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780 Congee

 "Ok. Thank you in advance, Little Yuan," Xiao Xing said after he put down the instant noodles he was holding.

"You're welcome," Yuan Zhou nodded and started cooking congee.

It was worth mentioning that Xiao Xing was doing quite well financially. The rice he had at home was a famous brand of aromatic rice in Thailand. The rice grains were slender and spotlessly white and when one took a whiff of the rice grains, one would be able to smell a slightly sweet scent.

"Our rice grains are good, right? Many Chinese tourists would buy several dozen catties whenever they come to Thailand," Xiao Xing said with pride on his face.

"Um, not bad. But we have better rice grains in our country as well. You can visit and try those rice grains if you have the chance," Yuan Zhou said.

One ought to know that Yuan Zhou was still a hot patriotic youth deep in his heart. That was why he said what he said. After all, Xiao Xing was still of a Chinese ethnic, even though he had not grown up at China nor did he hold the citizenship of China.

Yuan Zhou felt compelled to educate Xiao Xing on how vast and abundant in resources China were.

"I think it's quite good here in Thailand. The food here is great, there are plenty of beautiful women. The weather is decent as well," Xiao Xing shook his head by reflex and replied with a smile.

"Um," Yuan Zhou did not say much and nodded his head.

"There's even a casserole here," Yuan Zhou was pleasantly surprised when he found a white casserole while searching through the pots.

"Um. My girlfriend was the one who placed the casserole here," Xiao Xing said with a grin.

Yuan Zhou was speechless, "Does this guy need to point out that he has a girlfriend every chance he gets?"

Nevertheless, Yuan Zhou wasn't particularly surprised that there was a casserole here. After all, Thai cuisines had been influenced to a certain degree by Asian and the Western countries. Furthermore, Xiao Xing was a Thai Chinese.

Yuan Zhou did not say anything. He started washing the casserole in silence.

This casserole seemed to be one that had been used before. However, it was clear that it was rarely used. Therefore, it did not take Yuan Zhou long to clean it thoroughly.

"You are really a chef. You can even wash pots faster than normal people," Xiao Xing exclaimed.

"Of course," Yuan Zhou nodded.

"Do you need my help?" Xiao Xing offered again.

"No," Yuan Zhou directly rejected.

"Ok," Xiao Xing shrugged and continued watching as Yuan Zhou cooked.

The process of Yuan Zhou cooking was something enjoyable to watch. Regardless of whether it was him selecting the rice grains for washing or him soaking the cleaned rice grains in the casserole, his every motion flowed smoothly like a river in a natural, yet quick manner. Moreover, not a single drop of water was splashed out when he did all that.

One ought to know that each time Xiao Xing's girlfriend cooked here, Xiao Xing would help washing the vegetables and the countertop would be completely wet by the time he was done.

Of course, it wasn't exactly Xiao Xing's fault. It was mostly due to the tap being installed too high, making it easy for water to splash everywhere.

With a thud, Yuan Zhou placed the casserole with rice grains soaked within at the side. He then started washing the vegetables. He was washing water spinach.

After smelling the water spinach and studying it meticulously, he found that apart from a slight difference in appearance and smell, it was nearly identical to what they had in China.

The water spinach here were slim, long, and mushier compared to the water spinach at China that were thick, short, and crispier.

Yuan Zhou was very careful when washing the water spinach in order to not spoil the leaves. Even so, he was able to clean every strain of the spinach.

After done with washing, he rinsed it with a saucepan. By this point, the quarter chicken he took out earlier was nearly done thawing as well.

"Little Yuan, you are great. You can wash the vegetable so quickly without having a drop of water splash out," Xiao Xing walked around Yuan Zhou and said in astonishment.

"Raise your hands higher and don't fling the vegetables around," Yuan Zhou gave a simple explanation.

"Oh? I see," Xiao Xing continued watching.

"I'll keep the chicken drumstick for you," Yuan Zhou suddenly said.

"Ah? Oh, sure," Xiao Xing nodded blankly.

