Kitchen Xiuzhen, Chapter 66 – I Will Change This World

 

A huge deer leg had been cleaved in half under a single strike of Luo Xiu’s knife.

Steam, meat juice and fat spilled out along the cut.

A great fragrance filled the entire Nine Gates Kitchen.

“Brother, you…”

Ye Weilin was shocked, but Wang Zhe was more puzzled than shock. Just why did this weird guy cut his deer leg in half all of a sudden?!

“You’ve wasted at least two thirds of this excellent piece of venison… Aside from the surface of the meat which you’ve touched with your spiritual power… your seasoning technique never made it to the inner part of this leg!”

Just looking at how much of this excellent meat was wasted really hurts him.

Such a waste, ah, such a waste!

“Oh, so you’re talking about the flesh inside… ah, you’re supposed to eat it with some condiment made with finely minced Whisker Grass Flower… otherwise it would be tasteless.”

And here Wang Zhe was wondering what the big deal was.

Luo Xiu shook his head, “So you’re not going to bother with the meat inside?”

“The flesh outside is indeed spiritual food, but the inside… I guess it would not even reach the standard of delicious food, ba?”

Luo Xiu felt that the people in this world have a terrible tendency to waste food.

To only utilize a third of a whole deer leg.

“No, it’s still spiritual food. It’s just not as potent as the outer part of the meat.”

“Don’t believe me, go ahead and check.!”

Wang Zhe picked up his knife and cut a piece of flesh from the inner part of the meat. When he present it to Luo Xiu, there was a faint light gleaming from it, clearly it was still spiritual food.

“What about flavour? It’s clearly tasteless, ah!”

Luo Xiu’s eyes burned with a strange fire as he stared through the essence behind this cooking, “This should be… the result of your own spiritual fire, ba?”

“En?”

Wang Zhe was even more stunned. This guy was clearly just an ordinary chef, why does it seemed like he could he just see through everything?

In fact, the inner part of the meat was as Luo Xiu said. Whatever spiritual energy there was the result of his own spiritual flames combined with the high quality wild venison meat.

Only, this kind of matter was somewhat… shameful for Wang Zhe to admit, ah!

He had yet to fully master this dish… if his father, Wang Xi, were to create this dish, the flavour from spices and seasoning would have permeated through the entire leg, including the inner part of the meat.

Wang Zhe had only just broken through as a Divine Chef, so he obviously could not produce the same result as his father.

“The inner part of the venison has no flavour at all… moreover, you’ve only just broiled the surface… also, your seasoning lacks balance!”

Luo Xiu closed his eyes as he envisioned Wang Zhe’s cooking in his mind. Thanks to his Divine Tongue, he could more or less deduced it in its entirety.

“The Whisker Flower Grass is lacking, you should have covered the whole venison with it, and also… the marinating time was too short, this step should be at least a whole shichen[1] longer and not be skipped!”

“You must have only dusted on the Whisker Flower Grass after applying Jade Linden Oil!”

The fruit of the Whisker Flower Grass has a flavour that’s quite close to earth’s pepper.

The normal procedure for barbecue is to apply salt and pepper first and let it stand for a while for the seasoning to seep in before any kind of oil should be applied.

Wang Zhe stared at Luo Xiu with some suspicion… was this guy a demon?!

That guy must have peeked at him while he cooked!

Otherwise, how else would he have known Wang Zhe’s cooking process so clearly?

Even the total time of his marination… what was more horrifying was that this Luo Xiu could even guess application of spices and oil and which come first, just how!!?

Was it just the result of wild guesses?

Luo Xiu continue, “The heating was also problematic, you’ve used high heat to cook the meat to sear in the spices onto the meat, which had to be done before you can apply the crushed matsutake. Because of this, your heating option is… restricted!”

In this world ‘matsutake’ is not the normal pine mushrooms found in Japan, but a plant that has a garlic like odour with an especially sweet and fragrant smell. It’s a type of spice in the Country of Fine Cuisine that went especially well with meat.

“Also, after applying the crushed matsutake, you did not apply any liquid onto the surface, which dried out the meat a little…”

“Also…”

Luo Xiu continued to break down Wan Zhe’s barbecued venison and pointing out its short comings.

The longer Wang Zhe hear this, the more shocked he became!

When the criticism finally came to a conclusion, his face was completely distorted.

Every point mentioned by Luo Xiu all seemed quite valid!

This guy did not peek at him while he cooked, it was all based on guesswork… and not merely some idle guesswork but incomparable deductive work, it was as though he had personally witnessed the entire cooking process.

It was all spot on!

The comment regarding the roasting of meat after the application of Jade Linden Oil and Whisker Flower Grass was exactly the part he was weakest at!

“The colour of meat will change depending on how it is cooked…  this is called the ‘Distillation Reaction’, Distillation is when deliciousness is achieved through slow cooking!”

