tv Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown CNN October 30, 2015 11:00pm-12:01am PDT
i remember the moment i first realized i had been living my whole life in black and white. ♪ it was like discovering a color i never knew existed before, a whole new crayon box full of colors. that was it for me. from then on, there was no putting the pieces back together. no going home. things were different now. asia had ruined me for my old life. ♪ ♪ i took a walk through this beautiful world ♪ ♪ felt the cool rain on my shoulder ♪
♪ found something good in this beautiful world ♪ ♪ i felt the rain getting colder ♪ ♪ sha la la la la ♪ sha la la la la la ♪ sha la la la la ♪ sha la la la la la la [ laughter ] whiskey for farmer. >> oh, that's good. trying to kill us. >> they make more than 100 bottles a day, so 30,000 bottles. that's a lot of -- did i do that right? or have i had too many whiskeys? [ laughter ] >> how did this happen? how did i get here?
coming into focus, the man across the table. he looks familiar. maybe if i can remember who he is, it will be a clue as to where i am. >> okay. >> right. andy. andy ricker. the white guy who cooks awesome thai food. >> is it pretty spicy? put that in there. >> pok pok in portland. restaurants in new york. andy's made a name for himself faithfully reproducing the cuisine of northern thailand. >> mm. >> the good stuff. comes from places like here. rice country. chiang mai province.
in this part of the world you live and die by the harvest. thai food is intensely regional. and northern thailand in particular has many distinctive features. this is a world of fresh, delicious, spicy, meaty, salty, sour, sweet, bitter. often with a just-picked herby dimension. and always the most vital thing, giver of life, sticky rice. andy here is constantly back and forth from america to thailand, for nearly 25 years now, looking for recipes, techniques, digging deeper and deeper into an amazingly complex and widely misunderstood cuisine.
and getting his ass chastised by a few aunties as he goes. >> okay. >> on this trip andy's working on a new cookbook, investigating the eating and drinking culture of the region. which might be why he thought of me and why we're drinking shine for breakfast. where there's food, there's also going to be booze. >> oh. >> and likely a lot of it. >> oh, that's good. >> this is nam prik ong. you make a chili paste with chilies, garlic, shallot, shrimp paste and tomatoes. then you mix it with pork. >> that for you. okay. >> oh, yeah. the nam prik is awesome.
>> isn't it delicious? this rice is grown here in the village. you just kind of make a little spoon-shaped ball with it. >> now, what's the famous greeting? is it have you eaten yet or have you had rice? >> it's both. literally it means have you eaten rice yet. but what it really means is how's it going? >> it is assumed that if you haven't eaten yet, things are not going well. if you've eaten, rice is such a fundamental component. >> eating is synonymous with eating rice. to eat a meal without rice would be unthinkable. >> what makes their whiskey special? >> because of the flavoring that they add to it. >> conveniently, our hosts in addition to having provided us with a fine meal, just so happen to run a distillery out back. >> they use a spice mixture they add to the yeast balls, let it ferment for five days, then she smashes it with a wood mallet. >> thai rice whiskey, lao khao, bucket of hootch, whatever you
want to call it, this is a delightful beverage and tastes better and smoother, apparently, the more you drink. >> here we go. sneaky, sneaky. >> well -- >> and then fried fish. i believe it's called nile tilapia or nile carp. they just salt the hell out of it and then deep-fry it. >> this one like gasoline. fire. >> guy's trying to kill us. >> yeah. >> okay, okay. [ speaking a foreign language ] >> for your uncle, yes. >> 69 years old. >> he looks good. >> he drinks half a bottle a day. >> so it's pretty much the keith richards health and preservation
plan. all right. i'm going to get healthy too. >> the whiskey, i have to say, is taking hold in some clinically fascinating ways. >> funny. [ laughter ] >> i lost the plot. >> oh, that's okay. it all comes back to me as the world shifts and tilts. although i had been looking out a whole lot of hotel windows these days struggling to figure out where i am -- >> okay. >> -- being here, throwing back shots of rice whiskey with these guys, i know i'm back in thailand. ♪ not just thailand, but northern thailand.
