Chinese Food Tour in Yunnan – AMAZING STREET FOOD and Ethnic Feast! | Yunnan, China Day 1

Chinese Food Tour in Yunnan – AMAZING STREET FOOD and Ethnic Feast! | Yunnan, China Day 1

November 17, 2019 0 By Ewald Bahringer


– There’s some very, very
interesting dishes that we got, and the anticipation buildup
watching them cook all of the dishes in the
kitchen, it was breathtaking. You can see the chilies mixed throughout. They added some Sichuan pepper I think. (atmospheric slow pulsating beat music) It’s absolutely spectacular. When you come to Yunnan,
when you come to Dali, this is the dish you have to seek out. (atmospheric slow pulsating beat music) Good morning, I hope you’re
having an amazing day. It’s Mark Wiens, I’m in
Dali in Yunnan, China. This is Day one of our Yunnan food tour that I’m taking with Zouba tours. A big thank you to Frank
for setting everything up. Today we’re gonna be meeting up with Luxi, and she’s gonna take
us to especially focus on the Bai ethnic group for Chinese food. Ready to go on a food tour today? We’re heading first this morning
to a place called Xizhou, and we’re gonna have breakfast there. (atmospheric slow pulsating beat music) That was about a 30 minute
drive, but it was a beautiful drive passing by the mountains
and villages, and the mist. Absolutely gorgeous scenery. Ni hao. – [Luxi] The most popular
breakfast for locals. (speaks in foreign language) And we start a pea soup. (speaks in foreign language) – [Mark] Pea porridge, right? – [Luxi] Maybe I take this away. (speaks in foreign language) – Before we get started
eating I just want to quickly introduce you to Luxi. – Hi. She is gonna be our guide in Dali, and she’s very knowledgeable about food. She has a cooking school. – [Luxi] Yeah my cooking school
is called Rice and Friends. – Rice and Friends,
and I’ll leave the link in the description box. She knows a lot about food,
so it’s an honor to be able to hang out with her and
to walk around and eat. Okay, let’s eat. – Mother, and selling the
same thing since she was teenager girl, so it was
like forever, yeah it’s like absolutely my favorite, the most delicious one I have ever
– The same, she’s been selling this since she was a teenager
right here in the same place? – Yeah, helping her mother. – Wow. – It’s the most delicious one I ever find. I asking her to give you extra chili. Usually my guess is like a job. – [Mark] Thank you. Extra chili is always okay for me. Mmmm, oh that’s fantastic. Oh, it’s like you can
taste that it, it has that kind of starchy pea texture to it. Every now and then you can taste
the little bits of peanuts, you can taste the dried
chili, I got a chili seed in that bite, oh it’s delicious. And you can tell it’s really
kind of filling and warming. I like it, it’s really nice and goopy. So we have here, this one
has the hardened pea cake, and then also with some noodles and also with all the same lots of
the same seasonings as well. It’s fully, fully coated in
that chili oil and sauce, so this looks kind of like
a slurper’s kind of a dish. Mmmm. The vinegar in there is really nice. Definitely a totally different
texture from the porridge. You can taste all those
individual noodles, and then the hardened pea porridge is, it almost has a tofu texture to it. I really like the noodles. I can also really taste the pickled radish that she added in there. That adds another vinegary
sour component to it. This is delicious. (market people chattering) Xie, xie, xie xie, xie xie, xie xie. The family that runs it
is so friendly, so nice, they really loved Micah too,
and we are on our way to go eat something called baba next. – [Luxi] So this is my
favorite baba place. – We’ve arrived to Luxi’s
favorite baba shop. And baba is this, it’s
like a bread circle. There’s both sweet and savory,
and we’re gonna have a chance to watch her make it before we eat it. – [Luxi] We call it
the Chinese mini pizza. – [Mark] Chinese mini pizza or pita? What an amazing place. – [Luxi] So there are three
types of baba over here. The first is like this,
this is like the plain baba, the dough is made from wheat flour, water, yeast and baking powder. So rose jam, sweet red bean
paste, and then brown sugar. – So impressive to
stand here and watch her as she makes this
traditional, kind of a pastry, a Chinese Yunnan pastry. And the dough is, very
good, the dough, is almost, it’s almost like runny dough, and she adds in a handful of lard, straight lard, which provides some massive
flavor I can guarantee. And now she’s adding in some minced pork and some green onions. (woman speaks in foreign language) Amazing how she is able
to work that dough, because that dough is
so, it’s so, elastic, it’s almost like elastic, like rubber, it’s amazing how she works that dough and how she’s mixed in multiple
handfuls of minced pork and green onions, and
then just flattened it out and then she balled it up into
almost like a cinnamon roll looking piece of bread, and
then she added in some more pork and now she’s rolling
it out into that pizza shape. And there it is. And now it’s being brushed with lard also? (food sizzling) (Luxi speaks in foreign language) – [Mark] Oh that’s the
