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645 Steamed Rice Served With Japanese Grenadier Anchovies

 Yuan Zhou had barely inserted the sharp knife into the fish flesh when Tengyuan knitted his brows and brought out the words in surprise.

Tengyuan's voice wasn't low, thus it attracted many people to surround and watch immediately.

It was originally quite striking that Tengyuan came to Yuan Zhou's place to eat the dish. Now, it became more striking.

"This little brat does big things every time he shows up," Zhou Shijie scolded smilingly.

"Chairman Zhou seems to be very confident in him succeeding?" Chairman Masheng was also quite familiar with the knife skills, thus, he asked with puzzlement.

"Let's watch and see if he can." Zhou Shijie didn't say much.

"Tsk-tsk. If this Chef Yuan really succeeds, he would definitely be the only one. The fish is so small, how could one possibly remove the whole fish bones?" A plump chef behind put out his head and looked forward.

"There should be no problem." Li Li was a little uncertain about that.

"I think he's just putting on a show. I just hope he won't screw it up." Nevertheless, some other chefs weren't optimistic about Yuan Zhou.

"Me, too. There are so much fish bones in the anchovy and it's both long and soft. Anyway, I can't figure out how to remove the fish bones without damaging the fish body." A chef not far from Yuan Zhou knitted his brows and revealed a puzzled look.

"You seem to have improved," Chu Xiao turned his head and took a look at him at the side before saying that affirmatively.

No wonder others chefs had no confidence in Yuan Zhou. It was because they were the cream of the crop in cooking, thus they knew how difficult it was to remove all the fish bones from a fish body about 150g heavy.

It was because they understood, that was why they didn't think he could succeed.

Among these people, only Chu Xiao and Zhou Shijie had full confidence that Yuan Zhou could succeed. Of course, they each had a different reason for that confidence.

For Zhou Shijie, he had absolute confidence in Yuan Zhou while for Chu Xiao, he just had confidence in himself. Chu Xiao believed that he and Yuan Zhou were birds of a feather, which could be summarized as one that would never admit anything but was determined to save face. Since Yuan Zhou dared to cook in public, he was 100% sure that he could win.

The meeting place became quieter and quieter gradually. All chefs shut their mouth and stopped cooking while Yuan Zhou was removing the fish bones. They would rather watch him first before things continued. The atmosphere was quiet and full of solemnity.

The reporters were also waiting for the results excitedly at the side.

Yuan Zhou just turned a deaf ear to all that. He took the sharp knife firmly and gently turned his wrist over. Then, the knife slid from the front to the back, like a butterfly passing through the flowers or a carp swimming in the water. He could faintly hear a light sound of "Chi La".

His actions were steady, neat, and swift.

"That's completely impossible." Though Dashi Xiujie said verbally that was impossible, he nevertheless stared at Yuan Zhou's hands without moving his eyes away from them for even a second.

It wasn't "impossible", but was "absolutely impossible". Tengyuan thought so in the mind. For fear of hurting the feelings of the other party, however, he didn't shout or yell as Dashi Xiujie did. After all, he was someone at the level of Jiayuan.

In the full glare of publicity, Yuan Zhou made the impossible possible.

The skeptical gazes seemed to have motivated Yuan Zhou to become even more steady.

"Bo"

There came a crisp and melodious sound. Though it wasn't loud, it sounded quite clear. Yuan Zhou gently pressed the fish body with the back of the knife blade with strength.

He clamped the fish head firmly with two fingers and pulled it outwards gently. Then, a whole fish bone along with the fish head appeared in front of the audiences.

The actions were like the floating clouds and flowing water without any sense of unfamiliarity.

No. More precisely, even the floating clouds and flowing water couldn't describe the actions. Though Yuan Zhou could do that with ease, all the actions had a strong sense of rhythm in the eyes of the chefs surrounding to watch and reporters.

"He really drew it out. How did he do it?" Tengyuan stared at the intact fish body first and then at the chopping board where a whole fish bone was placed.

He tried very hard to suppress his astonishment. One had to say that Yuan Zhou had truly astonished this Jiayuan.

"Even the anchovy could be deboned, let alone an eel. He doesn't even need to cut it open to debone the fish. What have I learned it for so long for?" Dashi Xiujie appeared a little absentminded.

One should know, it would take as long as 8 years to learn just to cut the eel open. And Dashi Xiujie also learned it this way.

This guy was slightly skeptical about his life now. He stared in front with his eyes almost touching the chopping board.

For the fish bones on the chopping board, even the ribs were distinct from each other. They were very clean and had no fish flesh left over at all.

It was the perfection and cleanliness that made everyone on site feel astonished or even disbelief, regardless of whether they understood it well or not.

However, they hadn't recovered from the astonishment when Yuan Zhou took up the other fish and started to draw out the fish bones lightly.

His attitude was so relaxed, just as if he had done something insignificant.

Only after the two intact fish bones were taken out did Yuan Zhou begin to wash the rice, the other main ingredient for this dish.

The organizer of the exchange meeting provided them with Wuchang Rice. Of course, it wasn't from the 1300-sqm field right in the middle, but from the neighboring field. However, that could also be called Wuchang Rice.

Even so, the taste of the rice was pretty good. The rice grains were spotlessly white, translucent and plump, which looked hard to resist.

"Wash the rice twice." While washing the rice, Yuan Zhou checked carefully if there were impurities inside.

The water used for washing rice the second time wasn't dumped immediately. Instead, Yuan Zhou retained it.

"What's he doing now? Is he preparing to cook rice?" Dashi Xiujie turned his head and looked at Tengyuan with puzzlement.

"It's supposed to be Steamed Rice Served With Japanese Grenadier Anchovies. As the story goes, the fisherman usually steamed the rice with the anchovies after they caught any in the past." Tengyuan deserved to be called professor. He taught Chinese food culture and thus knew a lot about that.

"Have you ever eaten that?" Dashi Xiujie asked meticulously.

"No. There was no way to remove the fish bones completely," said Tengyuan concisely.

"I've never expected that he possesses such superior craftsmanship." Dashi Xiujie was quite resentful inwardly. After all, the exquisite craftsmanship of removing the intact fish bones out was envied by him.

Of course, Dashi Xiujie was still reluctant to admit defeat. Even if Yuan Zhou had shown off his exquisite craftsmanship just now, the quality of the dish essentially depended on the taste.

"Cooking doesn't require only knife skills," said Tengyuan inwardly. He wasn't as innocent as Dashi Xiujie. Now that his knife skills were so faultless, he definitely had wonderful culinary skills.

Such logical relations could be easily connected. Dashi Xiujie was merely infuriated by Yuan Zhou last time and hence wanted to return the favor today, but he never expected Yuan Zhou to have such faultless knife skills. Therefore, he lost his head.

However, Tengyuan didn't believe that Yuan Zhou was also faultless in taste. He had no way to criticize him if Yuan Zhou cooked a dish that only required knife skills, but the steamed rice also required excellent heat control and water quality. The knife skills were just an accessory.

"As a young and talented Chinese chef, you are to blame. You are too conceited and don't know how to capitalize on your advantages." Tengyuan watched Yuan Zhou show off his wonderful culinary skills gloomily.

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