– That has to be one of the coolest bowls of noodles that I’ve ever seen being made, ever. (upbeat music) This entire bowl, is all just one noodle. That is one single noodle. (upbeat music) Good morning, I hope you’re having an amazing day, it’s Mark Wiens. We just arrived to Weishan, which is in Dali in Yunnan Province, China. And today is gonna be another incredible day, but a very diverse day of food in Yunnan. We’re starting here in the village, we’re gonna enjoy a few bowls of noodles.
And then after that we’ll be visiting an authentic very well preserved Muslim village. But first, oh I think we’ve just arrived. This is the spot for breakfast. Breakfast bowl of noodles number one. Hello! We’re gonna try to get a look into the kitchen, where they are assembling the bowls of noodles. And as soon as you step in here, this is, this is a meat sauna. You can smell the, these are pork noodles. And you can smell the porky aromas back here. This is a special type of rice noodle that is common in this part of Yunnan. But it’s rare to find elsewhere, and it’s a rice noodle that they make with, it’s not with raw rice powder, but it’s made with pre-cooked, rice that’s cooked, and then ground, and then made into noodles.
It comes with two components, one is the bowl of noodles, with soup. And the other is the bowl of pork with all the seasonings, spices. So what you do is you take some of the noodles and you dip them into the soup with the pork and all the spices before you eat it. And then it comes with some pickles, there’s some peanuts, there’s some just wonderful looking things. The soup is a pork bone soup, you can see how it’s almost milky in color, how it’s been boiled for so long. I just have to taste the plain soup first. Mmm, mmm. Really, really rich. A little bit, not too oily. And it’s not salty yet. And then this is the soup that’s full of flavor. You can see the pork, there’s skin, oh, look at that. Oh, it’s like pulled pork and then just a chunk of skin, and then she added in a few scoops, she asked me if I wanted it spicy, which, of course I had to say yes.
So look at that soup, it’s just, oh there’s chili oil in there, it’s, okay, lemme just taste this. There’s sesame seeds in there as well. Oh, oh that is superb. It’s not sweet at all, it’s just you can really taste the sesame seeds in there. That has a nice chili burn to it, and then it’s porky. Okay, into the soup. I mix it in with some of that pork. Oh that looks incredible. Oh, that is sensational. It’s really nice and spicy. The sesame seed oil flavor in there really stands out. And then the pork is just, just fall apart like shredded tender. The noodles are very nice and soft. They’re not like mushy, and they’re just a tiny bit gummy in texture.
The noodles and the soup broth, are very plain on their own, but all the flavor is coming in that pork, and that seasoning, and all those spices in there. And that is extraordinary flavor. Okay, now I’m gonna try to fish out that piece of skin. Oh, mmm. Oh that just, that literally just disintegrates in your mouth. Oh you don’t need to chew that. It’s just completely soft. And it tastes like it’s been boiled and rendered down so it’s mostly skin and like collagen I think. Mmm. That one has a little bit of a sweet taste. And peanuts. But this broth, is next level. (upbeat music) Oh, what a way to start this morning. And it’s even better because it’s kind of cold and rainy outside. That is, that hits the spot. Most of the buildings in this ancient town of Weishan date back to the 1400’s. And this was one of the strongholds of the kingdom in Yunnan. And it’s so well preserved, it’s so beautiful.
I love how it’s quiet, and it’s so charming. So we’re just gonna walk around for a little bit, and then after that we’re gonna eat another bowl of noodles. (upbeat music) Okay, we’re just stopping at a street food stall here. – Yeah, this is like Dali’s specialty, so this is basically the rice cake’s same texture with the rice noodle we just had. – It’s like a sheet of the noodles that we just, okay hold on for this. (engine starting) What’s the name of it again? (speaking foreign language) – And then the noodle is (speaking foreign language) – Ah, okay. (speaking foreign language) – Means strips (speaking foreign language) – Means something bigger.
– Alright. (speaking foreign language) – Oh she puts that inside of it? – Yeah, yeah. – Oh wow. – Something extra. (speaking foreign language) Yep. Oh yeah but we’ll try it here. (speaking foreign language) – Kind of like burrito style. Yeah this looks and smells fantastic. Mmm. (laughs) Oh, oh that is very very tasty. Kind of dense, because you’ve got that rice, that rice tortilla. And then you’ve got the crispy fluffy donut on the inside, but you’ve got all that flavoring.