heat the bottom of it. (man speaks in foreign language) One is the charcoal at the bottom, and then one is the charcoal at the top. And so he said it was getting
too hot on the bottom, so he transferred it to the bottom, the baba, and now he’s fanning that flame. And now that the charcoal
is a perfect temperature, he’s cooking it both from
the bottom and the top so then the baba just
stuck within the middle and it’s just getting
heat from all directions. (man speaks in foreign language) Salty and sweet. This is as fresh as could be, he literally just pulled them out of the oven. I think I’ll go for the
sweet version first. The bread is still steaming,
it’s really fluffy yet it feels crunchy on the outside because
of that lard, and then, on this side there’s more,
this is the rose jam. Oh, it kind of squeezed out. Oh there’s red beans in there
too, sweet beans in there too. Oh wow, oh, that is awesome. It’s so hot, it’s so fresh,
it’s like the literally the perfect consistency
because it’s slightly gooey, but crunchy crispy at the
same time, and you’ve got that sweet inner filling,
and it does have a little bit of a floral aroma to it. Wow. So while perhaps a western
pastry would use butter to keep it flaky and moist,
this uses just pure lard. That pork that she sort
of mixed in as well as, there’s some on the top of this piece, depending on the piece that you get. That gooey crispiness contrast,
this one you can taste the meatiness of it, it’s actually rich, because there’s so much lard in there. Wow. It’s so good. So that’s lard too, right? That baba, it literally
almost has like the flaky crunchiness of a croissant,
but instead of butter, it’s all lard. That is just sizzling. We’re having one more version, and this is a very special version. This shop, they only
make about 20 per day. So you gotta get lucky to get it. And the difference is that
the dough is made with caramelized brown sugar,
which is mixed into the dough, rather than just the plain dough. So you can see it has a dark color, it actually looks like a giant cookie. Very hot. Oh yeah, it has a molasses flavor from that roasted brown sugar. Thank you. Have a great trip, nice to meet you, okay. Oh we’re going this way, okay. That like sets a new
level for pastry for me. Oh there’s baba, baba all over. (mellow jazz beat music) We’re walking through the streets now, and we’ve sort of
transitioned from the old town to this looks like we’re
in a giant flea market with everything, people are
selling clothes and tools. There’s fruit, there’s
vegetables, there’s Chinese medicine and herbs,
and there’s tea stalls. I think everything is
available at this market that you’re looking for. Oh wow, look at those giant, whoa, those look like gigantic lemons. (market people chattering) It’s just action-packed at this market. (market people chattering) I’m just fascinated…whoa,
fish out of water. When you walk through the
market, you’ll see all sorts of different, exotic-looking
mushrooms and flowers. We’re walking through the
chicken station right now. We’re on our way to go to
a place where they’re gonna make the famous, well-known
Yunnanese type of rice noodle. (machinery motors running) Squeezes out of that grinder, it definitely looks like
intestines that are coming out. What’s totally different and what sets this type of Yunnanese, very
unique rice noodle apart from other rice noodles is
that they use pre-cooked rice to make this type of noodle. So you can see all of
the rice around here, it’s already steamed rice. And the steamed rice, she sticks it into, this is actually an old-school
sausage meat grinder, then she grinds the rice
into a paste, into a dough. She’s actually re-doing
it again, so I think they grind it through there
a couple of different times. I have a little taste,
yeah, it has a dough, almost like Play Doh texture to it. Wow, that’s really gummy. Right now it’s flavorless
because there’s no flavor in it, but they make a variety of
different shapes out of it. So they’ll make thin strips
for noodles, they make it into a block and you can
hand-cut your noodles. They make it into a paper-thin
sheet, which I think is used almost like a pancake,
but it’s so diverse, so many different dishes can be prepared from this type of rice
delicacy preparation. Okay, nice to meet you. – [Man] Nice to meet you. – [Mark] Bye bye. – [Man] Have a nice trip. – [Mark] Thank you, you too. (atmospheric slow pulsating beat music) (Luxi speaks in foreign language) – [Mark] Oh right here is
where they make the cheese. – [Luxi] And this one
is one-night-old whey. – [Mark] Just a family
business, they make cheese. We came back to this
little courtyard back here, it’s filled with textiles, it’s really, really picturesque back here. He’s going to demonstrate how they make a traditional Yunnanese cheese using a wok and then kind of stretching it out. In most parts of China, dairy and cheese is not common or non-existent. And so Yunnan is one of the
only provinces in China where you’ll find a traditional form
of cheese, and there’s a lot of history that goes back possibly it was introduced by Mongolians. – Yes, by Mongolians.
