If you have not heard of Dianxi Xiaoge, then you have missed out on something really awesome on the Internet, especially if you’re a foodie!
One of the trends on YouTube is making videos of cooking traditional food in the most realistic, authentic way.
These YouTubers show you how they live their daily lives in the countryside, farming, harvesting, collecting plants in the jungle and cooking dishes using ingredients fresh off the farm.
Imagine if we had a Sarawakian who documented their lives at the longhouse, working on the farm, making burak (Kayan rice wine) and pounding on cassava leaves for dinner.
Interestingly, these videos have gathered a lot of subscribers and views on YouTube. Though Dianxi Xiaoge’s videos are loosely translated, non-Mandarin speakers can still understand the gist of this interesting show.
Here are five reasons why you should follow Dianxi Xiaoge on YouTube:
1.She introduces you to new dishes, particularly from Yunnan province
Dianxi Xiaoge prides herself on being a local Yunnan girl. She films seasonal ingredients, special local products and everything which reflects the uniqueness of Yunnan cuisine.
Yunnan is a province located in south-central China. It is known for its rich resources as well as being one of the most ethnically diverse provinces of China.
That being said, it is no surprise that Yunnan is home to a variety of unique dishes. Being proud of her roots, Dianxi Xiaoge shares plenty of Yunnan traditional dishes. Most of these dishes are unheard of especially in Malaysia.
One of Yunnan dishes which Dianxi Xiaoge introduced to her subscribers is the Zianyi Chilli Chicken. The dish has a history spanning over 100 years. It is cooked differently from the more famous Sichuan Chilli Chicken. The chili is first boiled before being pounded to cook with the chicken while Sichuan uses chili oil.
Another unique Yunan dishes are Bamboo Pipe Cakes. (Yes, it is exactly what you expect it to be.) It is a dessert made in bamboo. The snack is more popular in western Yunnan province.
2.You will never take your food and farmers for granted after watching Dianxi Xiaoge
Besides cooking, Dianxi Xiaoge also shows the sweat and blood that goes into her farms. From pumpkin to soybean, she shares what she farms according to different seasons.
Not all of her ingredients are planted on her farms. She also harvests some crops from her relatives’ farm or picks them up straight from the jungle.
3.She makes you want to hug your grannies!
This YouTuber speaks fondly of her grandparents in her videos, especially her grandpa who works hard on the farm to make a living. So, some of the videos dedicated to her grandpa are those which she cooks his favourite dishes such as Brown Sugar Sweet Bean Curd Jelly.
Additionally, Dianxi Xiaoge inspires viewers to learn from the elders on traditional recipes and methods before it is too late. In some of her videos, she showcases how she learns how to cook certain recipes from her grandma.
4.Dianxi Xiaoge teaches you to make things from scratch
Speaking of grandparents, Dianxi Xiaoge also gets them to try food they had never eaten before such as hamburgers. Her grandparents had only seen hamburgers on TV.
She lives 20km away from the nearest town and even in town, they only sell traditional food.
So what Dianxi Xiaoge did was beyond amazing: She made hamburgers from scratch. Can you imagine whipping out tomato sauce from wild tomatoes?
Apart from that, she also educates her viewers on traditional cooking methods and it is her way of documenting this traditional knowledge.
While factory-processed sausages are common today, she shows how to make sausages the traditional way which she calls a genius idea from their ancestors which allows for long-term storage of meat.
5.She might turn you into home-based distiller or vintner
What makes Dianxi Xiaoge more impressive is that she is also a distiller and vintner. In one of the videos, she makes her grandfather’s favourite corn liquor.
She also shows how she makes her own wine and mulberry wine.