The chili sauce, the pickles go in there very nicely. The peanuts. Okay. And this is a snack we can eat while walking around I think. (speaking foreign language) – That was great walking around the old town and we are walking down an alley now to go eat our next bowl of noodles. Oh so this is the one noodle here. (upbeat music) Wow, that’s amazing. And we’re here to eat what is called One Noodle, because it really is one strand of noodle. (speaking foreign language) – This is things you put on top of the noodle soup in the end. (upbeat music) (speaking foreign language) (laughs) – Yeah, you forget every time. (laughs) – That has to be one of the coolest bowls of noodles that I have ever seen being made, ever.
It’s just, it’s just a beautiful work of art how she prepares that bowl of noodles. And it really, in your bowl, you have one single noodle. And from what Lucy was telling me about this particular restaurant, this is the original place to eat this One Noodle. And they won the World Record, the China record for the longest noodle in all of China. I think they had a noodle competition, oh yeah you can see on the walls, some of the photos that they have on display. They made a noodle that was a couple kilometers in length. So they can make, you get one noodle here, that’s all you eat is one noodle. In order to eat this bowl of noodles you have to eat it all in one bite. No, I’m just joking. (laughs) You can break the noodle, it’s acceptable to break the noodle. But look at that, it’s just coiled around a million times, that’s all just a single blob. This entire bowl, is all just one noodle. That is one single noodle. I guess I definitely have to try the one noodle first.
(chuckling) Mmm. Oh. Not only is it one noodle, but that one noodle is amazing. It’s gummy, it’s not overcooked, it’s a little bit al dente. It is like a perfect thickness. Mmm, and that’s like chili oil soup, you can taste the schezwan pepper in there. And then this is some kind of garlic and water. Oh, excellent. Okay, I think that’s good for my seasoning. I forgot a little bit of vinegar in there. That’s a really good noodle. Now lemme taste some of that broth. On the top is kind of some chili oil. But the it is a, kind of a meaty, kind of a thick broth. Mmm, mmm. Oh with that garlic in there, I love that garlic in there. That fresh garlic. Oh that adds such a little thing that adds so much. The most impressive thing about that bowl of noodle was watching her make it and bowl the noodle. That was, that was a sight to see. We’re just exiting out the old gate. That was, it’s a really nice place that you can visit. And I’m pretty full of noodles right now.
From here we are driving to a well-preserved traditional Muslim village. And they are known for their food as well, so we’re gonna discover and eat some more delicious food and just walk around that village next. (upbeat music) We have just arrived to Donglianhua, and in Chinese that translates to: the Eastern lotus pond village. And so you come into this village, its absolutely beautiful. At the entrance, there is a lotus pond.
And then it’s surrounded by rice fields. It’s an ancient Muslim village. And from what Lucy was telling me, it’s not a touristy village at all, so there’s not like souvenir shops. It’s not like an attraction village. But it’s one of the most well-preserved Muslim villages in this entire area. And so we’re gonna have a chance to eat, and then we’re gonna have a chance just to walk around and see. There’s also some very well-preserved mosques as well. (horn honks) We are on our way to go to one of the courtyards where there is a lady who, she has a courtyard, she has a house, she has restaurant, she cooks. It’s gonna be some delicious food. Look at this grand entrance, this gate. And the decoration, the painting. And step inside of here. There’s paintings, there’s artwork, it’s so quiet, it’s so peaceful, and this is where we’re gonna eat lunch. Something that’s very interesting to me, because my wife is Thai and we’re based in Bangkok, we’re based in Thailand. Is that the family who owns this property, and this courtyard, she was just explaining to us that their family had to flee to Thailand and so they lived in Chiang Mai for many years.
And so they have roots both here in Yunnan, and Chiang Mai as well in Thailand. (speaking foreign language) – We’re in the kitchen now, and she’s gonna be making a couple of different dishes. The first thing that she’s making is a Muslim Yunnanese style noodle. And the important ingredients that she mentioned are especially the green pumpkin, as well as potato. And now she just finished chopping up some cured goose, which she got out of the freezer, and that’s gonna also flavor the noodles. And she’s gonna, we’ll see what else she makes. (meat sizzling) (speaking foreign language) – That’s the ginger.
