As it’s Chinese New Year and we’re celebrating the magnificence all things associated with Chinese food, we thought it might be an appropriate time to draw your attention to the YouTube channel of Dianxi Xiaoge.
The channel features cooking demonstrations by Dianxi Xiaoge, set in the Yunnan province of Southwest China in a perfectly idyllic rustic setting. The recipes are of traditional Chinese local fare, season ingredients prepared in a traditional way.
We don’t know much about the production, all that’s available on YouTube in the bio section is “I am a local Yunnan Girl. My name is 'Dianxi Xiaoge'. People who know well will call me 'Apenjie'. Both my families and the peaceful village are shown in my videos. I film seasonal ingredients, special local products, really anything that reflects the uniqueness of Yunnan cuisine, All the inspiration behind my video come from our daily meals.”
Dianxi Xiaoge has over a 6 million followers and over 200 million views since joining the platform in July of last year. The production quality is incredibly high for such a rustic setting and, seeing as YouTube is blocked in China, it’s possible that this channel is a government-backed tool to promote Yunnan culture. There is a substantial Facebook following also.
Whatever the source of the videos, we can’t get enough of them. They are a valuable glimpse into Yunnan provincial culinary traditions that deserve to be seen.
Yunnan moon cake: meat-flavoured moon cake stuffed with ham
This sweet and savoury cake is traditionally prepared for a festival in August. The round dough balls include lard, giving them their meaty taste, while inside the crumbly shell awaits a sweet and savoury burst of honey and ham.
Special dish from the Yunnan Bai Ethnic Group: Cured 'blown' Pork Liver with Spicy Sauce
In this video Dianxi Xiaoge uses liquor, chilli powder, salt, and Sichuan pepper powder to make a spicy marinade that is blown into the pork liver using a bamboo tube. The liver is then marinated and cured for an entire month.
The best method of cooking pig’s skin: Thai-flavoured Lemon and Pig’s Skin
The pork cracklings are seared over an open flame on a modified type of grill that can be flipped from one side to the other. They are then washed and sliced into pieces and tossed with ample fresh herbs like green onion, and, of course, abundant lemon.
Roast sweet potato and spicy and sour noodles
In this video Dianxi Xiaoge grates freshly harvested potatoes into buckets and strains them multiple times through cloths to extract the starch, which she then boils down and transforms into noodles. They are enjoyed with freshly baked sweet potatoes and an assortment of herbs and spices.