Unique GARLIC FRIED FISH + The Sweetest Melons In The World – Uzbekistan Food Tour!
– Good morning, I hope
you’re having an amazing day. It’s Mark Wiens, I’m in
Tashkent and this is day three of our ultimate food
tour across Uzbekistan. Today we are driving from
Tashkent to Samarkand. Samarkand is one of the most historical, oldest inhabited cities in Central Asia. It was an important
stop along the Silk Road and so we’re gonna drive there today. We’re gonna stop to eat some
amazing food along the way and we’re on our way now, we’re leaving. (upbeat guitar music) Let’s go, let’s go, go, go. (baby babbles) Let’s go, Micah. Let’s go, Micah, come on. (speaks foreign language)
– [Woman] Yeah. – [Mark] Good morning, how are you? – How are you, Mark, nice.
– Good, how are you? Good morning, hello.
– Hello, how are you? – We’ve got about an hour
drive to the first stop, the first food stop,
we’re gonna eat some fish. Okay, that was about an hour drive. We’ve arrived to, oh, we’re still along the side of the highway, but there are some, I guess
these are fish restaurants. Just, yeah, really cool looking spots. They’re pretty good-sized
fish, river fish. I think they’re carp, a type of carp. I can’t wait to eat fish,
Uzbek fish, for the first time. (speaking in foreign language) (speaking in foreign language) (knife chopping) She took the fish, she just
machete chopped it into chunks and now I think they’re gonna fry it. (fire crackling) (laughs) Yes. (speaking in foreign language) (oil sizzling) They really bumped up the fire, stoked it with wood and
then heated up the oil and then she tossed in
the fish into that oil. It’s sizzling away, oh, that smells great. (speaking in foreign language) That’s this restaurant? – Yeah, it’s this place.
– Chinoz Ri-ber-ja-ka, okay. – Chinoz Ri-ber-ja-ka. – So this place is called
Chinoz Ri-ber-ja-ka. – Ri-ber-ja-ka. – Ri-ber-ja-ka.
– Yes. (oil sizzling) – [Mark] Whoa, what. (speaking in foreign language)
(upbeat music) (speaking in foreign language) That was incredible, okay,
the fish right out the oil, sizzling still, like, on fire. She put it onto a plate,
just drained that oil, and then she has this garlic lemon mixture that she just sprinkled, she
anointed on top of the fish, and you could just hear the fish hissing, you could smell the garlic. Then she drained off the water, so then it just coated on the garlic. And then she sprinkled on, I
think it’s dill and cilantro. The fish is just blooming,
it’s really blooming. You can really smell the aroma of the dill because the dill has, well, garlic also, but the dill has just seared kinda because of the hot fish. She put it right onto the hot fish. And it’s just a mountain of fish. There’s salad, there’s tomato sauce. We are all sitting down. We have a small group here, all of us that are going to Samarkand. Hannah. – Hello. (giggles) (speaking in foreign language)
(dish clatters) – [Woman] Oh! – Oh, it is juicy, look at that. Oh, wow. So far since being in Uzbekistan, we’ve eaten a lot of
lamb and a lot of meat, but this is the first time to eat fish. Oh. Oh, wow. Oh, that’s incredible. It’s so, it’s juicy. It’s, like, and very soft, but then you’ve got that crunchy skin, you’ve got the essence of the garlic which she just sprinkled all over it. And what you can also do is
dip it into the tomato sauce. This is like a light, just
almost like a tomato soup. I’ll just dip the whole thing in there, and I think it is tastier to
just grab it with your fingers and just bite it, bite into it. (slurps) Mm, mm, mm, the tomato
sauce is just like a, it’s very light, it tastes
like a tomato puree, but that’s been kinda watered down. It’s just refreshing, slightly tart. I’m gonna go ahead and just pour on some of this tomato sauce a little bit. (lively guitar music) (slurps) That move where she sprinkled
on the garlic water, that is a move. So you just taste the
essence of the garlic, but it’s not that, it’s
not a pungent garlic, but it’s just mellowy there. And you can also pick up the tomato sauce and just drink it. Oh, yeah, I got a whole
strand of dill in that. It has that kind of
Clamato or V8 taste to it, like a vegetable juice. One more piece of fish here and you can just see
how the dill and garlic is just caked on. You do have to be kind of
careful of the bones though. Their recipe with the garlic is superb. (speaking in foreign language) Very good, very good. It was amazing.
(speaking in foreign language) It was amazing, thank you.
(women laughing) (speaking in foreign language) And the aunties, they’re so friendly. They really took care of
us, they’re so friendly. People from all over Uzbekistan, they stop here for the fish, right? And it is well worth it. (laughing)
Say that again? – Let’s go, Mark.
– Next station? – Next station, king-sized samosa. – Yeah.
