Chapter 59 – Home Made Pickles vs Special Sharks Fin (B)
When Ye Chui finally made it to Lin Wei’s house with his plastic bag, he noticed the car in front of the house. He clearly recognised this car, and frowned to himself, surely it’s not Lin Zhengdao?
Just as he was pondering over this, the door opened, an extraordinarily handsome and charismatic young man got out with a confident smile on his face. He held out his hand, “You’re Ye Chui, ba. Good to meet you, I am Wei-wei’s cousin, He Chengfei.”
“Good to meet you.” Ye Chui held out his hand automatically, and allowed it to be shook. An odd feeling rose in his heart, just how did this cousin of Lin Wei knew his name?
He heard He Chengfei laughed as he said, “I just happen to visit Aunt and Uncle Lin today. I’ve already heard about you from Wei-wei, really didn’t expect to see you here. He-he, I heard that you’re an excellent cook, I must try your cooking today, I can’t wait to try it.”
He Chengfei’s words were remarkably warm and affectionate, if his words had been directed at Cai Kang, that man would probably be buried without knowing who killed him. However, Ye Chui have an additional 30 years of experience under his belt, and was not one to be easily tricked. He Chengfei has a rather high handed way of speaking. For example, he kept talking about Ye Chui’s cooking skills, treating him like a cook who was just here to make dinner instead of an actual guest.
Ye Chui showed a smiled, and said to He Chengfei, “If you wish to taste my cooking that could be easily arranged. My family restaurant would be opening soon, please come by whenever you like.”
“Is that so, ah, I’m not sure when I can find the time.” He Chengfei’s smile did not waver as he answered. There were razors hidden in their words. Still smiling, he reached into his car and brought out the beautifully packaged sharks fin. He cast a condescending look at the plastic bag in Ye Chui’s hand and smirked, “Let’s go in, ba.”
Ye Chui was also paying attention to the other man’s beautifully wrapped box. Though he did not know what was inside, it had to be some really expensive gift. He could see that this kid was feeling gleeful, feeling sure that their own expansive gift had to be better than whatever was in Ye Chui’s plastic bag. If he knew that Ye Chui had brought vegetable pickles, he would definitely be even more gleeful.
However, Ye Chui merely gave a little he-he laugh, “All right, let’s go.”
At the sound of the doorbell, a cutely dressed Lin Wei opened the door to welcome them, “Ye Chui, you’re finally here… yi, why are you here too, cousin?”
“I’m here to visit Aunt and Uncle Lin,” He Chengfei smiled, and went in straight away as though he’s already familiar with the place. Though it was actually his first time here, but he carried himself as though he’s already part of the family and not an outsider at all. This was to indirectly display how close he was to Lin Wei in order to provoke a reaction.
Lin Wei watched He Chengfei enter the room, a trace of worry showed in her eyes as she glanced at Ye Chui. When she saw Ye Chui’s mildly neutral smile, no indication of being offended, that she felt relieved. This little greedy cat’s eyes zoomed in on the plastic bag in Ye Chui’s hand. She laughed and said, “Ye Chui, what delicious thing did you bring mother this time?”
“This is for your mother, I’m sure she’ll like it.” Ye Chiu smiled as he indicated the plastic bag.
Lin Wei couldn’t help herself as her little tongue stuck out to lick her lips. She latched onto Ye Chui’s arm, “Ye Chui, I’ll take you to see my mum.”
Once past the front door, the first thing that greeted the eye was an elegantly appointed living room. A maid busy with her household chores. A graceful and elegant older lady seated on the living room sofa. This was clearly Lin Wei’s mother, Wu Haimei. A single glance was enough to send shocks through Ye Chui’s heart. Though Ye Chui knew that Madam Wu Haimei suffered from anorexia, seeing her thin, dried up body still affected him quite strongly.
There was no one else in the living room, looked like Lin Zhengdao was not at home right now.
He Chengfei was standing in front of the sofa, asking about Madam Wu Haimei’s condition. He appeared very sincere, and even managed to induce a smile on Wu Haimei’s thin face. When Ye Chui was dragged in by Lin Wei, Wu Haimei’s glance transferred towards Ye Chui, “You’re Ye Chui, ba. Whenever Lin Wei mentions your name, it’s always about how delicious your cooking is. I can finally meet you today.”
“Hello, auntie.” Ye Chui came over to offer his greetings with a smile, and stood next to He Chengfei. His appearance while not ugly, could not be called handsome, however, when he stood next to young master He, it was like looking at an extra next to a star celebrity. However, Ye Chui did not seemed phased by the comparison, he even grandly and ostentatiously — placed his bottle of pickles next to He Chengfei’s beautifully packaged gift.
