Chapter 62 – Another Delicious Dish from the Manchu Han Banquet

 

Tsuru: I’d like the story to stay fluffy as well, but conflict is needed to push the story forward, also there’s that cocky scheming young man, so…

 

 

Ye Chui did not stay for lunch. The moment he left the villa area, he gave the perfectly pristine roads and tidy streets a bitter smile. There would be no taxis here — That’s because those who could afford to live here have either private cars or drivers, or both, only a taxi driver with a broken head would try to make a living prowling these streets.

Ye Chui was just trying to decide how he should get home when a car suddenly stopped by his side: It was that same $800,000 car belonging to He Chengfei.

The window rolled down and He Chengfei’s heroic face was revealed. He smiled as he looked at Ye Chui, “Well, do you not have a way to go home? Want me to give you a lift?”

He Chengfei was just saying these words as a taunt, a verbal way to torture a person’s face to death as they deny his ‘offer’. However, Ye Fei had no such false pride, since the other had so helpfully offer to solve his dilemma, he cheerfully nodded and opened the door to the front passenger seat. “Thanks a lot, take me to Shi Dao Street towards the Cheng Gong Intersection.”

He Chengfei, “… …”

That tone of speaking, it was as though he was talking to a chauffeur, ah.

He Chengfei really wanted to kick this Ye Chui off his car, but he endured and started to travel down the directions given. He still remembered the lessons given to him by his father as a boy, rather than screaming oneself hoarse against the enemy, it’s better to maintain a smile and strike the enemy from far. The better you can do this, the more powerful you will become. Calmness may also be a force of strength, he was very calm right now.

Though it was all fake calm.

“Name a price, ba.” As the car sped along, he suddenly spoke to Ye Chui, “As long as you leave Lin Wei alone, you can name any price.”

“He-he,”

Ye Chui looked at He Chengfei, this child’s schemes ran quite deep, ah. He smiled, “This morning when we met, the moment you first saw me, you definitely did not think I would amount to much. Now, you feel threatened to the point of trying to use money to buy me off. You are afraid that you won’t be able to win against me, am I right?”

“You…” He Chengfei’s expression changed, his hands tightened on the steering wheel. He said coldly , “Me, afraid of you? That will never happen! Don’t forget you’re a mere chef, if my guess is right, you’re merely a one star chef, ba?”

“No, you’ve guessed wrong.” Ye Fei smiled as he corrected He Chengfei, “I’m not a one star chef.”

He Chengfei was a little stunned, surely this Ye Fei could not have broken the record and became a two star chef at his age? The food he made was delicious to the point that Elder Han ate himself to the hospital. Not only that, he could also make pickles that touched Wu Haimei’s heart, now that he thought about it…

“Actually, I haven’t participated in any Chef’s Examination, I don’t even have a Chef’s Certificate.” While He Chengfei was trying desperately to guess at his depth, Ye Chui dramatically tossed out this freebie at him.

He Chengfei, “… …”

He felt like he had been played around by Ye Chui.

Though he’s unusually intelligent, he was still only 17 years old, how could he endure any more? He stopped the car and cast an angry look at Ye Chui, “Apologies, I suddenly remembered I have some business to attend to. Please get off the car!”

“Very well.”

Ye Chui smiled cheerfully as he nodded and opened the door. The moment he stepped out of the car he raised an arm and yelled, “Taxi!”

—Now that he’s at a nice busy street, getting a taxi was no problem.

Seeing Ye Chui getting a taxi and speeding off quickly made He Chengfei angrier. However, he soon calmed down. In the world of commerce, the winds of fortune blew wherever it liked. The ones who could gain their goals by hook or by crook are the real winners. He Chengfei had grown up in a household that held such ideas as true and had even experienced it himself.

“So, you wish to use cooking to cure Auntie’s anorexia? Well then…I shall steal this recipe from you, let’s see what you’ll do next!”

He Chengfei gave a cold smile, a plan already forming in his head.

By the time he reached the little diner, it was only just past 11:00 am. The moment he stepped past the entrance, he recalled the instructions left with Han Yuyan. Don’t know how far she had gotten on with her cleaning duties. It did not even matter whether she could actually clean this place up or not, he just hoped that she had not smashed the kitchen to bits…

With this kind of heavy thoughts, he entered the kitchen. He looked left and right, and gave a small ‘yi’ of surprise. The black streaks left by Han Yuyan yesterday were gone, the walls looked new, not a speck of dust to be seen. The very air felt clean and well scrubbed. He entered the kitchen, and saw that everything, including the stove, counter tops, pots and pans were all scrubbed until they were shiny and looked brand new.