– To this area, to this specific area of Yunnan. – Yeah, when they came to this area during like the 80s, something like 1200. Right now it’s very tough,
very rough, so it breaks very easily, and he’s
using his thick chopsticks and very smooth. – [Mark] Look at his, look at how, how strong his, look at
how strong his thumbs… (man speaks in foreign language) – [Luxi] And this is where it’s different from Mongolia cheese. Becomes like these pieces, so
the yellow pieces like that. – [Mark] Oh okay, so then it just dries like that
– so then after you put it – [Luxi] under the sun for one day. It becomes like that. From here, you can grate
it, and you deep fried it, and tonight we’re going to
have the salad made from this. – [Mark] Okay I’m gonna
have a chance real fast to try making some cheese. Stir it in one direction
slowly until it separates. (laughs) Wow. – [Luxi] Yeah, you kind of like spread and then bring it together. Ah good, very good. Yeah, exactly like that. – [Mark] I’ve never used
my thumb like this ever. Oh yeah, oh man, if you’re
not good with these thick chopsticks, your cheese will
come to a melting point. Okay, and now you just kind
of delicately work it with– (atmospheric pulsating beat music) Oh okay, so you gotta stretch it. Oh we gotta a couple holes in my cheese, and then wrap it around. Got a little bit of a holey cheese. My cheese didn’t turn out the most pretty, but it was a lot of fun trying, and now we’re gonna move
over to this little corner and try some of the cheese in
different forms and styles. We got two different types of cheese. This one is just the fresh cheese, kind of like the mozzarella, that cheese that I just made fresh. And this one actually was
pretty cool how he made it. He took the dried cheese,
the one that dries for a day, and then he filled it up,
he wiped a layer of rose jam onto it, and then he grilled
it over the hot plate. Raveled it up onto a
chopstick to make it turn into that spiral and you can see
it’s kind of crispy as well. Kind of has a, yeah
definitely a dried cheese kind of flavor to it, it’s
kind of mild in cheese flavor, and then you taste that
rose jam, and then it has that smoky taste from
being grilled and bubbled. Oh, that’s really nice,
that’s a great combination. That’s almost like, like eating cheese with a cranberry sauce almost. And then the final one we have
here is deep fried cheese, and you can see that bubbly skin that almost looks like cracklings. Deep fried on is a little
bit, it’s a little strange. It’s kind of dry, and kind
of tasteless actually. Oh, you’re supposed to put sugar in it. – [Luxi] Ring the bell? (bell rings) – That was a completely new
type of cheese experience, both in the making and
in the style of eating, very, very, interesting,
and what a cool courtyard. We jumped back in the
car, it’s kind of bumpy, we’re driving down the cobblestone road. From here, we’re driving
to the village market. (atmospheric slow pulsating beat music) This looks like a pretty cool
market, kind of on the side of the mountain, and we’re all
gonna see what we find here. This market is so cool because
it has such a community, mountain feel to it. People from this entire little
area community they come here to socialize, to sell things
that they specialize in. Another great market, so
much to see, so many smells, so many colorful ingredients. There’s food cooking,
there’s fresh ingredients. (food sizzling) Oh, okay. (market people chattering) Xie xie. Something that’s very common
in the Bai ethnic culture culinary scene is pork sashimi. Completely raw pig, and so
she is slicing up some pork right here, that’s all
gonna be pork sashimi, and she just cut me a piece of the skin. Looks kind of like a little
piece of chewing gum here. Whoa, that is kinda like
a piece of chewing gum. Okay, it’s actually quite awesome though. It’s very leathery,
like extremely leathery, kind of like blubbery. With some chili oil, that
could be really good. Xie, xie. And she gave me another piece
and this one I’m reaching in, these are all the sauce condiments. You can mix your sauce but,
since we’re just standing here eating I’m just eat a
little bit of that chili oil on this piece of pig skin. Definitely interesting. It’s pretty good, actually,
with that chili oil, that makes it better, that’s for sure. This is some pretty hard
core eating right here, just straight up fresh
pig, just minced up. You get some slices of the fat, you get some minced raw
pig, and you get the skin. Skin was pretty tasty, but
we’re actually gonna go to a restaurant for
lunch right after this. That was a very cool experience. (Luxi speaks in foreign language) It’s called a chicken mushroom because it tastes like chicken. (jazzy music) It does kind of taste like chicken, it’s really, really flavorful. (market people chattering) The market was very
cool, especially the lady who served me the raw pig
