I will give you today a recipe for Hungarian sausage prepared according to the Five Flavours principle. That’s a polish recipe from the old recipe book, written by polish author Anna Ciesielska, who was inspired by Traditional Chinese Medicine. The author combines the wisdom of modern medicine with proper prevention and wisdom in nutrition based on respect for the laws of nature. That’s our favorite recipe from this book, and happened that it’s perfectly keto appropriate.
What is the Five Flavours basically about? It is too complicated and complex to summarize everything in one short post, but I will try to describe in a nutshell what I remember from the book. Perhaps someone of you will be interested enough to look for some more information about this subject.
The principle comes from the Taoist philosophy, where for a deeper description of the nature of the reality, cycles and processes occurring in nature were used, which were reduced to the principle of 5 elements. In this theory, the basic elements symbolize Tree, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. Burning wood gives Fire, Fire creates ash, giving rise to the Earth, Earth contains Metal, and Metal gives rise to Water, which feeds the Tree – this arrangement creates the elemental circulation. Each of the elements corresponds to individual flavors:
Tree is sour – sour flavour can reduce fishiness and greasiness, help digestion, including dissolving calcium in food, and whet the appetite.
Fire is a bitter taste – bitter flavour is said to clear “heat”, strengthen the stomach, and promote salivation.
Earth is a sweet taste – sweet flavour can “tone the body”, alleviate illness, and improve one’s mood.
Metal is a spicy taste – It can not only whet the appetite, but also is said to have the functions of expelling wind and cold from the body, reducing internal dampness, moistening dryness, and promoting qi and blood circulation.
and Water is a salty taste – saltiness is said to help the body “dissolve stagnation”.
Each of the elements also corresponds to different organs in our body, an excess of any of the elements can cause health problems, which is why harmony and proper preparation of meals are so important.
Preparing dishes according to the Five Flavours principle is aimed at extracting the right energy from food, which will bring strength, health and joy. One of the rules is balance, which is to strengthen and protect our body. Therefore, to prepare each dish, we should use all the flavours (elements) in the right order according to this principle. It is not the most important of which flavours we start, but it is important how we finish the preparation of the dish – thus we direct the energy towards the given element (internal organ). In such a philosophy of nutrition, the cooling or warming nature of food is also important, which is directly related to the climate in which man lives. According to the theory, in our temperate climate, where there is a predominance of cool and rainy days, we should eat more warming meals and such a dish is a warming Hungarian sausage. Delicious, by the way – spicy, warming, full of aroma and very fulfilling.
It’s a great one pot meal, you can prepare on the stove or in the slow cooker. No idea though why it’s called “Hungarian”, maybe because of it’s warming, spicy paprika flavour, specific for traditional Hungarian food. If you decide to make it in a slow cooker though, you won’t be able to prepare it according to the principle of five flavours. It’s still going to be a delicious meal though.
To prepare this meal you’ll need good quality smoked sausage. Smoked sausage has a great strong flavour, going perfect with variety of aromatic spices used in this dish. If smoked sausage is not available in your area, I think chorizo would also do the job in this recipe. I described the way of preparing the dish as the author did. Original recipe requires adding a bit of potato starch at the end of cooking to thicken the sauce. But if you’re on keto diet skip this step, my sauce came out quite thick without adding any thickener. I’ve made it very thick, didn’t add much water to get more of a goulash consistency, so didn’t really need anything to thicken it more.
chinese five flavours hungarian sausage (keto)
- 300 g smoked sausage
- 3 medium onions
- 2 bell peppers (I had one orange and 1 yellow)
- 2 tbps fat of your choice (I used duck fat)
- couple handfuls of green beans (fresh or frozen)
- about 500ml passata (I used organic one)
- ½ tsp cumin (originally caraway seeds, but I hate them so swapped with cumin)
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- dash of cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- 2 chopped garlic cloves
- natural rock salt to taste
- 1/3 tsp turmeric
- 1/3 tsp thyme
- pinch of coarse pepper
- 1-2 tsp potato starch to thicken the sauce (skip if you’re on keto)
I described the way of preparing the dish as the author did:
sweet – 3 medium, chopped onions, fry with 2 tablespoons of fat, add diced bell peppers and put into a pot, add cumin (or caraway seed if you like it),
spicy – add ½ teaspoon of ginger, a pinch of cayenne pepper, 1/3 teaspoon of ground coriander, 2 chopped cloves of garlic (I’ve added pinch of chili flakes, which is also hot),
salty – 300 g sliced sausage fry in a separate pan, put into a pot, then add about 200ml of water, salt to taste, simmer about 15 minutes, then add the green beans (I added frozen),
sour – add approx. 500ml passata,
bitter – add 1/3 teaspoon of turmeric and thyme, simmer for 10 minutes,
sweet – thicken the sauce with potato flour dissolved in cold water, sprinkle with pepper (spicy) and salt (salty).
Depending of which flavour you add at the end of cooking, thus we direct the energy towards the given element (internal organ), getting the effect we want to achieve.
SLOW COOKER DIRECTIONS
To prepare this meal in a slow cooker, first fry sausage and onions with 2 tablespoons of fat, until golden brown – it will add a lot of flavour to your meal. Chuck all the ingredients to a slow cooker, add about 200ml of water, and cook on “low” for about 4-5 hours (about 3 on “high”). Remember only to defrost green beans if you use frozen ones. Never add frozen food to a slow cooker – it will significantly extend the time of cooking, and food might not cook properly.