once known as kingdom of a million rice fields, it's a fertile, green and gorgeous area, home of the ancient lanna people. welcome to chiang mai province, tucked up near the borders of burma, china, laos, india not too far away. all of them have left their mark on the food. >> here's the local hootch. lao khao. >> and if you're eating here, chances are, you're also drinking. >> compared to the stuff we had this morning, this is substantially more harsh, i would say. and less fragrant. >> the village of mae wang. in this place it's called hin tang. how did you find this place? we're in the middle of nowhere. >> it's a very popular place. >> a restaurant showcasing one of the distinguishing elements of northern thai cuisine, the
heavy use of animal protein. >> you see the local people, they're lining up. here in northern thailand, pig reigns supreme. most of the stuff we're eating here is made out of pig. >> what did you order? >> grilled pig tail. >> that sounds superb. >> yep. then we ordered some sai oua, northern thai herbal pork sausage. >> oh, yeah, i'm on that. >> brain. some pig's brain. >> yeah. i'm not a big brain fan. a custardy sort of texture, coupled with this sort of nutty taste. frankly, i would sooner grab a big handful of nut sack, so to speak. >> it's mixed with a curry paste and some herbs and stuff, thrown into a banana leaf and then grilled. it's like eating scrambled eggs. you'll love it.
then we ordered luu, raw blood soup. >> raw. what do you mean, they don't cook it? >> they do not cook the blood. >> they put it into a hot soup. >> no. this is raw blood. >> really. >> there's two kinds that you can get here. one is the addition of ki ang which means young -- so it's basically the partially digested juice that's made from when a cow eats grass. -- juice. >> oh, geez. >> exactly, yeah. >> oh, no. >> i did not order that. we're not having that. >> okay. we're not having that. >> we're not having that. >> i'm thinking we'll stick to the plain blood soup, thank you very much. >> the way they make it is they take the raw blood and they scrunch it with lemon grass for a long time. >> right. >> because that kind of kills the gamey flavor of the blood, helps with the coagulation and adds flavor. then they actually make chopped
larb. the minced meat salad. looks raw. that goes in. whole bunch of deep fried krunai, or innards. [ speaking foreign language ]. >> here it is. >> you're not kidding. that's like a horror movie. like "csi" soup. i'm eating out of an open wound. actually, that's completely delicious. utterly delicious. >> that makes you look like a vampire. it's quite spicy. you can taste the chili. it doesn't really taste like blood. it just kind of tastes sweet and rich. let's see if we can change your mind about brains. >> delicious. i'm not lying. this is delicious. anyone would completely love this. >> you eat too much of it, you'll go blind. that's what they think.
>> they say that about -- off and i'm still here. >> it has to do with parasites and all kinds of stuff. >> huh? >> can i tell you some stories? >> whoa, back up there. parasites? >> two or three years ago, a whole family in nan province, all seven of them died. >> that's really -- you probably should have told me that during the appetizer course, okay? honestly, best meal i've ever had in thailand. ever. >> i'm super happy to hear that. >> i'd eat that out of chris christie's jockstrap on a hot summer day. this is cnn. directv are now on. so get ready to laugh here and cry here. scream over here and freak out over there! and maybe go back to laughing here. and crying there. try not to laugh here though, it's rude. and maybe don't cry here, people will get the wrong idea. introducing the all in one plan. only from directv and at&t. advisor and team who understand where you come from. we didn't really have anything, you know.