skin, she was amazing. We’re now off to go eat lunch. (atmospheric slow pulsating beat music) (Luxi speaks in foreign language) We just made it to the lunch restaurant, and we’re in the kitchen now. I think you can come in the
kitchen to sort through their (mumbles), they have the fridge just full, it just looks like a rainbow of colors. There’s flowers, there’s
mushrooms, vegetables. Very good things are
happening in this kitchen. – [Luxi] We have pork sashimi, and we have this pine needle salad. (kitchen workers speaking
in foreign language) – [Mark] You can see
yourself in the screen. (kitchen workers speaking
in foreign language) – [Mark] People in Yunnan
are so friendly too. Just check this guy out. Look at the gills on that mushroom, and look at that blue color. If I didn’t know this was
edible I would definitely think it was a dangerous mushroom. (food sizzling) Now he’s preparing all the
dishes that require a wok. And his wok skills are just impressive, he just flies on that
wok, on and off the fire, it’s roaring like a jet engine. (food sizzling) I think they are done
with all of our dishes. They have cooked everything,
that was one of those meals that you watch being cooked
and it’s just breathtaking. Oh, nice, very nice. – [Woman] Micah, sit down, Micah sit down. – [Mark] Most of the
dishes that we ordered, these are Yunnanese Bai
dishes, the Bai ethnic group. There’s some very, very
interesting dishes that we got. I’m like actually, this
is one of those meals where I’m starting to shake a little bit because I’m so excited to
taste all of the dishes, and the anticipation build
up watching them cook all of the dishes in the
kitchen, it was breathtaking. I got a little taste test, a little teaser of the skin back at the market. So normally, throughout China,
especially pork would be cooked pretty, pretty well
done, pretty, pretty thoroughly. And my mother is Chinese,
and my Chinese family, they have often, they always
indicate that you really need to cook that pork well-done. This is the exact opposite
of what you’ve been told about cooking pork all the way through. This is pork sashimi,
that is just straight up minced pig, red meat. And I’m gonna go ahead
and dip this in the sauce. You can see the sauce is just
loaded as well, there’s lots of dried chilis in there, you
can smell the Sichuan pepper. I think there’s probably some vinegar and maybe some sesame
oil in there as well. Oh, oh, oh that’s delicious. It’s definitely raw pork,
you don’t really taste the rawness of it because
it’s doused in that sauce, and that sauce is just
a complexity of chili, you taste the sourness,
you taste the floral, kind of citrusiness of the
Sichuan pepper in there. The sauce is an absolute must
that makes it crazy good. Oh, that one is a little less chewy than the one I had before. That almost has a little snap to it. This is an eggplant salad. They fire-roasted eggplant,
and then they peeled out the insides all nice
and mushy and beautiful. Then they mixed it with
some dried chili flakes, there’s some herbs in
there, and the trick, the secret of this dish is he added a spoonful of lard into the wok. He brought it to a rolling
boil and then just poured this all over it, and
then they mixed it all up, and so that’s this dish. It looks absolutely fantastic. Mmm, it’s kind of served a little bit cold but that’s amazing. You can taste the
smokiness of the eggplant, you can taste the dried chili in there. The herbs are mixed in,
there’s green onions, there’s some cilantro in there too. Next up, this is also a
really interesting dish, which is a pine needle salad. Luxi was telling me that this
is one of the only species of pine tree that you can eat
the needles, that are edible. They blanched the pine
needles and then they mixed it with a bunch of spices. You can see the chilis mixed throughout. They added some Sichuan pepper, I think. And then again I think he added some lard to this as well for
the dressing of course. (atmospheric slow pulsating beat music) Wow, okay, immediately, the
first thing that you taste is that kind of like aroma that you smell when you smell a pine tree. But you can taste that in your mouth. Oh, it’s wonderful. And then, the needles, they
have a little bit of a crispness to them, then you got all that
flavor from the dried chili. Okay we got some broad beans,
which are also stir-fried. Excellent, those have
more of a silky texture rather than a starchy texture. Yunnan is so famous, so
well-known throughout China for their mushrooms. Mmmm, oh the mushrooms
are really, really tender. Mushrooms are literally like
meat for the depth of umami and flavor that they can provide. (atmospheric slow pulsating beat music) What an amazing feast. This one is just a classic
stir-fry, he added in some dry chilis, there’s some, are they spring onions or leek? – [Luxi] Spring onion and garlic leaf. – It has such a smoky wok taste. It’s a little oily and
delicious, absolutely delicious. One more dish that they
