KQED presents the first season of Martin Yan’s Taste of Vietnam, hosted by the renowned chef Martin Yan in his return to public television.
Martin Yan is back! In his new show, Martin Yan’s Taste of Vietnam, Martin showcases the country’s breathtaking landscapes, its bustling cities, and, of course, its delicious cuisine. Premiering in September 2014, Martin Yan’s Taste of Vietnam features both cooking demonstrations and a personal tour of Vietnam, given by Martin himself.
Throughout the years Martin Yan has charmed both U.S. and worldwide audiences with his infectious enthusiasm and wit. With his thousands of television programs and more than 30 cookbooks, he introduces Chinese and Asian cooking to millions all over the world, expanding their culinary horizons to include the complex flavors and artistic presentations of Asian dishes. In his new show, Martin focuses his attention on Vietnam.
Learn about authentic Vietnamese food and culture with Martin as he travels across the country, fishing in tiny floating villages, sampling street food in Hanoi, and learning about rice cultivation in the lush countryside. Martin brings his enthusiasm and culinary skills to the table as he demonstrates Vietnamese mainstays like Beef Pho and Vermicelli Noodle Soup, as well as exciting new dishes like Coffee-flavored Ribs and Duck Cassoulet.
Featuring mouthwatering meals and beautiful Vietnamese landscapes, Martin Yan’s Taste of Vietnam is sure to inspire budding chefs to get into the kitchen and try their hands at some of these delicious recipes.
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Episode 101: The Chefs of Vietnam
Description: Behind every creative Vietnamese dish is a creative Vietnamese chef. Some are award-winning professionals with years of international experience, while others are young rising stars. Martin cooks with a few of these chefs and shares ideas on Vietnamese cuisine.
Recipes: Duck with Tea Sauce, Orange-flavored Duck, My Long Noodle, Dungeness Crab with Tamarind Sauce.
Episode 102: Where Dragons Nest
Description: Vietnamese legends tell of dragons descending from the heavens and nesting in Ha Long Bay. Martin sails these spectacular waters, exploring the many rugged caves inside the thousands of limestone islands. He drops by a floating village where children commute by boat to a schoolhouse on water.
Recipes: Crispy Fried Shrimp, Steamed Whole Fish in Spicy Bean Sauce.
Episode 103: An Ecology Tour
Description: Martin gets up-close and personal with Vietnamese nature preservation by joining an eco-riverboat tour. Much to his delight, in addition to all the tips on nature, Martin also learns about the charming life of local fishing families, and how one can ‘rock the boat’ on an eco-river cruise.
Recipes: Banana Blossom Salad with Duck and Ginger, Grilled Spicy Lemongrass Lambchops.
Episode 104: Country Life, City Life
Description: In Vietnam, many of today’s city dwellers are only one generation removed from their country roots. Martin discovers that the long journey home to the Vietnamese countryside can also be a short riverboat ride to a picturesque park outside Ho Chi Minh City.
Recipes: Grilled Meatballs, Grilled Shrimp, Young Coconut Drink.
Episode 105: Little Saigon
Description: Vietnamese American communities are among the fastest growing ethnic neighborhoods in America. Martin visits a few of these vibrant communities in Northern California, sharing his personal immigrant experience with these newer generation of immigrants, and picking up useful tips and recipes along the way.
Recipes: Sautéed Duck Breast Sandwich, Avocado Smoothie, Vietnamese Imperial Rolls.
Episode 106: The Folk Art of Vietnam
Description: As so much of Vietnam is closely tied to its land and water, from farming to fishing, it is only natural that Vietnamese folk art is inspired by the surrounding natural beauty. Martin visits the famous Water Puppet Show in Hanoi, tours a pottery village and admires the embroidery handiwork of a true master.
Recipes: Chicken Curry in Coconut Milk, Mung Bean Cake with Glutinous Rice.
Episode 107: Going Organic
Description: Organic farming has a long history in Vietnam. Martin visits an organic co-op near the picturesque town of Hoi An in central Vietnam. He also tours the organic garden of an ambitious and enterprising chef who works at an eco-friendly farm outside the city.