The moment Xiao Xing agreed to that, Yuan Zhou picked up the kitchen knife and started taking the chicken breast apart.

The drumstick was left untouched while the other parts, including the bones, were not abandoned. They were all set aside waiting to be used later.

"Wow, Chef Yuan, you look so handsome when handling a knife," Xiao Xing was so impressed that he was addressing Yuan Zhou differently.

That's right. After Xiao Xing agreed to leave the drumstick alone earlier, Yuan Zhou picked the knife up. Then, all Xiao Xing saw was the knife swishing left and right a few times before the chicken was already taken apart. The breast, drumstick, and bones were all separated in a manner so clean it was like a magic trick.

"This is a basic skill of a chef," Yuan Zhou was being modest.

"Tsk tsk, you are really great a knife, truly great," Xiao Xing gave Yuan Zhou a thumbs up.

Yuan Zhou nodded and smiled without saying anything.

After he was done with the chicken, the rice grains were nearly done soaking. Yuan Zhou started cooking the congee.

To save time, halfway through the soaking process, Yuan Zhou had added ice cubes into the rice.

There would not be a lack of ice cubes in Thailand. There were ice cubes at ready in Xiao Xing's home as well. He would normally use the ice cubes for plain water or beverages since people in Thailand had a habit of drinking cold drinks.

Swish! Swish! Yuan Zhou started rinsing the rice grains.

After he was done rinsing, he picked up a bottle of cooking oil on the counter and gave it a whiff. He found that there was no odor to it, deducing that this was probably a cooking oil produced from beans. He then dripped two drops of oil into the rice grains.

After stirring the rice grains with a pair of chopsticks, he poured the rice grains into a bowl. Then, he cleaned the casserole before he filled half the casserole with water and started boiling it.

Yuan Zhou was cooking a portion of rice sufficient for two and the final result would be two bowls for each of them.

Shortly after, the water started boiling. Yuan Zhou directly poured the rice grains in. The moment the cold rice grains entered the water, it stopped boiling. After a while, it started boiling again.

This time, some spotlessly white and slender grains of rice were in the boiling water as well. From how the water looked while boiling, one could see that the ratio of water to rice grains here was perfect.

After about five minutes, Yuan Zhou adjusted the stove and weakened the fire. Then, he covered the lid and allowed the rice grains to continue cooking. While waiting for the congee to be done, Yuan Zhou started preparing the salads.

Yuan Zhou planned to make a Salad Water Spinach and Sour and Spicy Chicken Shreds. These two dishes would go well with congee.

The Salad Water Spinach was quite easy to prepare. He only needed to clean the water spinach and arrange it on a plate before adding some sauce to it. Slowly, the flavor would permeate into the water spinach and the dish would be ready.

The water spinach he prepared was aromatic and spicy. The condiments he used for this dish were still condiments he was familiar with. As for the Sour and Spicy Chicken Shreds, Yuan Zhou planned to use some local condiments.

In any case, Yuan Zhou wasn't planning to eat any meat since his stomach was feeling unwell. This dish was prepared for Xiao Xing.

Swish! Swish! Swish! Top! Top! Top! This was the sound of the knife connecting with the chopping board.

Ever since Yuan Zhou started cooking, Xiao Xing had been playing with his mobile phones by the side. After all, he had already confirmed multiple times that Yuan Zhou did not need his help. He had no interest in cooking anyway.

He took the opportunity to text his girlfriend.

Yuan Zhou had long mastered his grasp of timing when cooking. By the time he uncovered the lid, the congee was already boiling. Nevertheless, his timing was just perfect, the congee was not overflowing. The two side dishes had been finished as well.

"Time to eat," Yuan Zhou said as he served the two side dishes and the still boiling casserole.

"This smells so good," Xiao Xing said when he smelled the congee after the lid was uncovered.

Yuan Zhou had only uncovered the lid after the casserole was placed on the dining table. Before that, the room was basically devoid of smell.

It was time to show Xiao Xing what skill was.