Fantasy Romance Xianxia Anime Sci-fi Historical WNMTL
Home > Gourmet Food Supplier

905 Sweet, Salty, Sour

 A sufficiently skilled person would always be able to observe better than others. In the case of cooking, Zhou Shijie was naturally a skilled person. As for Carpenter Lian, since he did not know much about cooking, he merely watched the fun.

The moment he saw Yuan Zhou stir-frying all the beans together without any other steps, he spoke.

"How is he supposed to separate them after mixing them together? Looks like this is a failure," said Carpenter Lian with a frown.

"What does an old carpenter like you know about cooking?" Zhou Shijie said.

"Sure, I can't cook. But I'm not blind," replied Carpenter Lian.

"Focus on watching then. It's not like he's telling you to eat the beans now," Zhou Shijie grumbled.

He was obviously annoyed at being disturbed while he was focusing on Yuan Zhou.

"Sure, I wasn't called to eat, and you weren't called to listen to me as well. Mind your business," said Carpenter Lian with a snort.

While the two bickered, Yuan Zhou reached the crucial step of his cooking.

Initially, he was holding the ladle with one hand and the pot handle with the other hand, swinging the pot while stirring the beans.

However, Yuan Zhou's movement when swinging the pot was very different than other chefs. His motion was larger, and between each swing, he would pause and shake several times.

Yuan Zhou swung the pot in the direction of the countertop before setting the pot down with a thud, causing the beans within the sprinkle out.

At the same time, Yuan Zhou quickly raised the plate by the side while the ladle he was holding started moving in quick motions.

At nearly the same instant he moved the ladle, a layer of beans of the same color appeared on the plate. Moreover, the beans had all landed on the corresponding color of the plate markings.

Swish! Swish! Swish!

Both Carpenter Lian and Zhou Shijie could hear the swishing sounds of the ladle slicing the air.

Yuan Zhou moved quickly and completed the entire action swiftly.

"You may now try the dish now," Yuan Zhou said.

On the plate, the beans each stuck to their own positions in accordance with their colors, forming a beautiful painting of sand. If it wasn't for the slight steam billowing above the dish, this would look more like a piece of art.

"It's done? Just like that?" asked Carpenter Lian in astonishment.

"Yes. For the Three Fragrance to the Ocean, the red beans are sweet, the soybeans are salty, while the peas are sour with a mix of sweetness," Yuan Zhou nodded and started introducing.

"This technique is truly... truly not bad," Zhou Shijie was still immersed in the swift manner in which Yuan Zhou had filled the plate.

This was the most likely method to succeed after Yuan Zhou's tests. Since his senses were sharper than an ordinary person, he could accomplish this feat. As for how the people during the ancient times accomplished this, he had yet to find out.

But it did not matter. After all, regardless of whether the cat is black or white, a cat that could catch mice would be a good cat.

Yuan Zhou had ultimately completed the Three Fragrance to the Ocean with his own method.

"Hold on. Kid, just after stir-frying it for a bit, it is done?" Carpenter Lian asked in doubt after he recovered from his initial shock.

"Yes. I have already pre-processed these beans before this. They are in fact half-completed before this," Yuan Zhou nodded.

"Half-completed?" asked Carpenter Lian, confused.

"Yes, that should be the case," Zhou Shijie nodded in agreement as well.

"What do you mean? Explain," Carpenter Lian asked as he looked at Zhou Shijie.

Zhou Shijie tossed Carpenter Lian a resentful gaze and said nothing.

"You see, I soaked the red beans in honey in advance. And as I was afraid that they wouldn't soak the honey in nicely, I maintained the honey at human body temperature while soaking," Yuan Zhou offered his explanation.

"The average human body temperature is about 37 degrees. That is a temperature that is not too hot for it to spoil the honey's taste and nutrition, and it's not too cold until it wouldn't soak nicely into the red beans," Yuan Zhou continued his explanation.

"Um, human body temperature," Carpenter Lian started listening to Yuan Zhou.

"Therefore, the final step involves stir-frying it to harmonize the sweetness of it," Yuan Zhou said.

"As for the soybeans, they are easier to prepare. I only need to soak them in warm water so they swell and after stir-frying them, they are ready," Yuan Zhou said like it was some common knowledge.

"Hoho." If it wasn't for the fact that Yuan Zhou was a junior and Zhou Shijie, the elder, was still around, Carpenter Lian felt like snorting at Yuan Zhou's assumption that this was so simple.

"You make it sound so simple. If it's really that simple, how did it become a lost dish?" Carpenter Lian roared inwardly.

In truth, even Zhou Shijie was feeling extremely distressed. Yuan Zhou had made this dish seem too simple.

"Let's talk after trying the dish," said Zhou Shijie. Although he cherished Yuan Zhou's talent, he no longer felt like listening to Yuan Zhou's explanation.

"Enjoy your meal," Yuan Zhou said as he made an inviting gesture.

Ta. Ta. Ta. The two old men started heading towards the countertop.

And when they approached, they found the dish was even prettier than it seemed.

There was a layer of translucent syrup on top of the red beans. That should be the honey that had leaked out the beans after the beans were heated during the stir-frying. Now that the temperature had cooled again, they formed a layer atop the beans.

This gave the red beans a glossy look, extremely pretty.

As for the soybeans, they had a glossy and plump look, looking soft and mushy.

As for the peas, they had wrinkled skins while the peas were plump and round, all lying neatly on the plate.

Resting beside the plate were two sets of chopsticks and spoons, prepared for them to try the dish.

"I'll start eating," said Carpenter Lian as he picked up the spoon and reached for the peas.

He was very curious as to the taste of these peas.

Since the peas were right beside the red beans, Carpenter Lian had intentionally avoided the red beans while scooping up the peas.

Freshly harvest peas were green in color and were suitable to be stir-fried and eaten. When they turned yellow in color, they would be kept as seeds. Some would use them to make some pea flour, pea paste, and so on. As for peas being stir-fried like this, they would usually be eaten when one was drinking liquor or eaten as a snack.

Crack. Crack. The moment he started chewing, cracking sounds rang out from his mouth.

That was the sound of the crunchy skins of the peas that were stir-fried. At the same time, a fragrance unique to peas started filling his mouth.

The peas weren't too hard to chew. After all, only the outer layer was crunchy while the inner layer was mushy and powdery in feeling. The peas were also extremely sour.

"Hiss, so sour," Carpenter Lian shivered.

This sourness was comparable to a mature vinegar that had been opened after being steeped for many years. After the rotten taste dispersed, only a pleasant sourness remained.

"Ahhh, I'm salivating," Carpenter Lian quickly slurped his saliva back and swallowed the peas.

"This sweetness is nice as well. It's not overly sweet at all and felt like a first-tier red bean paste instead. Moreover, it's not too heavy," Zhou Shijie said. He had tried the red beans first.

"You're the judge," Carpenter Lian reminded.

"You doubt me? Feel free to give it a try," Zhou Shijie countered confidently.

"The sourness is quite good as not a tiny bit of sweetness is mixed to it. But since the peas are so sour, won't the sweetness of the red beans be affected since they are right beside each other?" asked Carpenter Lian as he reached for the red beans.

It was normal for there to be no sweetness to the peas since they were so sour. But the sweetness of the red beans would have a hard time remaining after coming in contact with the sour peas.

While Carpenter Lian was tasting the red beans, Zhou Shijie tasted the soybeans instead. The soybeans were of the salty flavor.