Recipes: Organic Vegetable Stir-fry with Kohlrabi, Pomelo Salad, Lemongrass Flavored Tea.
Episode 108: The French Connection
Description: French missionaries first arrived in Vietnam in the 17th century, but the true French legacy is more prominent on the Vietnamese menu: from sidewalk cafes to the many east/west fusion dishes. Martin samples the popular Vietnamese sandwiches and explores how the traditional French baguette has taken on a Vietnamese twist.
Recipes: Spicy Beef Stew, Franco/Vietnamese Baguette, Lemongrass Coconut Crème Caramel.
Episode 109: Breaking Fast
Description: Without a doubt the breakfast of champions in Vietnam is a steaming bowl of pho – but there’s more! From the classic broken rice to traditional Chinese rice congee, Martin joins millions of early risers in Vietnam for breakfast at the famous Ben Thanh Market and drops by a most unique noodle and tailor shop in one.
Recipes: Eel Noodles, Beef Pho, Broken Rice, Duck Congee.
Episode 110: Life is a Beach
Description: With the longest coastline in Southeast Asia, Vietnam is home to some of the most spectacular beaches in the region. Martin spends the day exploring these natural wonders, sunning, frolicking, touring and most importantly tasting all the wonderful treats of the fabulous seaside resorts of Vietnam.
Recipes: Rice Paper Rolls, Clam Salad, Fresh Salad Rolls with Shrimp, Durian Tofu Dessert
Episode 111: One-dish Wonders
Description: Many popular eateries in Vietnam only feature one dish on their menus. The lack of variety does not deter their loyal customers. In fact, quite the opposite. Most of these places have customers wrapped around the block day and night. Martin joins the enthusiastic diners and samples the many one-dish wonders of Vietnam.
Recipes: Vietnamese Beef Hot Pot, Steamed Rice Noodles with Mushrooms & Chicken, Nuoc Cham Fish Sauce.
Episode 112: Modern Vietnam
Description: There is a modern side of Vietnam, and it is every bit as dynamic as all its Asian neighbors. Martin gets a taste (or two) of modern Vietnamese life. He learns how traditional Vietnamese recipes can take on a modern twist, and how much of Vietnam’s tomorrow is already a part of Vietnam today.
Recipes: Steamed Mango Fish Roll, Shrimp and Corn Fritters.
Episode113: Gone Fishing
Description: With its endless coastline and countless rivers and canals, Vietnamese fishermen are never without a spot to cast their nets. Martin wakes up before dawn to lend a hand unloading the overnight catches from the fishing fleet. He hops onto one of the unique basket boats to check out the fresh seafood onboard. Later, he drops by a boat maker to see how these basket boats are still made by hand.
Recipes: Claypot Fish with Pineapple and Tomato, Clam Soup with White Wine.
Episode 114: Land of Fish and Rice
Description: Vietnam is a land of plenty. Much of its land is fertile for farming, and its waters are rich with fish and seafood. Martin follows the cycle of rice cultivation and harvesting, and observes how rice is made into the popular rice noodle, and how fish is made into the Vietnamese national condiment, fish sauce.
Recipes: Golden Crisp Whole Fish, Grilled Meat Medallions over Rice Noodle Pancakes.
Episode 115: Romance of the Delta
Description: Life takes on its own rhythm in the water world of the Mekong Delta. Martin visits a unique guesthouse where guests can harvest fruit in the orchard and cook the fish they catch in nearby ponds. The delta is also rich with coconut farms. Martin visits a home where they make unique coconut rice crepes.
Recipes: Cabbage Duck Roll, Jackfruit Sago Cream.
Episode 116: Where Heaven Meets Earth
Description: An overnight train takes Martin from the urban sprawl of Hanoi to the Northern Highlands of Vietnam, where scores of the country’s ethnic tribes have called home for centuries. Visiting the famous Sunday market at Bac Ha and the trekkers’ outpost of Sa Pa, Martin explores a land where the heavens meet the earth.
Recipes: Green Mango Duck Salad, Grilled Lemongrass Beef Skewers.