Ye Chui merely smiled, “Auntie, this is a little gift I’ve especially prepared for you.”
“Ye Chui, just what good thing did you bring, ah.” Lin Wei’s eyes were fixed on the plastic bag, her curiosity and anticipation were both very high ever since she saw it earlier.
“He-he, I’m sure whatever thing Ye Chui bring will suit Auntie Lin’s taste. However, good things should be opened last. Please have a look at my gift first, ba.” He Chengfei suddenly cut in, he stooped over to lift a box out from the expensive looking bag. The box was also elaborately made, once opened, a golden coloured fan shaped thing was revealed. This was clearly shark’s fin, in fact, it’s the the world renowned super expensive ‘Wing Fin’.
He Chengfei gleefully explained, “This is called sharks fin, it’s the fin bones of a shark, the flavour is matchless, a high class gourmet food. In the whole of Chine, probably only Tongxin Hall in Yan Jing has this thing. However, only really lucky people could get their hands on this, if you’re unlucky, no matter how much money you have, it’s still difficult to buy. I had to pull some strings to get this single piece for auntie.”
Clearly this long talk was to show off his wealth and connections. After his explanation, he smiled at Ye Chui — After bringing such a precious thing out, surely Ye Chui would be too embarrassed to reveal what he had brought.
“Ye Chui, are sharks fins really that good?” Due to the vegetarian movement, it was Lin Wei’s first time hearing about sharks fin. Her glutton button poked, she excitedly asked Ye Chui for clarification.
He Chengfei did not wait for Ye Fei to answer, he smiled, “When meat was allowed on the dining table, sharks fin is once more allowed. However, it is very rare even before the movement, most famous chefs never even heard of it. Therefore, it’s not surprising if Ye Chui never heard of it either.”
Ye Chui gave a soft laugh as he gave He Chengfei a glance, though sharks fins were indeed precious ingredients, Ye Chui already had plenty of experience dealing with it in his past life, so he’s pretty familiar with it. He smiled and Lin Wei and said, “Sharks fin’s taste is pretty good, but it’s nutritional value is not high. The reason why it’s expensive is due to it’s rarity, there’s nothing really special about it’s flavour. In fact, a lot of people who had eaten this said that it’s pretty similar to eating vermicelli or mung bean starch noodles.”
“Oh,” Lin Wei has absolute confidence in Ye Chui’s cooking skills, and regretfully nodded her head.
He Chengfei was naturally unhappy, how dare this guy compare his precious sharks fin to mung bean starched noodles? A sneer emerged on his face, looking down at Ye Chui, he said, “Heh, today has been a day of lessons. So, sharks fin actually tasted like bean noodles. Well then, just what did Ye Chui bring for Auntie Lin, ah. Let me have a look at what you’ve brought, and widen my horizons a bit.”
Wu Haimei naturally saw the confrontation between He Chengfei and Ye Chui. However, this thin lady could not be bothered to interfere, she treated it as though they were acting out a play for her. When she heard He Chengfei’s words, she curiously looked at the plastic bag brought by Ye Chui — She had actually eaten sharks fin before and found that it was not much different from mung bean noodles, just as Ye Chui had said. However, what she did not know was what good thing Ye Chui had brought today?
He Chengfei also stared at the plastic bag, really curious what Ye Chui had prepared. Could it really be compared to his high class sharks fin?
Lin Wei could no longer wait and stuck her hand into the plastic bag and withdrew a glass bottle filled with something. She stared at it for a bit. “Ye Chui, what’s inside, ya?”
Ye Chui’s face was perfectly calm as he answered. “It’s handmade by me.” Wing Fin – A whole piece of shark’s fin, as opposed to fins that had been split into strands. Way more expensive. Also, since this is a Chinese cooking novel, sharks fin is bound to appear sooner or later. He Chengfei had probably brought a secondary dorsal fin or anal fin since they are smaller and are usually packaged in a nice box to show off their shape.
And no, I do not condone shark finning or sharks fin soup. I think sharks fin soups are stupid and are mostly a way for the rich to show off their wealth. I’ve made fake sharks fin soup before for my grandmother, since she belongs to the generation that grew up with sharks fin soup at wedding banquets.
I’ll put up a post for a fake sharks fin soup soon, look out for it under ‘kitchen’ in kitchennovel.com! I have to protest this. Shark’s fin, once cooked down, is mostly eaten for it’s texture, not taste. The fins really do tasted like mung bean noodles or glass noodles. Just get some raw chapjae from a Korean supermarket, cut them into 3 inch strands and under cook it by a lot. And tada! Instant sharks fin. Put in as much as you like.