Ye Chui was amazed, this Han Yuyan had to be a real cleaning genius to get everything this sparkling clean, right? This…there was certainly something not right with this picture.

“Master, you’re back, la?” When Han Yuyan heard footsteps, she hurriedly rushed down. When she saw Ye Chui her face bloomed happily, “Well? My cleaning skills are not bad, right?”

“…hm, it’s very clean.” Ye Chui nodded, and began to see this older sister in a favourable light. Then, Ye Chui’s eyes fell upon a piece of paper next to the stove. Curious, he picked it up, and saw the words, ‘Receipt from Spotless Housekeeping Service’.

Ye Chui felt like a lot of sweat was popping out on his forehead, “So, you used a cleaning company…”

Han Yuyan, “…I didn’t actually use your money for it.”

Ye Chui, “… …”

Shaking his head with a bitter smile, Ye Chui had nothing to say. That Han Yuyan was not originally from Xizhou. However, Elder Han was now recuperating at a Xizhou hospital and she meant to use this time to learn gourmet level cooking skills from Ye Chui. This was clearly impossible. Ye Chui guessed that it won’t take long before she gave up. Her time spent here benefit the diner in some ways, so he decided to just put up with it…after all, the money spent wasn’t his.

Lunch time came with An Jing and Shiyu, the originally three member household now has an additional elder sister. The atmosphere also got rowdier with something like a family feel to it. When evening came, Ye Chui started to get busy. Though there was no need for him to bother with the lamb skewer stall any more, he still had prepare a special dish for Wu Haimei.

The name of this dish is: Royal Court Eggplant Jerky[1]

The Imperial Royal Court Eggplant Jerky, as the name implied, is a royal gourmet dish. It ranked within the Manchu Han banquet as a ‘Royal Dish’, though the ingredients used were inexpensive, the cooking process was extremely complicated, requiring seven days worth of preparation. In his previous life, while researching the Manchu Han banquet, he found that this particular recipe had already disappeared. Nevertheless, Ye Chui went through all kinds of experimentation and even more research before hitting upon exact recipe described. As for the clues, Ye Chui had found it within the pages of <>.

There were descriptions of many kinds of culinary delicacies within the <>, among them was a dish called the ‘Tasty Eggplant Jerky’. In Chapter 41, Elder Sister Feng, under the orders of Mother Jia, gave Granny Liu this dish. When Granny Liu ate this dish, she said, “What’s this? If eggplants could taste like this, there is no need for us to grow grain any more. Just grow eggplants.”

To this, Elder Sister Feng explained the dish to Granny Liu in great detail, “To create this dish, we must first peel the eggplant that had just been picked. Then, we only have to clean the flesh, dice, and fry in chicken oil. After that, we must combine minced chicken breast with fresh mushroom, bamboo shoot, button mushrooms, five spice dried bean curd, mixed dried nuts and fruits, all diced to pieces and simmered slowly in chicken stock until the liquid is completely reduced. In a different pan, add some fragrant oil, combine both chicken breast mixture and eggplant and stir fry until even before sealing it in a jar. Whenever you wish to eat some, just scoop out a handful and serve it with stir fried chicken.”

From the way Elder Sister Feng freely give out this recipe, this Tasty Eggplant Jerky was not something uncommon, but the process of making it was still complicated and required many steps.

Not only that, through Ye Chui’s research, he had discovered that this way of making Tasty Eggplant Jerky was not perfect. A lot of details were missing, kind of like painting a dragon without dotting the eyes [2]. Though the Jia family were rich and powerful, they still lose out against actual court officials. Elder Sister Feng’s Tasty Eggplant Jerky was probably a simplified version of the Royal Court Eggplant Jerky!

As for Ye Chui, he pushed his natural culinary talents to the limit, going through numerous experimentations based on the clues gathered from within <>’s Tasty Eggplant Jerky to recreate the original flavours of Royal Court Eggplant Jerky before finally hitting on this special recipe that required 7 days worth of preparation before it was fit for the royal dining table.

Ye Chui intended to bet on this Royal Court Eggplant Jerky to cure Wu Haimei’s anorexia!

[Author’s Note: After looking at the notes given, it looked like a lot of you have guessed the identity of this mysterious dish~~]
  • Royal Court Eggplant Jerky – Sounds simple, but the steps needed are really, really, really numerous…Gumihou wants to eat it…
  • Painting a dragon without dotting the eyes – Missing out crucial details

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