– The beef, beef and ginger? – Yeah. (meat sizzling) – This one is still for the noodles? – Yeah, yeah. (meat sizzling) – She added quite a generous amount of oil to the wok, and then she added in some of the beef which is already cut into little pieces. And then she added in a bunch of onions, and then in goes the tomatoes. But wow, that aroma is already smelling incredible. (speaking foreign language) – All the ingredients that she cooked are for the soup of the noodles, but now she’s actually making the noodles from scratch with flour and mixing in some water, and just slightly kneading it and massaging it. (speaking foreign language) – It’s a lot of effort, and it’s a lot of work, but I can guarantee you that the result is gonna be more than impressive. (speaking foreign language) – The dough is resting and rising. She’s gonna get started on a beef salad that she’s making. (speaking foreign language) – She has already precooked the beef, because the beef takes, it actually takes days to prepare.
But she’s showed us some of the raw beef. She massages it in salt, and then let’s that rest for two days. And then the beef is braised in a broth and liquid that contains many different spices. There’s black cardamom, and there’s schezwan peppers, there’s dry chili, there’s caramel, which is what makes the broth really dark. And then that’s braised for a few hours at least. I actually had no clue as to how she was gonna assemble a salad, but she is just spiraling it. Like spokes on a wheel. Oh, that’s gorgeous. (speaking foreign language) – She’s just hand ripping them into the boiling water. Oh I love this style of noodle. And just like, rough homestyle noodles. (upbeat music) The noodles back in. (speaking foreign language) (upbeat music) (speaking foreign language) – It keeps getting more and more complex, she keeps adding things. She had a separate pan of the soup broth, which is beef bones broth she then boiled. And then she drained the water out of the noodles and put the noodles back into the beef broth.
Then she added the goose, cured goose fat. And goose, then she, oh and she’s dishing it out. Then she added the pumpkin mixture, she added the onions beef mixture, and it is ready. Wow, that looks hearty. (speaking foreign language) (upbeat music) (speaking foreign language) – I’m walking out of the kitchen just amazed, just flabbergasted. What a meal, she is a master chef. Okay, so we’re in the courtyard, we’re sitting down for lunch now. This is a picture perfect setting, it’s gorgeous. The courtyard, the scenery, and her cooking on top of that. I am like overwhelmed right here. The food looks unbelievable. The beef salad is not only one of the prettiest beef salads I’ve ever seen in my life, it might be one of the prettiest dishes I’ve ever seen in my life. On the bottom you will see it’s all shredded radish as well as more of that same dressing. And it’s just, it’s just filled. So I think you can kind of get a little bit of everything with that beef.
Oh, wow. That is sensational. Oh, that’s stunning. Mmm. Oh that beef is so tender. And the flavor is just embedded within the veins of that beef. And it’s, oh that’s extreme flavor. And then you’ve got that really crisp, really refreshing radish shreds on the bottom there. You’ve got that dressing, you can taste all that chili oil. You can really taste the sesame oil, and the sesame seeds in there.
And next up for the noodles, which she made completely from scratch, by hand. Sheets of noodles, there’s onion in here. Oh man, this looks, it doesn’t get fresher than this. Mmm. Oh, oh wow that’s stunning. Those noodles are so silky smooth. They’re not like delicate, like thin noodles, these are hearty, slightly thick, a little bit gummy. But you can taste the difference in how they’re handmade. It’s absolutely stunning. Unbelievable. That is one of those dishes that will change your life. The final dish we got here is pumpkin, steamed pumpkin. And she made this with some ginger, and this just looks delicious as well. Oh, even the pumpkin’s outstanding. It’s like melt in your mouth. Oh, that texture. It’s really really fragrant. It’s a little bit sweet. It’s, mmm, it’s not starchy at all, but more silky. (speaking foreign language) (laughs) (upbeat music) – This is one of those dishes that I never want to end. I just want it to be an everlasting dish. It’s absolutely insane. (upbeat music) (sighs) – Every single bite of this salad, has just blown me away.
