Kitchen Xiuzhen, Chapter 11 – The Birth of Salt!
Translated by Prosperousfood.com
Rehosted by Gumihou at kitchennovel.com
On earth, since ancient times, salt is a necessary flavouring agent used by chefs.
This is a not just a taste that most type of food could not do without, it is also something that the human body could not do without.
Salt is made up of sodium chloride. It is this chemical that gives it a neutral inorganic salt taste.
Among all the food, it tasted slight salty, a bit cold, and could be used to cool down the body temperature by maintaining the water in the body , regulate blood pressure , acts as a laxative , kill bacteria , replace fluids due to excessive water loss from vomiting and diarrhoea etc .
After Luo Xiu had crossed over into this world, the first thing he wanted to do is to create salt.
Most dishes can do without MSG, without sugar, but they cannot go without salt.
‘Gu Lu Lu!’
In a very short while, the water in the iron pot had already been boiled.
Luo Xiu picked up the pot containing the seawater, and poured it into the cloth that was covering the iron pot.
The towel performs the first level filtration, and could remove the sand, mud, and other impurities from the seawater.
Ye Weiling, who was watching, could not refrain her curiosity. Where did this brother of hers learn all these strange and crazy stuff?
“Brother, what are you doing?”
“I am extracting the salt from the seawater. I guess you would not understand. You only need to know this, with this ‘salt’, our Nine Gates Restaurants could become the best restaurant within Snow Moon City!”
Luo Xiu explained briefly. Li Yuan, who was eavesdropping on the conversation, could not help laughing out loud, “Best restaurant within Snow Moon City? Nine Gates restaurant will be changing hands soon! Under my leadership, I will make it become a [Great Restaurant]!”
“I don’t know if you are just ignorant or arrogant?”
Li Yuan shook his head. Luo Xiu just ignored his remarks. At this time, the seawater had already been filtered.
The iron pot continued to boil.
“Brother, today you are very strange! You keep talking nonsense.”
Ye Weiling also did not believe Luo Xiu, “What [Great restaurant]? Your first job is to overcome this chef challenge first!”
Once she thought of Li Yuan’s cooking skills, Ye Weiling immediately felt a headache is coming up. This is a qualified chef that could create [Fine Food].
The neighbours who are witnessing the chef battle were also puzzled by Luo Xiu’s antics.
Regarding the words that Luo Xiu had just said, they could not help but shake their head in disbelief.
That type of restaurant requires a [Great Chef] to man it. In the entire Snow Moon City, there is only one such restaurant.
How can it be so easy to achieve this?
“Relax! Nine Gates Restaurant will once again reign in Snow Moon City!”
When he said these words, Luo Xiu’s expression was full of confidence and this helps to inspire confidence.
Ye Weiling was intending to say a few words, but seeing the expression on her brother’s face, she suddenly and unexplainably felt calm and kept quiet.
Her brother seemed to have a charm of his own that was hard to describe.
Especially his confident demeanour, combined with his handsome face, is extremely attractive to ladies.
Ye Weiling is well aware that Luo Xiu is not related to her by blood. There are no siblings that have different surnames. Therefore, from the time they were young, her relationship with Luo Xiu can be considered kind of special.
Although she could not tell if this feeling is family or love, she really enjoys being with Luo Xiu.
“If my brother has a sense of smell and taste, he would definitely be an outstanding man, as great as father was!” Ye Weiling could not help saying this out loud.
At this time, the water in the iron pot immediately bubbled and boil, and hot steam was continuously released.
This iron pot is much more convenient than the pots on earth – they are much faster to heat up.
Just a few minutes and a big bucket of water immediately reached boiling point.
This world is really incredible! Luo Xiu had seen too many strange and superb things that he is slowly becoming numb to these new kinds of stuff. After all, in this world, there are even Xiuzhen practicers. What else could be impossible?
‘Gu Lu Lu!’