– Okay, you ready? (upbeat music) – Another stop along
the side of the highway, and as I was noticing as
we were driving along, you can see just cartfuls of melons, and Uzbekistan is known for their melons. They produce a lot of melons, a variety of different melons. I just stepped out of the van and as soon as you got out
of the van, I can just, this aroma of sweet
honeydew, melony goodness, it’s overwhelmed my nose right now. We’re about to eat some melon. Wow. (speaking in foreign language) Oh, wow. Ying. – It’s very good, yeah. – This one is, like… – Like a honey? – Yeah, it’s like honeydew. It’s really crisp, but
then unbelievably juicy. (melon crunching) There’s just honey dripping
down my cheeks, mm. It’s so good, it’s really, really good. Just check out this car
just loaded to the max. Melons in the trunk. Man, if you stick your head in the car, just the melon, it’s
pure melon in the car. That’s beautiful, it’s
so loaded with melons. I love these old cars. Oh, and they said they’re
loading some melons over here that we should check out, or unloading. (speaking in foreign language) (speaking in foreign language) (men chattering in foreign language) Oh, this one? (speaking
in foreign language) It looks similar, but
I think it’s different. (slurps) Mm, mm, oh, unbelievable again. This one is more, it’s not
as crisp as the other one, but just as juicy. – This one is better? – They’re both incredibly good. – Oh, which one you want to buy, Ying? Which one do you want? This one or the–
– What’s the yellow one? (speaking in foreign language) Mm. Oh, man. Oh, that one–
– Mark. – Yo. – Test it. – What’s that?
– It’s a dry melon. – Dried melon?
– Yes. – Wow, okay.
– So beautiful. – Thank you. (chuckles) Dried melon. Mm, oh, that tastes
like caramelized melon. Oh, wow, like melon jerky,
sun-dried, caramelization to it. (upbeat music) This yellow one is crazy. (slurps) Mm, it’s unbelievable, it’s more like, more like cantaloupe in taste with kind of, I mean,
that refreshing juiciness, but so silky, so… Juice is just dripping from my mouth. – [Man] This gentleman’s
asking, is it a best melon you tried in your life? – It is the best, yes, the
best melon I’ve had in my life. (speaking in foreign language). Mm, mm. (truck rumbling) Another melon shipment
right from the field. And if you can see back here, those are melon fields right back there, so we’re right at the source. And from what Baktruzo’s telling me, these are the sweetest
melons in the world. Uzbekistan, right here, and there’s no reason
to doubt him whatsoever. They will blow your taste
buds with sweetness. Oh, Micah loves to eat watermelon. (slurps) Mm, mm, oh, mm. Oh, the juiciness, it’s
just ridiculously juicy. (slurps) Mm. (upbeat music) Micah, oh, yeah. (laughs) – Any good?
– It’s the best watermelon I’ve ever had. – Mm. – Yeah?
– Mm. – Amazing. That was, by far, the most
rewarding melon experience I’ve ever had in my life. Man, those melons are great. If you’re ever traveling
from Tashkent to Samarkand, stop by and eat some melons. They just fill your mouth with
juice and joy, joyfulness. And they also say that
the melons are so sweet because of the drastic change
of temperature in one day, so in the night, it gets really cold, but then in the daytime, it’s
still pretty hot and sunny, and so that drastic change of temperature is what makes the melon so sweet. (upbeat music) King-sized somsa? – [Ravshan] King-sized samosa. – I’ve just been dozing off
the whole day in between meals, but we’ve arrived to the next spot. (speaking in foreign language) Especially for us, the uncle
is gonna make some fresh ones, so he’s kneading the batter again. He’s using all his muscle
power to knead that dough, and then they’re gonna fill it up for us and make some fresh ones. (upbeat music) (speaking in foreign language) When he said king-sized somsa,
he was not joking around. So a whole handful of the meat and onions, he said it’s an entire half
a kilo into the dumpling, wraps it up, gives it a little
pat-down, smashes it down. That is a half a kilo somsa dumpling, and then it goes into the oven. It bakes and that’s
what we’re about to eat. (tool scraping) (upbeat music) It’s half a kilo of meat on the inside, and I think there is definitely
a technique to eating this. So you kind of break it
open from the bottom side. Oh, yeah, oh, the meat and
juices are just sprouting. Okay, and you add in some oil. It’s a special type. Do you know what type of oil it is? Is that the flaxseed oil? You need that fragrant oil. It’s just blooming with
onions and it’s so juicy too. – One, two, three.
