Chapter 5 –
Translated by Prosperousfood dot com
Re-Host at kitchennovel dot com
“Looks like our dearest Amy is yawning. Let’s go up to sleep.” Michael smile as he held Amy’s hand to lead her to bed.
“I am not sleepy yet, and can help you to clean up.” Amy was yawning while she shook her head.
“I will clean up in a short while. You cannot sleep here. Right now, I do not have the strength to carry you upstairs.” Michael felt a bit disappointed in himself.
‘Such a lovely daughter, but I am unable to give her a princess hug, nor carry her. No, this is not acceptable. I must quickly raise my fitness level.’ Michael thought to himself.
The stairs to the 2nd floor were located at one end of the kitchen. If you walked in from the counter, there is a small door leading to the stairs. The restaurant and living area were isolated, and was exactly what Michael had in mind.
While Michael was in a coma, Amy had run up and down the stairs several times and also ran out to invite someone to see him. Although Amy insisted that she was not sleepy, after climbing up the stairs, her eyes were about to close.
Michael brought her into the master bedroom. Beside the bed, there was a pink color single bed for children. Placed on the bed were a small quilt and a small pillow. There was a small staircase placed beside the bed. This staircase comprises of only 3 steps, and it allowed small children like Amy to easily climb up onto the bed.
Amy’s eye shone when she saw the beautiful room and small bed. But she was really tired, and did not spend much time admiring these. She took off her shoes and climbed onto the small bed. Lying on the comfortable pillow, her small hand was clutching Michael’s finger as she happily informed her father, “Papa, you are really amazing. This bed is so soft and comfortable, and I really love it. And the Qing Han Imperial Feast – it will definitely be very tasty…..”
“En, tomorrow morning when you wake up, Papa will cook a lovely breakfast for you. For now, go to sleep.” Michael smiled
“Lovely breakfast, must be very tasty…. Zzzz….” Amy muttered. As she closed her eyes, she fell asleep almost immediately.
Michael stood beside the bed, and looked at his daughter who was soundly asleep. With one hand he pulled up the blanket to cover her, and with the other hand, he tried to part her hair so that it would not cover her face.
“Don’t worry; Papa will definitely make sure you get to try the Qing Han Imperial Feast.” Michael gently kissed Amy on her forehead.
Michael then seated himself on the bigger bed next to the single bed. He closed his eyes and tried to visualize the door that he had seen in the [System]. He was thinking about how to open the door, when a person suddenly appeared in his brain. This person was identical to him in every way, and it was completely under his control. He hesitated for a moment, and controlled the mini-him to open the door of [Yang Zhou Fried Rice].
In the next moment, he felt that there was a bright light s.h.i.+ning on him. Michael immediately closed his eyes. When he finally reopened his eyes, he found that he had already been transported into the body of the mini-him in his mind.
The door, which was supposed to be behind him, had disappeared. Right now, he is standing a kitchen that is in identical to the kitchen in his restaurant.
“This is great! This will make it easier for me to adapt when I am cooking in my own restaurant.” Michael’s eye shone, and he took a step forward. Then he just stood there, stunned.
The body of his that was very weak had suddenly been filled with strength, and taking a step forward did not require as much effort as before. Michael could not help but to jump up and down to test if his body could withstand this activity. Although he did feel a bit weak after this vigorous activity, it is a massive improvement over the invalid him in the real world.
“[System], what happened?” Michael was fairly excited. Did the [System] finally improve his constitution and made him fitter?
“Master, right now, the experience you are feeling is after your constitution had improved by +0.5. If you work hard and compete the task was a.s.signed to you, your body will be strengthened and you will be much fitter than before.” The [System] voice rang out.
“Oh, that is why I feel slightly better.” Michael looked at the information in his brain. He discovered that for a normal human being, their constitution is 2. After Michael McGonagall’s limbs were broken and healed, his constitution has dropped to 1. This means that he is half an invalid, and it takes twice as much effort to do a simple task as a normal human.
Right now, his constitution has been raised to 1.5. Although this is insufficient to wield a heavy sword, it is more than enough to wield a kitchen knife.
And this fantasy world’s human constitution could be increased beyond what is possible for a human being on planet Earth.
For example, having a constitution of 4 would mean that you could stand toe to toe against an Orc in a fair fight. Having a constitution of 10 would mean that your body strength is sufficient to knock down a forest demon with one blow.
At his prime, Michael McGonagall’s constitution is approximately around 8. For a human being, he stood at or very is very near the apex.
“Welcome to the [G.o.d of Cooking Training Grounds]. The [System] will provide all ingredients used to create authentic Yangzhou fried rice. Only when you have successfully created a plate of Yangzhou Fried Rice that meets the [System]’s standard, then may you leave this training grounds. The [System]’s standard of Yangzhou Fried Rice is based on your own standards when you were a food critic.” The [System] voice rang out.
“[System], I thought I misheard your instructions. What did you say about the requirements of I need to achieve?” Michael enquired.
“You must meet all the standards that you set as a food critic when you evaluated the dish [Yang Zhou Fried Rice].” The [System] replied.
