Kitchen Xiuzhen, Chapter 4 – Outstanding Knife Skill
Translated by Prosperousfood.com
Rehosted by Gumihou at kitchennovel.com
The potato is the fourth most important food source (after rice, wheat, and maize) in the world. As one of the world’s leading staple food, chefs had come up with many ways to cook potatoes, and there are a wide variety of potato recipes.
Just by considering using a potato as the main ingredient, Luo Xiu could think of several hundred ways of cooking the humble potato.
But the situation now is slightly complex, because there are neither salt nor other spices available to cook the more complicated potato recipes. This is such a killjoy.
Considering this, the number of potato recipes that appeared in Luo Xiu’s mind narrowed considerably.
“If we do not use any spices, then ways in which we can cook the potato are limited…. Mashed potatoes require baking and butter. Therefore the only thing we can cook right now is …. French Fries.
Fried French Fries – this is what Luo Xiu have suddenly thought of.
First, wash the potatoes and remove the potato skin!
At this moment in time, Luo Xiu learned more about the characteristics of the Deeson Fruit.
It is soft, much softer than the potatoes in the human world. The starch content is also much richer.
The moisture content is also quite rich.
After cleaning the Deeson Fruit’s skin and removing the eyes of the Deeson Fruit, Luo Xiu placed a quarter of the Deeson Fruit on top of the table. The quarter of Deeson Fruit is approximately the size of a palm.
As a master chef, although Luo Xiu usually cooks western food, modular cuisine etc, he is also skilled in Chinese food and common staple food.
Most of the Chinese cuisine chef all started off as a kitchen helper, and Luo Xiu is no exception to the rule.
“French Fries…. I have not cooked this for many years!”
Although Luo Xiu was reminiscing about his experience, his hands did not stop moving.
From the kitchen knives rack, he chose a kitchen knife. It resembles the Japanese Santoku knife in his past life.
“The edge of the knife is extremely sharp. This type of knife is just the most basic knife tool in this world? This world’s knife skills are really high….. Eh? That there is no Chinese Chopper in this kitchen is really weird!”
There is a Chinese saying, ‘There is no ingredient that a single Chinese chopper could not handle. If there is such an ingredient, then 2 Chinese choppers will definitely do the job!’
Most of the time, the chef only needs one chopper to cook most of the Chinese cuisine .
This is because most of the chefs specializing in Chinese Cuisine are very skilled in the use of Chinese Chopper.
This is something is unique to Chinese cuisines, and is the basic rite of passage that every fine chef aspiring to cook Chinese cuisine must go through.
The kitchen helper’s first task is to familiarise themselves with their knife skills and improve their knife skills before they are allowed to handle food.
But in this world, it is similar to the Japanese and French style of cooking, and the kitchen is filled with a dazzling and bizarre variety of knives.
Luo Xiu grumbled, “Sigh… all of these knives are not as comfortable to use as a Chinese cleaver!”
Looking at the knife in his hand, he knew having this knife is better than nothing.
Luckily this knife is really sharp!
The blade glints with shiny light, but the shape of the blade is like a magnified fruit knife.
Using his index finger, middle finger, and thumb, Luo Xuo pinched the handle and the blade with his three fingers. He breathed in slowly. After two short breath, he suddenly sprang into action. With one hand he threw the Deeson Fruit into the air, while his other hand that is handling the blade moved with quick precision.
With a crosscut, the large Deeson Fruit was suddenly divided into four almost equal parts.
But Luo Xiu did not stop here, and the hand holding on to the knife continued to move rapidly. Under Luo Xiu intense knife work, the Deeson fruit that was so huge, become an oval ordinary-sized potato.
At this time, Yu Weiling slowly crept into the kitchen. She was curious and wanted to know what type of “Black inedible poison” that Luo Xiu would cook this time.
Looking at Luo Xiu who was busy with cooking, her eyes flashed a look of bewilderment.
She had never seen her brother like this – Calm, confident, and in high spirits while cooking.
This and her image of her brother in the kitchen seemed to be a 180 degree U-turn.
“My brother seemed to change a lot after the attack?”
Ye Weiling maybe lost in her thoughts, but her ears picked up the sound of the knives hitting the wooden chopping board.
Ye Weiling heard the intensive sound of the knife hitting the chopping board, but thought that she had heard wrong.
She looked towards the source of the noise, and saw something that she had never dared to imagine.
“Da, da, da, da!”
The sight that greeted her was the superb knife skills of Luo Xiu.
Luo Xiu did not even hesitate or pause, and his eyes never seem to look at the Deeson fruit in his hand. To him, the act of cutting the potato is as natural as flowing clouds.
While cutting, he would close his eyes as he enjoyed the feeling of chopping the ingredient.
His movements did not seem to be human, and more like a machine as he relied on his hands and knife to quickly chop the Deeson fruit in rapid succession. His hands seemed to be a blur as he performed his magic – The massive Deeson fruit, in a very short span of time, was transformed into smaller pieces of straight cuts.