Luo Xiu continued to expound on his explanation, using words that Wang Zhe could understand.

In the realm of barbecue, there is something called the Maillard Reaction[2], also known as ‘non-enzymatic browning’ which was proposed by a French chemist in 1912.

What’s so useful about it?

It actually explains heating technique using scientific method.

Raw meat has no particular fragrance, only through cooking and grilling that meat became fragrant… when heat is added, a complex series of chemical reactions occurred between the amino acid groups and sugar which results in volatile aroma.

These kinds of reactions will produce different kinds of result in terms of colour and fragrance, both desirable and otherwise.

As for the optimum heating point for best results, well, even now the scientists were busy arguing over this matter.

Luo Xiu had studied the science of cooking along with Chinese cooking in his past life.

Naturally, the chefs from the Country of Fine Cuisine would not be able to use the colour of cooked meat to guess the heating technique behind it, but Luo Xiu could!

Light brown, dark brown, scorched… each type of colour represents how long the meat is cooked and how hot the fire, in other words — heating technique!

“Do you… need me to go further?”

Luo Xiu looked at the dumbstrucked Wang Zhe.

“Seasoning, heating, and spices, it’s all a mess!”

When Luo Xiu said this, Wang Zhe was finally convinced.

When someone said that a dish tasted terrible, normally it was to insult a chef; however, when it was followed by the proper explanation of why it did not taste good, good chefs would feel respect for the person who said this… and truly believed that what they had made tasted bad, and allowed a chef to improve himself.

“You… really didn’t watch me cook, did you?”

Wang Zhe could not resist a final question, though he knew that Luo Xiu himself has great cooking prowess have no need to steal anyone’s technique.

However, he still couldn’t quite believe it, ah!

How could a person be so awesome?

To spot so many holes in his most spiritually powerful dish!?

“Do you really think I need to trick you?”

Luo Xiu straightened up. “If I had known that you’re going to make it like this… I would have stopped you at once!”

“You’re wasting precious ingredients, do you know that?!”

Luo Xiu really had a resentful expression on his face, this had really fallen way below his expectations.

“… …”

Wang Zhe couldn’t help himself and rolled his eyes. “Do you really need to be so exaggerated?”

“Of course… otherwise, what are you going to do with this meat?”

Luo Xiu pointed at the lightly steaming, still slightly shimmering meat, the part that has absolutely no flavour. “Such excellent spiritual ingredient, wasted just like that?”

“It’s not like it can’t be eaten, also… it could increase spiritual energy!”

When Wang Zhe said this, he suddenly shook his head. “Wait, you’re the one who asked me to make this dish, you’re picking a fight with me now?”

“Are you doing this deliberately?!”

Wang Zhe thought that Luo Xiu had intentionally trapped him in order to humiliate him.

“I don’t have that kind of lousy hobby… I’m really interested in Kitchen Xiuzhen’s dishes, ah. It’s just, I really hadn’t expected to be such a let down!”

Luo Xiu was really disappointed.

He really hadn’t expect this Country of Fine Cuisine to really treat spices as merely aids to cultivation.

If Wang Zhe’s cooking style represents the norm in this world, then, the premise of cooking in this world was based on spiritual energy and cultivation only.

Spiritual food was the most delicious food.

With this kind of mentality, as long as a dish came out flashy (literally), it’s considered a pass.

“Excellent ingredients and wide range of spices have spoilt these people… all of these wonderful things were thrown into the grinding machine called cultivation!”

Luo Xiu actually felt heartbroken for the ingredients of this world, he looked at Wang Zhe with deeply hurt eyes.

As someone who had just ascended to the level of Divine Chef, being able to create spiritual food was already something amazing.

There were plenty of Kitchen Xiuzhen who reached that level without being able to create spiritual food for a long time.

Not everyone was like Luo Xiu who has experience backed with science, not to mention a true talent from a family made up of generations of great chefs!

In other words, he was unique in the world of great cuisines.

“I will change this world!”

Luo Xiu said suddenly, this earth-shattering word was said just like that.

From head to toe, a calm freezing resolve enveloped him.

A sad Wang Zhe, who was still looking at the hacked deer leg in front of him, heard Luo Xiu’s words and lifted his head. “Change this world? Change how?!”

“Naturally, I’m going to start with… you!”

Luo Xiu looked at Wang Zhe, a very suspicious smile on his face.

Being stared at by that weird gaze, Wang Zhe felt all the hairs on his nape lifted up.

This guy… wh- what is he going to do to me?!

 

 

Editing: Deleted 1 – !, additional details – 2 sentences

 

 

[1] Shichen – 2 hours

[2] Maillard Reaction – The explanation is a bit lacking, so here’s a link for those who are interested!

https://medium.com/@vijinimallawaarachchi/maillard-reaction-the-science-of-browning-flavoring-and-aroma-1605133960ae

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