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Martin Yan’s Hidden China: For All The Teas In Western China

Airs Saturday, December 18, 2010 at 3:30 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Promotional photo of Martin Yan cooking in the kitchen

In "Martin Yan’s Hidden China," the famed international chef and television host journeys deep into beautiful and mystical Yunnan and nearby regions. Traveling by car and bus, on bicycles and, at times, the back of a trusty yak, Martin retraces part of the ancient Silk Road journey. He follows its twists and turns, making his way to small historical enclaves and cultural outposts. Along the way, he meets scores of local people - minority tribe members who are generous with their stories, as well as their recipes.

Yunnan Province is well known for its tea production. In this episode, Martin visits the famous Pu-erh tea region and gains some 'hands-on' experience at the tea plantations. In addition to picking tealeaves, Martin discovers how tea and tea products are processed and packaged. He learns to make the famous 'tea cake' - a brick of tea compressed into a round shape, which is then labeled, stamped and aged.

At the tea museum, Martin views many historical teacakes and learns about their value and social significance. Finally, a local chef shows Martin how tea can be used as a cooking ingredient. He tastes and comments on two fabulous local tea dishes. Martin's Cooking Tip: Wrappers.

Video

Series Preview: Martin Yan's Hidden China

Above: In "Martin Yan’s Hidden China," the famed international chef and television host journeys deep into beautiful and mystical Yunnan and nearby regions. Traveling by car and bus, on bicycles and, at times, the back of a trusty yak, Martin retraces part of the ancient Silk Road journey.