Destination Flavour China: Episode 6 

Yunnan Yak Belly Stew

The Yunanan Yak Belly Stew, is the perfect example of Yunnan Cuisine. Yunnan Cuisine is amalgamation of the cuisines of the Han Chinese and other ethnic minority groups in the Yunnan Province. 

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I have to say, the Tibetan Jung cuisine has really surprised me. It's so simple and pure in its flavor, but the amount of taste that you can get out of it is quite incredible. So I'm going to make my new favorite Tibetan dish, a Yak Belly stew. Now because this is going to be eaten with chopsticks, I want to make sure I cut this into really bite size pieces.

Yak meat has a similar taste to beef, so you could substitute chak instead. It's always a privilege to be able to cook with something that has so much history and so much craftsmanship. The flavors of the Jung cuisine are quite similar to what you might find in Guizhou or Hunan, or even Sichuan. But the difference is they're much more delicate, there's much more pure and light in its flavor. You can get a touch of Sichuan pepper here, a touch of chili there, but the main flavor is just the simple flavor of good yak.

And now for the spices, got some Sichuan peppercorn. Some chili, both powdered chili and dried. Now these, this is sometimes called black cardamom, but I think probably got an aroma more similar to dried coriander seeds.

Just a bit of star anise and ginger as well. Garlic, and these are the leaves of the same black cardamom. Now for the last ingredient, this amazing Yak butter. So this will make our stew thick and rich and creamy. And all we need to do to season it is just a touch of salt. Now that goes onto the stove. Things take a lot longer to cook rather than a lot shorter. So, we need to get this on for about four hours.

When there's an hour left to go, I'm going to add some white radish or daikon, a popular root vegetable in Tibetan cooking. And when the daikon is softened, the dish is done, and I have the fragrance of this is absolutely magnificent. But there's one more step to go. And that is a Jung style, Yak Belly stew.

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