with the juices from the steaming. Serve while hot.
Traditional plank-cooked and cured salmon in juniper with lingonberry compote
The show says plank cooking (a method where you place and cook meat on a piece of wood upright or near an open fire) is common in Scandinavian territories. This recipe makes use of this, as well as provides you with a hot salmon meal.
What you'll need:
- 1 long cedar or other flavorsome plank, soaked in water for a few hours
- 1 side of salmon, skin on, but pin boned
- 1 heaped tablespoon of dijon mustard
- 1 heaped tablespoon of soft brown sugar
- 6 or so finely crushed juniper berries
- sea salt
- 3 cups of lingonberries
- 1 cup of caster sugar
Prepare it: Boil the berries with the sugar until they soften and begin to thicken. Taste (add more sugar if the flavor's too sharp). Take the plank and lay the salmon on it. Rub the meat with mustard, sugar, salt, and juniper.
Lay the plank close to the center of the open fire. Reposition the plank every now and then to cook both sides evenly, which takes about 30 to 40 minutes depending on the fire's strength. Serve directly from the plank and dip the salmon meat into lingonberry sauce.
Catch Kings of the Wild every Tuesday, 8 p.m. on Discovery Channel