And the straight cut pieces neatly stacked behind Luo Xiu’s hand. With each cut, his hands would move slightly backward in a rhythmic fashion, and the stack of straight cut pieces seemed to grow longer and longer.
All these occurred in a very short span of time.
“What is this?”
With her eyes fixed on Luo Xiu’s hands, Ye Weiling made her way to the area in front of Luo Xiu. Her pupils contracted as she stood there, mesmerized by the sight before her.
What type of knife cutting skills is this?
Ye Weiling thought that even the chef of Inkfusion restaurant, the best restaurant in the city, is not as fast as Luo Xiu.
When did her brother become so proficient in the use of the blade?
Ye Weiling has grown up with Luo Xiu, and she did not even realize that her brother’s knife skills are so spectacular.
It is really too fast.
The knife seemed to chop downwards in a rhythmically fashion, and progressively get faster and faster, like the rain – it falls slowly at first, a light drizzle, and then progressively get heavier. Only the legendary gold grade chefs should have this type of amazing knife skills?
As soon as this thought appeared in Ye Weiling’s mind, she was momentary floored by her thoughts.
That is a type of kitchen Xiuzhen!
The type that can fly in the sky, barrow underground, move the mountains and the sea, and do all kinds of impossible things. The super strong, super powerful type that with one move of their blade, legendary beasts are slain.
The type that all of Snow Moon City must pay their respects to.
Maybe, just maybe, my brother is the legendary gold grade kitchen Xiuzhen practicer?
He had been hiding his real skills all this while?
Ye Weiling stared at Luo Xiu’s hand with a fierce determination, as if trying to fathom her brother’s skills.
In her eyes, all she could see is a silver flash of light, and the Deeson fruit on the counter does not appeared to have been cut.
But Luo Xiu’s did not stop moving, his right hands continuous chopped in a steady tempo. It was as if he was performing a musical – the sound of the knives on the chopping board would create a non-stop beat like that of drums.
Ye Weiling’s mouth opened in wonder and astonishment.
She could not imagine anyone else other than Kitchen Xiuzhen practisers who could possess this type of knife skill.
“Is brother…. really a Kitchen Xiuzhen practiser? “
Ye Weiling cupped her mouth with her hands, and tried hard not to make any sound that would interrupt her brother.
But in the next second, her eyes were full of anger.
My brother actually…. kept this a secret from me for so many years!
This guy… how did his knife skills become so polished?
Why … why is the food that he used to made taste so horrible? Is it made on purpose to trick me?
All this while, is he pretending to be a pig to catch a tiger? 
There was nobody around to answer her questions. At this time, Luo Xiu had already cut the entire Deeson Fruit into slices. The thickness of each slice is almost identical, and if you take a glance at it, the slices are as if they were cut by a machine.
This Deeson Fruit was so well cut that each slice seemed to be glistering. The white starchy juice on it was still retained, and the water content of each slice was not lost in any way.
What was more incredible is the various pieces of the Deeson Fruit seemed to be joined together. If you use some strength and pull the first slice from the bottom, the slices of the Deeson Fruit could be stretched into a long string, without a single slice dropping on the floor. And the part that joins each slice together is only a fine almost thread thickness piece of Deeson Fruit – a silk like string!
Superb Knife work for Potato
In Ye Weiling’s eyes, this type of knife skill could be called “Ghost Axe”, and is one of the pinnacles of the knife skill.
But cutting into slices is just the first step.
The second step is to cut them into fries.
Of course, this task is of no difficulty for Luo Xiu.
He was only 10 years old when he mastered this type of knife skills. At Bai Luo Restaurant where he used to work, this could be considered only the most basic and elementary knife skills.
After all, only when you are able to cut a potato into thread or made a sculpture with a potato, then did you reach the advance level.
Luo Xiu shook his head, and pulled back, and the slices of Deeson Fruit quickly returned to the round shape like a potato.
Cut them into fries!
Swa, Swa, Swa!
There seem to be uncountable number of flashes of light, as Luo Xiu hands become blurry and shadowlike. In a flash, all the slices of Deeson Fruit suddenly changed their shape and become like fries.
“Ok, now that I have completed the first part, I can now fry the fries!”
Luo Xiu smiled, and turned around, and suddenly he felt a chilly gust of wind coming from his back.
Luo Xiu was surprised, and he turned around, only to find his sister furiously glaring at him, with her arms crossed.
扮猪吃老虎 – translated as ‘pretending to be a pig to catch a tiger’. Real meaning ‘to play dumb to take advantage of someone’. See https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%E6%89%AE%E7%8C%AA%E5%90%83%E8%80%81%E8%99%8E
The Chinese Cleaver is really the only knife that most Chinese chef use – see https://www.thekitchn.com/the-only-knife-you-need-the-mu-127724