The bubbles continued to rise, and steam quickly evaporated. After several more minutes, just when almost all the water had evaporated, Luo Xiu immediately took down the iron pot from the stove, and placed its contents into a container that he had prepared beforehand.
Struck at the bottom of the iron pot were some residues.
These could be considered the 2nd layer of filtration.
“Is it ready?”
Ye Weiling saw the crystal like substance that seemed to float within the container.
She had completely forgotten her comments that the seawater contains poison. Right now, all she is thinking of is what exactly does Luo Xiu trying to do?
“Not yet. Just one more step!”
“The final step is to refine the salt!”
There are two types of crystallised substances. The first thing that crystalised is the common salt, also known as sodium chloride. And the second type is the nitrates salt, also known as sodium nitrate.
And nitrate salts are harmful to the body!
When the nitrate salt is exposed to air, it will become nitrite. This is the main chemical that causes poisoning when too much seawater is consumed!
Therefore there must be one more step to avoid this – refining the salt.
To refine the salt, he needs to use indirect evaporation.
First, he needs to heat up these salts for 5 minutes, then turns off the fire. After this salt had cooled down, he would heat them again for 5 minutes to melt them, and repeat the whole process over and over again until the water had naturally evaporated. This is the process of precipitation  – over time the residues are the nitrate salt crystals.
Of course, the best method is to use allow the wind to blow dry the water.
This is also the method used by many salt refineries that are located near the sea. This type of salt is considered superior.
As for Luo Xiu’s method, precipitation, the final salt quality is not too bad, but there are still tiny traces of sodium nitrate residues within.
But Luo Xiu was satisfied with this method.
By using precipitation, he could separate the salt and the nitrate salt. This is because the nitrate salts’ solubility is temperature dependent. As for the normal table salt, it is less temperature dependent.
By raising the temperature, and then lowering the temperature, the salt that crystalised first are the nitrate salts!
This is something that he had learnt in chemistry class, involving the saturation of salts compound, and this world had probably never heard of chemistry.
Luo Xiu carefully extracted all the nitrate salt crystals.
“No wonder this world does not have salt. This world’s seawater contains 10 times the amount of sodium nitrate of Earth’s seawater!” Luo Xiu could not help sighing.
But this is not necessary a bad thing.
Luo Xiu’s eyes turned cold as he glanced at Li Yuan, who was busy cooking. The corner of his mouth twisted into a smirk. Luo Xiu had no intention of letting Li Yuan get away that easily for trying to kill him.
Although some the sodium nitrate salt may become nitrite as a result of being heated up and exposed the surrounding air, this is something that Luo Xiu wanted.
After about an hour, Luo Xiu had finally refined the salt from the seawater.
“First step, completed!”
Luo Xiu gives a thumbs up signal to Ye Weiling, and his face seemed to be pleased with the result.
Ye Weiling curiously looked at the sparkling white colour crystals that Luo Xiu had carefully extracted, and asked, “This is the thing call salt that you were talking about?”
“Right. Taste it!”
Luo Xiu took a pinch of salt and placed his fingers near Ye Weiling’s lips.
Ye Weiling looked at Luo Xiu’s finger with suspicion. These white crystals had no smell, and Ye Weiling could not help but remained sceptical, “Can these be eaten?”
He immediately rubbed the salt against Ye Weiling’s moist lips.
Phew, it had been a long time since I attended chemistry and biology classes. For those who want some references to real life, here are some links.
 Salt helps to regulate blood pressure, and volume of water in the body http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/advantages-disadvantages-sodium-nutrition-5640.html
 Salt as laxative, https://draxe.com/salt-water-flush/
 Salt can kill bacterial! https://thesaltsuite.com/how-is-salt-anti-bacterial
 Vomiting and diarrhoea https://familydoctor.org/condition/vomiting-and-diarrhea/
 Precipitation chemistry https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precipitation_(chemistry)