Kitchen Xiuzhen, Chapter 69 – Flame is King
[Shua! Shua! Shua!]
With swift movements, the whisker flower fruit was soon grounded into something similar to pepper powder. When the ‘pepper powder’ and salt combined, a unique scent permeated the air.
The two scents combined so well it was like a match made in heaven, shocking the roomful of spiritual chefs.
“This… to think that the whisker flower fruit’s piercing smell has disappeared?”
“How could something so miraculous exist?”
“It’s just so unthinkable, ah… just what is this salt thing? It seems quite compatible with whisker flower fruits!”
The spiritual chefs all whispered excitedly to each other.
All those with discerning eyes could see just how the combination of these two spices would be so much more superior to bits of whisker flower pieces alone.
“Spiced Salt… is the golden partner of barbecue cooking!”
Luo Xiu’s eyes were very bright, though he could not smell anything specific, the tingle he felt on his tongue was a familiar one from working in the kitchens.
Even he was astonished by the effects.
The pieces of venison, which had been sweating out liquid, were now visibly less wet and felt tight to the touch.
In fact, each piece of meat had developed a bright and translucent skin around it.
“The meat… changed again?”
Wang Xi, who had been closely watching Luo Xiu’s every movement, was completely amazed when he saw the effects of the spiced salt.
This technique was clearly much more superior than his own meat processing skills.
“Spiced salt, would allow the liquid to seep back into the meat, this means the surface of the meat will dry up…”
“Once dried, the surface will heat up much faster and quickly gain a fragrant and golden skin on the outside. With this, the solid outer layer would quickly lock in all the lovely meat juice inside!”
This is the reason why a lot of barbecue master liked using spiced salt.
Once he was done covering the meat with spiced salt, Luo Xiu went to fetch an herb called Yellow Scythe, which was an herb that had a citrus scent to it.
The citric acid contained in the herb would give the meat a more refreshing taste, perfect for grilled meats.
Because lemons contained a special substance within it that changes the structure of proteins. This special substance is an enzyme called protease which could unwind long and more complex structures of protein into amino acids and peptides which tenderizes the meat. 
Within the realm of Chinese cooking, there was very little call for lemon juice. In contrast, lemon juice was something that was often used in Western style cooking. Aside from its meat tenderizing properties, lemon juice could also add flavour to meat.
Once the yellow scythe was completely pulverized, Luo Xiu covered the meat with it.
A new and refreshing smell suffused the air and the meat looked even more gorgeous.
Spiritual chefs who had looked down on Luo Xiu now began tossing praises at him after seeing his incredible prep work.
“Divine Chef Wang, this way of preparing meat seems even more elaborated than yours!”
“Just look at the grains on that meat, it’s just out of this world!”
The spiritual chefs all looked towards Divine Chef Wang, who really had nothing to say… though there was a thoughtful light in his eyes. This kind of prep work, though amazing, did not seemed to quite fit Luo Xiu’s style?
Just what was he trying to achieve?
Wang Xi really could not guess.
At this point, Luo Xiu did not bother to do anything to the veal any more. Instead, he went back to the pantry and took out countless types of spices and began to make a sauce.
In the World of Fine Cuisine, barbecue was the work of combining spices and a spiritual chef’s power. As for sauce?
However, it is an established fact that sauce, when made with proper ingredients, could enhance or even elevate the flavour of grilled food.
The thing that Luo Xiu was planning to make now was a special sauce invented by him — Luo Sauce!
For him to attach his own surname onto a sauce, it has to be something really amazing. Anyone who ate grilled meat with this sauce would experience an amazing increase in fragrance and taste.
Ultra Violet, Yellow Skin, Flowering Fruits… one after another, all kinds of spices were being brought out by Luo Xiu.
The Ultra Violet was actually a large onion with purple skin, hence the name.
The Yellow Skin was fresh ginger, as for the Flowering Fruits… garlic.
Fortunately, Luo Xiu was able to revive his sense of taste, otherwise he would not be able to taste any of these spices or compare them with those he encountered in his past life.
Onions, garlic, ginger were all minced up and placed within a pot over a small fire. He began to stir these spices around, mixing them up, turning them into a fragrant yellow paste… before adding the insect nectar. An incomparable fragrance floated from within the pot.
