As they travel, the Bikers are immersed in the lives of the colourful characters they meet in Asia’s diverse cultures. With incredible access to hidden worlds – from a sumo wrestling stable in Japan to a hill tribe in remote Northern Thailand – the Bikers will uncover the food secrets of these countries and get under the skin of the local way of life. They’ll live, cook, eat and party with the locals – from Tuk Tuk drivers in Bangkok to monks in Kyoto.
Throughout the series, the Hairy Bikers will taste their way through the incredible flavours and ingredients each place has to offer – finding authentic versions of the dishes we know and love back home, as well as discovering exciting new dishes we don’t – yet!
They’ll be demonstrating mouth-watering, local recipes in their own, inimitable style – dishes we’ll want to cook at home. And they’ll bike through some of the most spectacular scenery and cityscapes that Asia has to offer, from the world-famous biking roads in the jungles of North Thailand, to Hong Kong’s jaw-dropping skyline.
Episode 1: Hong Kong
In this fast-paced megacity where East meets West – and where our love affair with Asian food began - The Hairy Bikers go in search of the authentic roots of our favourite Chinese takeaway dishes. They discover the secrets of “wok chi” when they’re thrown in at the deep end stir-frying on one of the city’s street food stalls. They find out how to cook in a tiny Hong Kong kitchen when they help a Chinese grandmother prepare a family meal. Breakfast reveals a surprising legacy of British rule – eggy bread and Spam. And the bikers are sent on their way with a traditional Bai Sun good luck ceremony, by the Mad Dogs Motorbike Club.
Episode 2: Thailand (Bangkok and the Central Plains)
They say it’s impossible to eat badly in Thailand and in this episode the Hairy Bikers discover why. They’re in Bangkok and Thailand’s central plains, where much of the Thai cuisine we know and love in the UK comes from. Si and Dave find out why Bangkok is the street food capital of the world, they discover the secrets of an authentic Green Curry under the terrifying tutelage of Auntie Daeng and they help serve up some school dinners, Thai style. Then, heading out of Bangkok, they find out how rice is grown, joining some paddy field workers to help with the planting.
Episode 3: Thailand (beaches & mountains)
The Hairy Bikers travel to the palm-lined beaches of the south and the jungle-clad mountains of the north to discover how Thailand’s multi-cultural history and its place at the heart of the spice trade has created a rich and varied cuisine, with influences from all over the world. They meet a coconut-picking monkey, enjoy a delicious Ramadan dinner and head out to sea during the monsoon for what turns out to be a rather nerve-wracking fishing expedition. They swap two wheels for four legs when they take an elephant trek, they try the Thai version of Pork Scratchings and cook their own Jungle Curry for a remote hill tribe.
Episode 4: Japan (Tokyo)
Japanese is the Hairy Bikers’ all time favourite food and now they’re fulfilling a lifetime’s ambition to visit this incredible country. Si finds himself a bit lost in translation at a Manga café when he has to wear kitty ears, they discover the ultimate sushi at Tokyo’s famous fish market, join a Miso-making class, enjoy a night out with some of Tokyo’s hard-working salarymen and have the rare privilege of spending time in a Sumo stable, where they take part in a wrestling bout.
Episode 5: Japan (South to Kyoto)
The bikers head off into the heart of traditional Japan to find out the historic roots of Japanese cuisine. Dave puts his Strictly fancy footwork into action kneading noodle dough the traditional way, they take an awe-inspiring bike ride to see Mount Fuji, spend a night in a temple with Buddhist monks, are entertained by a Geiko, complete with traditional drinking games, and separate fact from fiction when it comes to the most expensive beef in the world, Wagu.
Episode 6: South Korea
Airs Monday 11 July 2016 at 3.00pm on SBS
Korean food is set to be the next big thing in the UK so the bikers want to find out what’s coming our way. On a night out with some young Seoulites they discover a cuisine that doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to flavour, including Korean BBQ and fried chicken. Si discovers he has a natural gift for the Koreans’ national sport, archery; while Dave brushes up on his Gangnam style dancing. They meet a robotic kitchen assistant and on a trip to the Korean seaside, the bikers take part in a rather unique squid festival.