“I felt that the standard that the government set for Yang Zhou Fried Rice is really good. Shall we follow this standard instead?” Michael tried to plead.
“The requirements may not be changed. Please try your best to complete this task.” The [System] rejected Michael’s request.
“Then the standard for future dishes?” Michael had started to panic.
“Also follow the standards that you have set when you were a food critic.”
Michael felt as if his world has collapsed. He had actually thought that the [System] bare him no ill will, and could be taken advantage of to improve his current situation. But it looked like he was still too green. Using the standards that he had set while he was a food critic is really….. harsh.
Words could not describe his feelings. What an irony – he now had to meet impossible standards that he set for the chefs in his previous life.
This was like taking a piece of large rock and crushing his foot with it. Even the master chefs that specialized in cooking [Yang Zhou Fried Rice] could not meet the standards that he had set for them.
“Sigh. I should have known better. This [System] was sent by the heavens to punish me for my acidic tongue on behalf of the chefs I criticised. The problem is that now I had entered this room, I could not leave this room without achieving the standards that I had set.” Michael could not find any way to exit the room. He took a deep breath and forced himself to calm down.
Since he did not have any choice in this matter, then he should face the problem head-on. He had already promised to cook a lovely breakfast for Amy. Thinking of Amy’s happy face when she eats the fried rice that he had cooked especially for her, Michael was full of motivation. Even the look in his eyes hardened as determined filled him.
Michael looked around. There was golden shiny experience bag placed on the counter. He tried to pick up the experience bag, and suddenly the recipe and experience of cooking [Yang Chow Fried Rice] were transmitted into his brain. From the selection of ingredients, preparation of ingredients to the steps involved in making the perfect [Yang Zhou Fried Rice], all these information were transmitted into his brain. It was as if he already knew how to cook this dish.
“So simple?” Michael was stunned. He thought that the [System] will create difficulties for him. He did not anticipate that the [System] will give him such a big, pleasant surprise.It was as if he had inherited the cooking skills of a master chef. He felt that if he followed the recipe in his brain, he would be able to create a bowl of perfect [Yang Zhou Fried Rice]. With just one experience bag, he was transformed from a rookie who had never even cook before in his life to a master chef. This is a type of cheating.
After absorbing all the information in his mind, he organized the information. With that task completed, he confidently walked to the fridge, and opened the fridge door. Inside the fridge were all the ingredients he needed to create the dish [Yang Zhou Fried Rice]. The fridge was magically stocked with rice, mushroom, ham, prawns, winter bamboo shoots, green peas, chicken eggs, shallots etc.
“First I prepare the rice, and then I will prepare the other ingredients before frying them.” Michael was extremely clear on the task that he needs to do and in which order to do them. Looking at the ingredients in the fridge, his eyes shone.
He reached out and grabbed a fistful of rice and examined them. The grains of rice were smooth and delicate, the color was crystal white. Each grain of rice felt like it was full of juicy goodness, and sparkled in the light. The rice that the [System] had provided seemed superior to the ‘Khoa Hom Mali’ grade of Thai rice  that he usually eats. Just by holding the grains in his hands, he could smell the fragrance of the rice.
He then examined the prawns that were placed in a large bowl of water. These prawns were still alive and happily swimming in the bowl. Their movements indicated that they were still full of life and vigor. Each prawn was relatively large and the body of the prawns was almost translucent. You could see the rare lilac markings on the body of the prawns.
The winter bamboo shoots are relatively fresh and seemed to have some soil attached to them.
The salt on the ham had not been removed either.
The grey colored mushroom seemed to be a type of mushroom that grows on trees.
The chicken egg seemed to be much bigger than the egg that he was used to.
And the yellowish-green colored shallots seemed to contain traces of dew.
His experience in dining at Michelin starred restaurant had given Michael a good eye for ingredients.
In his opinion, these ingredients could be considered as top-grade ingredients. But he could not explain the characteristics of these ingredients that make them stands out as top grade.Since these ingredients were provided for him to practice his cooking skills, he did not hesitate to use them. He began to start cooking the rice.
Having obtained the knowledge of cooking from the experience pack, Michael thought that making a plate of [Yang Zhou Fried Rice] should not be a difficult task. But when he began cooking, he discovered to his horror that things are not as simple as he made them out to be.
For example, he knows how to best cut the ingredients to maximize the flavor of each ingredient. But it is only when he attempted to cut the ingredient did he realized that his hand movements could not keep up with the precision and standards that his mind had.
To ensure that the fried rice taste is uniform, each of the ingredients should be ideally be approximately the same size as a grain of rice. This required very precise knife work.
To Michael, this is a very challenging task. He could not even complete the ‘simple’ task of making sure all the cut vegetables are equal in size, and he needs to repeat the task multiple times.
Looking at the cut bamboo shoots that were different in size and thickness, Michael sighed, and picked up another bamboo shoot to try again.
It is going to take a long, long time….Notes: Khoa Hom Mali grade of Thai rice is the world’s best grade of rice. Recipes for food items used in this article:Yang Chow Fried Rice Recipe This article is about Yang Chow Fried Rice recipe.