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serene beauty of the rice paddy, village life. maybe next episode. this time it's all about consuming medically inadvisable amounts of food and drink. if thailand is one of the best countries to eat in -- >> cheers. >> -- then chiang mai is a particularly good city to find yourself hungry. >> that's the frog. >> that's the frog. it's basically taking that frog, grill him first, hack it up, fry the living bollocks out of it with garlic. >> mm. there's almost an inverse relationship, like the more hideous looking the dish, the more delicious it is. >> as you probably noticed by now, the food here is not pad thai or green curry chicken. there are complex layers of flavor, sophisticated balances, spicy, sour, a little bitter,
salty, herby. color and texture are important. crispy, soft, cold, hot. it's exactly this interplay between elements that makes northern thai food so thrilling and so addictive. >> this place is called la gouchung cha. larb is the dish they're known for which is the minced meat salad. >> what's that furry material? >> that's one of the many stomachs of the cow. might be the third stomach. mm. mine's bitter. means it has a little bit of the bile. the gentleman over there, uncle, he's the larb master. they win larb competitions. >> really? >> yeah. they're killing it. they're supporting the whole damn family. the woman that just took the order, her family, her husband
who's the guy who's the cashier, the uncle, when it gets really busy, the rest of the family comes and helps. >> you famously said you hate the word authentic. what does that word mean? >> depends on the context. if you're in the united states and you say traditional authentic thai restaurant, to me that has come to mean a standard thai restaurant in america. that menu. when you come here, authentic is if you're the daughter of the woman who made this, then to you this is the most authentic version of that dish. if you're from nan province, you still make larb but it doesn't taste like this. a little bit different. >> this larb is amazing. >> friday night and chiang mai comes alive.
>> thailand, we will come. we love you! >> andy has promised a compressed eating and drinking grand tour of the city. a bounce by tuk-tuk from one place to the other until we simply can't take it no more. next stop, it ain't flavor town. it's some place beyond that, man. way beyond. >> welcome to thailand and happy stay here in chiang mai. >> on your mark, get set, go. >> cheers. >> this may surprise you, but i am not an alcoholic. i don't drink at home ever. there's no beer in my fridge. if i'm not working, i'm not hanging out in bars. but if i was an alcoholic and i did hang in bars, i'd hang here. >> some karaoke, maybe? >> even though the very mention of karaoke makes my blood run cold with fear. [ singing in foreign language ]
[ applause ] >> you had the french fries? >> yes, i did. >> apparently it's an indigenous specialty. >> in thailand fren fry is one of the most popular menu items. they always have food to eat when you drink. >> what is the whiskey we're drinking, by the way? i really haven't paid attention. >> the whiskey we're drinking here is actually rum. ♪ [ speaking foreign language ]. [ singing in foreign language ]
>> this guy's good. >> it's one of the great things about a place like this. you'll never have to fill your own glass. >> that could be me someday, i'm thinking. things go just a little wrong, i go off the rails, this would be all too attractive. i could well see myself singing happy birthday in german to tourists at a hotel bar in jakarta or bangkok. >> enjoy my fren fry. this is a fantastic discovery. this is going to stick in my head now, this song. ♪ ♪
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♪ chiang mai at night. and we are well on our way. to where, to what, i don't know, i don't much care. [ speaking foreign language ]. but i do know it's time to eat. in thailand it's almost always time to eat. yes, and drink. we shall be doing that, too. >> the inevitable ice and beer. way to drink beer in southeast asia. >> beer, you say? oh, all right. in the interest of research, of course. >> you got beer, you got booze, you got ice, you got some grilled meat. >> snackage? yes, i would like snacks. >> they've got pork chin and intestines.
got a spicy dipping sauce. ah, this is a chinese liquor. >> all right. >> tastes like boner medicine. >> yes. it also tastes like a dirty sack. >> when did you come to thailand first? >> i believe it was 1987. and i came as a backpacker. it was all about smoking dope on the beach, eating mushrooms, chasing girls and drinking beer. i had a three-month ticket and ended up staying away for four years. here we go. >> oh, man. so what was the dish? a dish in every traveler's life where they just said okay, my
previous life is not going to be enough for me anymore, you know? >> there's a particular mushroom. they make soup out of it. it was unlike anything i had ever had in my life. >> when i first came out to this part of the world, noodles. i mean, i knew right then. i mean, i'm not joking. it wasn't the girls, it wasn't the beaches. the noodles, the greasy bottle of fish sauce and the smell. there's this terrible moment where you realize i can't share this. that's it. >> in about five seconds we will go past a woman who has a cowboy hat on. [ speaking foreign language ]. >> the lady with the hat stands out among the dozens of street vendors across from the old city's north gate. >> the best khao kha mu stewed
pork leg in the city. potentially none finer in thailand. >> are we doing that? >> for years she's been serving this -- khao kha mu. slowly stewed pork. >> she cooks it in a master sauce. you though the chinese master sauce where you cook it in the same thing. it probably goes back at least a generation. >> like sherry. there's a little bit of the original batch still in there? >> exactly. >> hacking red meat all day and there's like not a drop on the frilly -- >> this is a sauce that goes with it. kind of like a sour chili sauce. and then you've got to have some of these pickled mustard greens, too, pak dong. >> that's really tasty. >> this place is famous as hell. half the people here are tourists, probably chinese tourists. [ speaking foreign language ]. >> let's do it.
