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904 Self Raising The Difficulty

 Yuan Zhou's food case was in the shape of a hexagon, made of vermilion timber, and were four layers high. It looked small and exquisite, yet it was actually quite big.

Six tiny cases were hung on the six corners of the case, and after Yuan Zhou took them off one by one, he started observing the kitchen.

The kitchen was built against the back wall, while the row of kitchen equipment was facing the front entrance. The kitchen equipment consisted of two countertops, a seasoning chest, a hand washing sink, an ingredient washing sink, and chopping boards and knives arranged to the side.

And behind him were the steamer, oven, and so on. This was quite a complete kitchen.

While Yuan Zhou was studying the kitchen, the carpenter and Zhou Shijie started talking again.

"The timber used to make this young man's food case is quite decent," said Carpenter Lian.

"Of course. This kid is super fussy, especially anything concerning cooking. He will always use the best he can. However, he is worthy of using the best since he has the skills to back it up," Zhou Shijie did not forget to praise Yuan Zhou. And when he spoke, he emphasized on "cooking".

"I'm talking about the case. What are you going off-topic for?" frowned Carpenter Lian.

"I'm talking about Little Yuan's cooking skills," Zhou Shijie said.

"Hoho, I can't be bothered to continue talking to you," Carpenter Lian decided to shut up as there was nothing he could say towards this person who was obsessed with showing off.

"Little Yuan sure is attentive. He is worthy to be the leader among the young generation of chefs. See, he does not forget to bring along cleaning rags to wipe anything needing wiping," Zhou Shijie praised. "He has the focus and attentiveness, also has the spirit of learning. Carpenter Lian, don't you think a person like this should be a master chef?"

Carpenter Lian inhaled deeply and tried very hard to stop himself from erupting in anger. He muttered to himself, "It's not like my place is dirty."

It was a normal practice to wipe before using the tools of others. Even Carpenter Lian himself would do the same. As such, he still approved of Yuan Zhou's action of bringing his own cleaning rags for wiping. But at the same time, he could not stand Zhou Shijie and had the urge to beat Zhou Shijie to death.

That's right. In the six tiny cases hanging on Yuan Zhou's hexagon case were the cleaning rags. Each of them were different as well.

The three rough-looking rags were used for the first round of wiping. The other rags that looked softer were made of cotton and were used to wipe the kitchen implements so as to not damage the surface of the implements.

Slowly, Yuan Zhou wiped the countertop clean. Since he was not planning to use the oven behind him, he did not wipe the oven. And thus, he did not need long to finish.

After finishing, Yuan Zhou washed his hands before he finally raised his head.

"Chairman, Carpenter Lian, I will start now," Yuan Zhou said.

"Ok, go ahead," Chairman Zhou nodded.

"I'll be watching," Carpenter Lian said.

Yuan Zhou took all four layers of the case apart and arranged them on the countertop.

Naturally, the required beans for Three Fragrance to the Ocean were contained in the case. All of them were already prepared in advance.

The red beans were contained in a porcelain plate, and to the side were the soybeans. And beside the soybeans were the pale yellow peas.

All the beans had already been processed, and Yuan Zhou could directly start cooking.

In the final case was an empty plate and some condiments.

This empty plate was completely different than the other plates. The markings on the plate looked like the surging waves of the sea and were colorful, unlike the other plates that were pure white.

The markings weren't colored blue, the color of the sea. Rather, there were two distinctly different yellows and a reddish-brown on it. In truth, the plate looked like a beautiful painting of sand.

The markings of the plate and the beans complemented each other nicely.

"So Little Yuan is using dried beans as well," Zhou Shijie remarked.

When Zhou Shijie himself researched this dish, he tried using dried beans as well. But he had never succeeded. Because of that, he was watching Yuan Zhou attentively.

"Little Yuan's preparation sure is ample. He had processed the beans in advance and has even brought his own plates," Zhou Shijie said with a smile after looking at Yuan Zhou.

"It's not like I don't have any plates here," grumbled Carpenter Lian.

"Are your plates as pretty as Little Yuan's plates?" Zhou Shijie asked, silencing Carpenter Lian.

That was true. Since this kitchen was for the purpose of cooking for everyone here, they naturally couldn't use those exquisite plates. In fact, they mostly use large bowls since there were a lot of people here.

His respect for Yuan Zhou was growing. As a craftsman himself, Carpenter Lian was of the opinion that chefs were craftsmen as well. He believed a craftsman should behave like Yuan Zhou, exercising as much control as possible over his working environment.

Suddenly, Carpenter Lian started wondering why hadn't such a promising youth appeared in the carpentry field instead.

Pa. Pa. Yuan Zhou turned on both stoves at once. Two pots rested on the stoves, one with a larger flame while the other was a thick pot with a small flame. He was obviously heating up the thick pot.

As for the pot on the larger flame, Yuan Zhou poured some corn oil in it and stopped when it was one finger-deep in the pot. This was the oil that was already available in the kitchen.

Soon, smoke started waffling up from the oil and Yuan Zhou directly poured the peas into the pot.

Crackling sounds rang out.

"So these peas need to be fried?" Zhou Shijie muttered.

After being fried, the peas swelled. Studying the peas, Zhou Shijie found that they were now similar in size to the red beans and soybeans.

"After frying, their sizes would be similar. With that, when cooking, temperature management will be easier," Zhou Shijie nodded.

Pa. Yuan Zhou turned off the stove. Then, he enlarged the other flame and directly scooped up some of the oil used to fry the peas earlier and poured it into the other pot.

Instantly, smoke started rising up from that pot. Next, Yuan Zhou poured all three beans into the pot and started stir-frying them.

The moment the beans entered the pot, a multicolored mixture of beans appeared in the pot. Everything was mixed together and since the peas and soybeans were similar in color, it was rather hard to distinguish between the two. And thus, in the pot, two distinct colors of red and yellow could be seen.

Swoosh! Swoosh! Swoosh! The beans were stirred.

"Stir-frying is not the hard part. The hard part is how to scoop them out the pot without separating the harmony between the three, and how to harmonize yet maintain the distinctness of the three different flavors," Zhou Shijie muttered.

When Zhou Shijie researched this dish previously, this was the step where he failed. It was quite an impossible task to maintain three distinct flavors when all three beans were cooked together in the same pot.

Zhou Shijie was eventually able to separate the three flavors, yet he failed to separate the three beans when taking them out of the pot.

"And since the peas and soybeans have similar colors, the difficulty is even higher," Zhou Shijie muttered as he watched on with full concentration.