(upbeat music) (speaking foreign language) – Okay. I had no idea what to expect when we first entered this gate, but now I can safely say that you will find one of the world’s greatest beef salads behind this door. And those are really recipes and dishes that have been preserved through her family and they’re really hard to find. She made it with love. That was an honor to have such a culinary experience like that. Chickens for sale. (chickens clucking) (speaking foreign language) (upbeat music) – We’ve just arrived to the village mosque, and it’s an extremely well-preserved wooden mosque. Which dates back to the Ch’ing Dynasty, sometime around the 1700’s. And up here there’s a school. Wow, this is gorgeous architecture. A few flights of steps and we made it to the very top. Wow, the views are spectacular. And you can see over the entire courtyard of the mosque on this side, and then over here on this side, you’ve got a nice view of the valley, and the mountains in the background.
And rice fields outside of the village. (upbeat music) (speaking foreign language) – We’re in Dali new town here. And we’re at a restaurant tonight, to eat an ethnic Chinese type of food which is Jingpo food. (speaking foreign language) – There’s just a rainbow full of ingredients that’s so many ingredients on the table, and seasonings. I saw some grasshoppers that we’re gonna try as well for dinner tonight. All of the dishes are ready. We’ve got a little bit of a feast here for dinner tonight. There’s so many dishes on the table, I think we have at least 10 different dishes. It’s really interesting for me in watching them cook. This food, the Jingpo food, it comes from the region of China which is near to the border of Myanmar. And that’s sort of the area where China, as well as Myanmar, and Thailand, and Laos, that area where the cultures all come together. And that’s the, so the food you can see many similarities of ingredients.
It’s colorful, there’s chilies, there’s lots of fresh herbs. And just a colorful spectrum of different dishes. Since the grasshoppers happen to be right in front of me, I’m gonna begin with the grasshoppers. She deep fried them, and then just seasoned them with a little bit of powdery seasoning. So these should be crispy and beautiful. Oh, look at how golden they are. Oh yeah, those are good. They have a little bit of a sausagey flavor, and nice and crispy. A wonderful snack. Next up I’m gonna try some of the chicken salad. This is one of their signature dishes. It’s shredded chicken, and then she mixed it with minced chili.
There’s some herbs in there, and there’s some chilies on the side too. You can taste a little bit of the chilies in there. Oh, oh, that chili’s pretty sweet, and a little bit spicy. Okay, over here is one of their signature dishes, which is fried ribs, with lemongrass. And I love how rough cut it is, just like a stack of lemongrass on the top of this dish. Mmm hmm. Oh those are awesomely good. The pork is nice and crispy from being deep fried. This one is a minced pork salad, and again it’s very finely chopped with lots of herbs in there. There are peanuts in here, and chilies. And this looks very very Thai or Burmese. – White celery. – Oh, it’s white celery in there too. Mmm. Oh that one is, that one is awesome. It’s extremely refreshing. To me it almost tastes like Tabbouleh, like parsley that’s been chopped up like that. This one is ferns and I think she just blanched the ferns, and then it’s served with this sauce.
This sauce looks fantastic. Mmm. Oh that sauce is wonderful. And it’s a yellow pea paste kind of like block, and then she kind of mixed it up with some spices as well. There’s some chilies, and there’s both fresh chilies and dried chilies in there. Mmm. Oh. You know that’s not the most attractive looking dish, but it’s really tasty. It has this incredible smokey flavor, and then it’s a little bit starchy, a little bit goopy, but the flavor’s amazing. This one is an omelet that he made with climbing wattle shoots. And this is very popular in Thailand as well. Mmm. Okay, it’s a little bit of an oil sponge. But it is pretty tasty. The climbing wattle has a nice like kind of green taste to it. I think the last dish is the banana blossom salad, or mix. Mmm. Oh that’s really good, it’s really really juicy. (speaking foreign language) (laughs) – It almost has a cheesy taste to it. (upbeat music) (laughs) Okay, we just made it back to the hotel.
Definitely the highlight for me today though, was that Muslim Yunnanese beef salad that aunty made. That was one of the dishes that I’ll never forget, ever. I wanna say a big thank you to Lucy, she was our guide today and she brought us everywhere. And also to Frank from Zouba Tours for organizing everything, he set everything up. And big thank you to you for watching this Chinese food tour of Yunnan video. Please remember to give it a thumbs up if you enjoyed it. I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.
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