>> you want to stick your feet in some fish water? >> uh, no. >> no. >> let's go, guys. i need to stop at a sports bar. i need to have some chicken wings. i need to have some like fried mozzarella sticks. i need to go to a gun range. more beer, more food. >> if you go on the sidewalk it will take us like ten minutes to get 50 feet. kind of stay to your right and don't get killed. >> what was i saying? oh, yes. beer loves crispy. beer loves salty. beer loves fatty. spicy. salty. fried. together? happiness. >> oh, okay. no beer. >> okay. what are they drinking? >> they're drinking water.
>> clear kidney-cleaning water. so good. and so important to a healthy lifestyle. i'd imagine. midnight. nam prik moon. that's what you do after you've had a few drinks, maybe a lot of drinks, because what you need, maybe you didn't know you needed it but you do, is nam prik. thai chili dip. >> yeah. nam prik is what the vast majority of thai people who live in america who come to thailand to visit and come back end up getting busted at the airport for trying to bring in. >> we get two kinds. nam prik tua daeng. >> a combination of chilies, garlic, shrimp paste, dried fish. >> and this. >> colloquially known as midnight nam prik num. >> made from roasted green chilies. accompanied by god's preferred delivery systems for beer-friendly goodness. >> yeah. >> yeah on that. a whole bunch of deep-fried little salty meaty delicious things.
yes, please. ♪ >> and kai toon. >> yes. >> something i've loved from the first mouthful i've ever had right here in chiang mai all those years ago, thai pork sausage. >> mm. crispy, meaty, salty. >> i love it. i want to rub it all over my body. this sausage is so amazing. somehow the thing you need right now. this is totally the thing i need right now. oh, that's so good.
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okay, come to me, my love, right now. you big nasty unfamiliar semi-cooked egg. oh, that's so good. i once wrote your body isn't a temple, it's an amusement park. enjoy the ride. but that was before i had a daughter and a respectable job at cnn. so when that little voice in my head said call it a night, quit while you're ahead, i probably should have listened. wait, where did we leave off? ah, yes, now i remember. bouncing to one bar after another. >> we're going that way.
>> which way? >> that way. >> okay. good. >> andy and i have clearly tuk-tuk'ed our way well beyond the threshold of acceptable conduct. but do we call it a night, quit while we're ahead? no. >> we're going to head over to see a time-honored tradition. >> ladies and gentlemen -- >> the lady boy cabaret. >> yeah, let's do that. >> all right. here it is. ♪ >> lady boys, as they're known in thailand, have led to many an embarrassing moment for the amorous cowboy too buzzed to notice or care much about the details.
>> my first experience with this kind of an atmosphere in thailand happened in 1987. i met this girl and i was like stoked because it was like oh, she's into me and like at some point she sat on my lap and she's like oh, well, i have to go now, i have to go do something. she gave me a kiss. i was like i'm in. >> right. >> and the show started. ♪ >> you have to forgive a guy for making a mistake. >> totally. >> many of the lady boys frankly are pretty spectacular-looking, especially the ones who have breasts. >> you know, the women are harshing the buzz. it should be a guy thing.
>> absolutely. >> they should have a sports bar -- that's a brilliant idea. >> you should bring that to new york. >> if we had a lady boy show in a sports bar. you can watch football, drink a lot of beer, and around beer number 8 bring out the lady boys. ♪ >> just my luck. at a show like this, what happens? i end up kissing the one lady boy in thailand who looks like ernest borgnine straight on the lips. of course, i am completely oblivious to the day-glo white lipstick all over my face. out of context photos of me here tonight end up on the internet. this could look bad.