– Alright. (slurps) Oh, it’s so juicy, it’s
so oniony, thank you. You can taste how the onions
just dissolve in your mouth. Then you’ve got the meat, the fat, mm, the bready wrapper, the
cumin in there, wow. It’s just oozing with oily juices, and then you can pour in some
of the tomato soup again, tomato sauce, oh, yeah. (slurps) I love the whole cumin seeds in there because every now and then, you crunch on a cumin
seed and it just, like, that spice just hits you, it’s so good. So many onions in there. That’s what really makes
it for me, is the onions. (upbeat music) This has to be the juiciest
bun I’ve ever had in my life and all that oil, and all of
the cumulation of the lamb fat, and the onion juice, and that
oil that we added into it. It’s just a sloppy, dough-saturated, just juiciness of meat and onions. (slurps) You have to kinda inhale as you eat this. Oh, hi, Micah. You want another bite? (baby babbles)
C’mon, Micah, have another bite. Yeah. Is this the next stop? – [Man] The next stop? (speaking in foreign language) – [Mark] Oh, okay, cool. Tea and apples? Yeah, sure. Oh, kurut. – You remember? – Yes. We are gonna make it to Samarkand today, but we had many stops,
so we’re just stopping. Then she sells apples, kurut, which is the dried
yogurt, and fresh honey. (apple crunching) The kurut balls, the dried yogurt, and this one is with chili in it. (man coughing) You okay, man? – Yeah, yeah, I’m good. – Salty, you can taste
the chili undertone, and it’s kinda animaly. (upbeat techno music) Apple was good. And that salty cheese
actually went really, really well together with the apple. We are on our way now to Samarkand. We’re almost there. Welcome to Samarkand, we finally made it. It took, we started at 9:00 this morning, we got here, it’s about 5:00 p.m. now, but we definitely did not drive. Well, we did drive direct, we just stopped at many
places along the way, and it was well worth it. We’re gonna quickly just
check into our hotel, then I know we have dinner planned, but we’re not gonna do
any sightseeing today. Tomorrow is gonna be the
full day of Samarkand. Hold on, let’s just
take a seat in this big purple king-sized chair, oh. Quite the plush hotel. (baby babbles) Whoa, Micah. – [Ying] Whoa, Micah. – Look at that La-Z-Boy. (chuckles) (Ying laughs) Micah, let’s do a quick bed test. – Micah, go.
– Oh, nice. – [Ying] Micah, go. – Come on, Micah. – Micah, go. Go.
(Mark yells) (laughs) Why, you’re not supposed to be there. – Ah, the giant seat is
actually quite comfortable. And it sort of wobbles. (upbeat techno music) Mm, oh, that peach is really good. In about an hour from now,
we’re going to dinner. But for the time being, I’m
sitting back in the La-Z-Boy. (loud pop music) We’re gonna have kebabs here
and this a huge restaurant. Walk into the entranceway and it feels like you’re
walking into a palace. Wow, this restaurant is buzzing tonight. I guess it is a Saturday
night, but inside, the dance floor, there’s a dance floor, there’s loud, pumping
music, the flashing lights, but we got a table on the
outside in the courtyard area. It’s a little quieter. (speaking in foreign language) (speaking in foreign language) (speaking in foreign language) – So the standard of this bread is one (speaking in
foreign language) grams. – [Mark] One kilo? – Yeah, one and 300. – It looks kinda like a giant bagel, and it is dense and heavy. – [Man] Is it all the green stuff? – Always delicious. – Eat some mastava. – [Mark] Oh, thank you. – Rice soup. – [Mark] That’s rice soup. – [Ravshan] Yes. – Next course is the soup and
there’s some cream in there. You stir that cream in,
there’s rice in here, there’s chickpeas, there’s bits of meat, and a little bit of vegetable, I think. Mm, mm, I think I can
taste the dough in there and the cilantro, and then it has that
richness from the cream. (singing in foreign language) It’s not even a plate. It’s a platter, it’s like
a chopping board of meat. There’s kebabs, there’s
chicken, there’s, I think, lamb chops, there’s
vegetables mixed within. – [Man] Oh, let’s make it
more beautiful so put it here. (diners laughing) – I think I’m gonna try
some of that kebab first. Oh, man, that’s just a plump, a plump, oh, you can see the juices coming out. That is such a plump kebab. Oh, yeah. It’s so spongy and just,
when you bite down, you feel the onions and
then you feel the juicy fat just squeezing out of it. Oh, oh, eggplant is great. So creamy and feels like
it’s dusted in chili powder. Okay, try this chicken. Mm, mm, oh, juicy chicken. Oh, oh, it just slid out of the fork. And then what do you do with the sauce? You just pour it on? – Yeah, pour on kebab.
– Everywhere? – No, only on kebab.
– Oh, only kebab, here? – Yes.
– I’ll come back for another bite of the kebab
with this sauce on next. Oh, it’s like the tomato sauce. And also some of the onions. (upbeat techno music) Another piece of the
kebab now with the onions and the tomato sauce, thank you. Oh, mm, mm. It’s like a light tomato sauce that does complement the meat well. It’s a cultural Uzbek restaurant. People are, hello, how are you? – How are you?
– What’s your name? – My name is Jasur. – Jasur, nice to meet you. Are you from Samarkand? – Yeah. – [Mark] Okay, good,
good, did you have dinner? What did you eat? (speaking in foreign language) (speaking in foreign language)
– This Jasur, this Jasur. – It’s such an energetic atmosphere. People are dancing, having
just incredible feasts with big, huge groups
of families and friends. So we’re just gonna head
back to hotel from here and then tomorrow, coming
up on the next video, we’re gonna go on a full food and historical tour of Samarkand. It’s gonna be a fascinating
day, so stay tuned. So thank you very much
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good night from Samarkand. See you on the next video.