kindly offered us, gave us, is this snail salad. Mmm, oh that kind of
like pops in your mouth. It’s not even chewy, actually, it’s more, again it kind of like snaps in your mouth without being elastic-y at all. Okay all the food is
incredibly good, but I think as far as uniqueness
and Bai cultural dishes, this pine needle salad
is one of the highlights of the meal right here. Along with the pig sashimi of course. It’s absolutely spectacular. When you come to Yunnan,
when you come to Dali, this is the dish you have to seek out. Okay, now I’m gonna move
back into the pig sashimi, and I’m gonna make a bite that counts. (atmospheric slow pulsating beat music) I’m just blown away by this entire meal. The flavor of chilis
is so well pronounced. The natural ingredients, the herbs that they used in their cooking. I loved the mushrooms,
I loved the naturalness of this entire feast,
and just how they’ve made such good use of what’s local. Local ingredients. And I think that’s what makes this food and this meal so incredibly good. As well as just all those,
they cook with love here, that’s for sure. (atmospheric slow pulsating beat music) I’m very, very happy right now. Wow, that was just an
absolutely stunning meal. I’m a little off-balance after that meal. That was a crazy good meal. Xie xie. Thank you. Xie xie. Thank you, bye bye. (atmospheric slow pulsating beat music) On the way driving back
towards the old town of Dali, we are stopping by Erhai Lake. This is a beautiful, high-elevation lake. The water is gorgeous, and it stretches really, really long. If you look at a map this
is really a long and narrow lake, and it’s beautiful scenery, another one of the
iconic landmarks of Dali. (atmospheric slow pulsating beat music) We drove over to Dali old
town, and this is a beautiful walking streets, there’s shopping, there’s restaurants,
it’s very picturesque. We’re gonna have dinner. Lunch was not, pig sashimi and
lunch was not that long ago, but I’m ready for dinner. We got a table upstairs, and this is like an old-style house, really,
really nice restaurant. I got a seat right here on the wall, but you don’t want to
lean back too, too far. Pretty cool. We ordered some of their
signature dishes here. And it really is, it looks
really, really good quality. This is a nice sit-down restaurant. We got some of their spareribs,
we got, this is a dish that I’m excited to try which is chicken, somehow kind of marinated in
Pu-erh tea, and Pu-erh tea is a fermented black tea
which is famous in Yunnan. Look at all those chilis
just caked up on there, that is absolutely gorgeous. And Sichuan pepper, it’s just loaded. Oh, and there’s just
layers of chicken as well. Yeah, that is amazing. You can taste a little bit
of that tea flavor in there, but then that chili is so fragrant, the Sichuan pepper to eat out of there. Oh, oh, oh, those chilis, they have so much flavor and they’re just purely crispy. That, along with rice is just insane. So those are all thin strips of cheese? In this cheese salad there’s
carrot, and all the thin strips of white, I think
that’s thin strips of cheese. There’s peanuts in there. Mmmm, oh, that’s a lot of flavor. It almost has a smokey
bacon-y flavor to it. It’s kind of like a papaya salad but with strips of cheese. Oh, oh it’s so tender, and
it has a silky texture to it. And then, oh that’s just
like pure comfort porkiness. This one is a Dai style
salad, and it originates near to the Myanmar, maybe Lao border. There’s mushrooms in here,
there’s sawtooth herb, and there are pieces of ginger as well. This looks very light and very refreshing. Oh, a little dribble. I really like the ginger in there, and tangy, astringent dressing. Fresh food really refreshing,
really, really tasty. (atmospheric slow pulsating beat music) Cheese salad. This is another beautiful looking dessert. I think it’s some type of,
it looks kind of like yogurt. (atmospheric slow pulsating beat music) Oh that is nice. That’s delicious, yeah. (atmospheric slow pulsating beat music) Just finished with
dinner, totally different from what we ate earlier in the day, from the meal we ate earlier in the day. This was more of a modern but really, really well done restaurant. A little bit trendy, delicious flavors, and it’s right within the
old town here in Dali. Wow, that was a lot of food. It’s been a fantastic day
of Chinese food in Yunnan. Oh man, the highlight for
me today was probably lunch. That was a spectacular meal. I want to say a huge thank you to Luxi, who guided us everywhere today. And also thank you to
Frank from Zouba Tours, he put everything together. I’ll have all of the links
in the description box below so you can check them out. And thank you very much for
watching this food tour. Please remember to give it a
thumbs up if you enjoyed it. I’d love to hear from you in
the comments section below. I’ll see you on the next video. Thanks again for watching,
and bye bye from Dali, China.