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snacks? >> snacks. let's go eat. >> this train has long ago come off the rails. one bar after another. it's time andy and i head to an appropriate follow-up to a night like we've had. more food, quickly. this has become an emergency situation. there it is. drunken noodles. >> pad kee mao is actually not a noodle dish. something served with rice. >> how can you have drunken noodles with no noodles? >> this is what we need, whatever it is. >> it's something devised for drunken people to eat. >> that's us. something to sop up the roiling tide of lao khao sloshing around in my stomach. and i need to sober up in case ernest borgnine calls. she said she'd call. i feel so used. >> in the north they love to eat pork here.
look at all the damn chilies. there's a lot of chilies here. we got these fresh red ones. we've got these green ones that are sliced and stir-fried in there. and we've got small green peppers. [ speaking foreign language ]. >> whoa! that's hot. whew! >> i breathed in, got hit with the chili. >> yeah. >> down the side of the throat. >> you know when you have been really hit by super hot and you feel like having a brain hemorrhage? it's like an ice cream headache but like a pepper headache. >> yeah. and your vision starts to tunnel out. >> you're halfway through and you're aware that your hair has just burst into flames. that perfect balance of pain and pleasure and more pain, brain flooding with endorphins and all is well with the world. until tomorrow morning.
i have spiraled into some identity crisis. inadvertently making out with ernest borgnine, i would like to say. it was very traumatic. i need to go to a strip club and watch a football game, mow the lawn and barbecue all at the same time. i'll help somebody mow the lawn. i don't mean that in a figurative way. i can't talk. it hurts to talk. you know, every region has sort of an iconic dish. you're talking northern thailand, chiang mai, this is it. hearty broth of curry, coconut, noodles and spices. i'm all over that. oh, yeah. mm. needs some more onions. the boys at the bar tonight are going to be in for a surprise if they move in for a smooch. damn, that's good. i am a big believer in a healthy nutritious breakfast. it's the most important meal of
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stagger across the finish line. ♪ >> meow. >> andy's favorite spot in chiang mai, a family-run restaurant named auntie deng's hammered meat. and the jokes pretty much write themselves, folks. >> no, every year, every year. >> andy's been coming here forever since it was only auntie deng's lightly slapped meat. he's practically family. [ speaking foreign language ]. [ speaking foreign language ]. >> hammered meat, here anyways,
beef or pork that's been charcoal grilled, then pulverized into ropy threads to give it a distinctive texture, then served with spicy chili and galangal dip. [ speaking foreign language ]. >> oh, so i guess that i have been accepted by the family, and i will be living in the house here next door, and my job is going to be to smash beef with the hammer every night, probably for the rest of my life. >> this woman has expectations, dude. >> i'm in deep, deep trouble. it's pretty obvious. >> what if they pounded it before they cooked it? >> it wouldn't look like that if if they pound td before they cooked it. >> right. >> right. >> classic. that's good.
chewy. hmm. still chewy. still chewing. delicious. >> and because andy is a vip and future potential son-in-law, dad is sporting his 40 amulets of protection, brings out the chef's special, a bitter soup with buffalo tendon spiked with bile. >> that doesn't sound good, but it is addictive right away. >> deep and dark. you getting some of that heat? yeah. >> you know, we talked about once you experience some of the sensory pleasures of the east, your previous life just isn't adequate anymore. ♪
>> when the journey is coming to an end, when the movie's over, what's left to do? oh, yes, wrap things up. i think we've learned something here in chiang mai. i can't summon exactly what that might be right now. >> i was thinking of this whole mohammed said don't tell me what a man knows or what he says, tell me where he's traveled. you learn stuff. >> maybe it's to remember to bring something to remove makeup before hitting the cabarets. >> like the first time i spent a long period of time in thailand, that sort of brightness, the spiciness, the simple elements making kind of this bright explosion of flavors, i got back home, i immediately like wished i could be back in thailand. >> or maybe just say screw it and have a good time. >> it's quite beautiful. thank you so much. [ speaking foreign language ].