Minced tomatoes were added, salt was used to adjust the taste; then the most important item, ground meat.
The rambling mix of spices and meat began to combine and suddenly, the mess of bubbling things in the pot turned into sauce.
A hearty meaty smell joined the orchestra of scents in the air.
After simmering for 30 minutes, this special barbecue sauce — also known as the Luo Sauce, would be complete.
“This… just what is this?”
One of the spiritual chefs couldn’t help asking. Actually, at this point of cooking, the sauce was still a little too sweet.
“Dipping sauce, grilled meat eaten with this sauce will taste even more refined…”
Luo Xiu kept his explanation short, his eyes darted over to the calmly resting venison… he washed and dried his hands, then pressed a finger against the meat. Hmm, the firmness of meat was not bad.
The spiced salt and lemon juice had permeated the entire surface.
However… that was not enough![Chi la!]
Luo Xiu stabbed a few holes on the surface of the meat with a sharp knife before placing them into a heated pot for a quick sear.
Though the meat had been cooked before, the surface of the meat had to be seared at least once.
Once the jade linden oil was hot and smoking slightly, he seared one side of the venison until it took on a slight golden colour. It looked incredibly delicious when he flipped the meat over to cook the other side.
Wang Xi’s eyes suddenly went blank, this kind of subtle changes to the meat, it would be difficult to achieve even with divine flames.
“This brat… just how did he do it?!”
Wang Xi really could not understand.
The people around them stared at the bright golden venison, their throats moved subtly.
This smell, isn’t it getting more and more delicious!
As for that sauce, just what is it for?!
This young chef really seemed to have all kinds of weird tricks up his sleeves, ah!?
Everyone seemed to be mesmerized by Luo Xiu’s cooking skills.
Luo Xiu quickly fished out the meat once it had taken on a good colour and began to apply crushed matsutake mushrooms onto the surface.
He added a sprinkle of water over the meat before pasting on some rosemary.
It was only at this point that the prep work on the venison could be considered complete… next was the most important step — Grilling!
Grilling — the act of applying flame onto meat for the purpose of cooking.
In order to ensure flavour is properly imparted into grilled meat all depended on a chef’s roasting skill.
When it came to flame control, there is no one better than a Chinese chef under the heavens.
After all, the word ‘heating’ or ‘huo hou’ was originally created by Chinese chefs![Pa ta!]
Luo Xiu opened up his Earth Core Furnace and activated the metal energy network, flames appeared in his hands as he began the grilling process.
Actually, since this was a cultivating world, majority of the spiritual chefs would grill their food this way, also… their techniques and types of spiritual fires vary quite a bit. As for Luo Xiu, he planned to use the most basic type of spiritual fire to cook.
“This is just a basic spiritual flame, there’s no way he could create anything with spiritual energy or deliciousness.”
One of the spiritual chefs sighed unhappily, he was ready to admit that Luo Xiu’s marination technique and prep work were more refined than divine Chef Wang’s.
However, the most important step, the control of flame… was a serious weak point.
“Otherwise… this dish would definitely be special in terms of flavour and spiritual energy!”
“That’s right… it’s just too bad!”
“It’s just too difficult for commoner to compete with spiritual chefs!”
A number of spiritual chefs just shook their head regretfully.
Those who could control spiritual flames had a natural advantage within the Country of Fine Cuisine.
With this kind of power in hand, they would be able to cook all kinds of spiritual dishes… a lot of spiritual chef’s position depended a on their ability to control spiritual fire.
“Spiritual flame is it? Looks like… I have that thing too!”
Luo Xiu suddenly remember that tri-coloured flame he saw within his own body.[Hong!]
It was like someone had set off a bucket of gunpowder. Multi-coloured flames flashed out from his body like a soaring dragon, nearly taking the roof off.
The flames were so bright that the entire dining hall of the Nine Gates Restaurant glowed bright red like a lit lantern… those who stood nearest to the flame saw nothing but surging red flames that whipped about like an indoor hurricane.
This kind of flame, was not something that a mere earth core furnace could produce.
“What… just what?”
The spiritual chefs within the hall were speechless with shock.
[Translator’s Note: … whenever I translate this novel, lyrics from Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer kept running through my head… ]
 Lemon Juice