Episode 117: A Village in the Highlands
Description: Martin spends a day visiting Trung Do, a picturesque tribal village up in the Northern Highlands. At the ancestral temple, he learns about the history of the village and how their traditional way of life is preserved in this modern age. He is the guest of honor to a delectable feast that comes with tribal dance and music.
Recipes: Chicken and Mushroom Rice in a Claypot, Shaking Beef.
Episode 118: Village Living
Description: In this age of technology, a large portion of the Vietnamese population still resides in small towns and villages. To truly appreciate this unique way of life, Martin visits a couple of villages near Hue, places where the old, simple and peaceful way of life is well respected and practiced.
Recipes: Spicy Beef Noodle Soup, Sweet and Spicy Shrimp.
Episode 119: The Charm of Old Hanoi
Description: The historic district of Hanoi is a charming enclave where time stands still. On foot and on a local pedi-cab, Martin explores the twisting and turning roads and alleyways of this fascinating neighborhood. He visits small, family-owned shops and sidewalk cafes, and samples all the intriguing local street food.
Recipes: Hanoi Chicken and Vermicelli Noodle Soup, Papaya Salad, Rainbow Drink.
Episode 120: Cruising with Dragons
Description: The best way to appreciate the legendary Ha Long Bay is on board a luxury cruise ship. Between morning Tai Chi and midnight squid fishing, there are excursions to the many islands and visits to villages where they make jam and wine out of a local flower. Back on board Martin keeps busy by lending a hand to the chef.
Recipes: Vietnamese Style Lemongrass Tofu, Stir-fried Squid and Pineapple.
Episode 121: Sleepless in Vietnam
Description: Vietnam is a top coffee producing country in the world. Much of that production goes towards domestic consumption, as Vietnam is home to the most robust coffee and café culture in Asia. Martin travels to Buon Ma Thout, the ground zero of Vietnamese coffee to find out all about the national brew of ‘ca-phe’.
Recipes: Coffee-flavored Ribs, Coffee Crepe Cake, Vietnamese Coffee.
Episode 122: The Floating Market
Description: Martin and his friend Chef Suong rise early to catch the boat to the famous floating market of Can Tho. In the Mekong Delta, where there are more waterways than roads, it’s convenient to set up a wholesale market on water. Martin shops by spotting the items on sale through hoisted poles on board and takes a coffee break along the floating cafes.
Recipes: Honey Roasted Chicken, Mangosteen Ice Cream.
Episode 123: Da Nang and China Beach
Description: Da Nang is the perfect Vietnamese city in many ways. It’s a modern business hub, a famous beach resort, and a center for culture and the arts. Martin explores the culinary side of Da Nang and how the city embraces metal, stone, water, fire and earth, the five natural elements in so many of its endeavors.
Recipes: Braised Duck with Ginger and Red Wine, Baked Omelette with Ground Duck.
Episode 124: Unforgettable Hoi An
Description: Long considered one of the most spectacular spots in Vietnam, Hoi An is now a World Heritage Site. Martin visits this picturesque enclave to pay tribute to both its history and culinary delights. He learns how to wrap flower dumplings and make lanterns. Later he takes part in the paper lantern release ceremony by the canal.
Recipes: Shrimp Mousse on Sugar Cane, Vietnamese Clear Shrimp and Meat Dumplings.
Episode 125: Imperial Hue
Description: For a hundred and fifty years, Hue served as the imperial capital of Vietnam. Much of its historical splendors are being restored. Martin visits the palaces and receives a lesson on royal cuisine by a local chef whose family served in the imperial kitchen. He visits a nearby temple where the royal cuisine takes on a religious twist.
Recipes: Mini Banana Cakes, Lotus Steamed Fried Rice, Vietnamese Savory Crepes.
Episode 126: The Fruit of Dragons
Description: Dragon fruit is a colorful and tasty treat that is prized all over Asia. Martin visits one of the largest dragon fruit farms in Vietnam to learn all about this exotic fruit. From a local chef he learns how versatile dragon fruit can be by staging an entire banquet using dragon fruit as a central ingredient.
Recipes: Shrimp & Fruit Salad for the Dragons, Vietnamese-Inspired Duck Cassoulet.
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