Little Cooking Saint – 0001 – Hotpot Mushroom Soup

Little Cooking Saint – 0001 – Hotpot Mushroom Soup

Chapter 1 – Hotpot Mushroom Soup

 

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Translated Prosperousfood.com         

Retranslated and Edited by Gumihou

 

Shiyu had been in this other world for a day.

One whole day.

Though it had felt ridiculous at first, the longer she sat here staring at the dusty and cobwebby ceiling, the more she had to admit that, yes, she had indeed… been transmigrated.

After reading quite a few transmigration novels, it was not that difficult for her to mentally cope with this reality. The only sole, unacceptable thing was that she had transmigrated into a… beggar?

She examined her body once again. Her grimy hands and blackened fingernails, the grey rags and greasy, stringy hair. The powerful rancid smell of her own unwashed body almost made her faint the first time she gained consciousness in this world.

She had to get out of this broken-down temple and find some way to take a bath. However the moment she tried to stand up, vertigo hit her and she had to steady herself against the wall. With great difficulty, she managed to shuffle all the way to the main entrance and looked out. She was just in time to see a bunch of little radishes running over. The little radishes soon gathered around her to say, “We got some steamed bun! Big sister, this is for you!”

Shiyu looked at the black-yellow thing, covered in fingerprints and lost whatever appetite she might have had. However, she had absolutely no strength at all, and the saying ‘Beggars can’t be choosers’ exist for a reason. She had to eat, that vertigo from earlier had to be from the hunger.

Shiyu reached out for the ‘steamed bun’ and took a bite.

Tough! Coarse!

She forced herself to chew and swallow, took a couple more bites and gave the rest to the little radishes around her. “You guys go ahead and eat.” She had already noticed how they stared at the bun in her hand. Their gaze was so focused that their eyeballs nearly popped out.

“But, grandpa said you’re sick, and we must take care of you.” the good little radishes refused the bun.

“It’s fine, I’m full now.” Shiyu pressed the bun into their hands.

After a little rest at the entrance, Shiyu began to chat with them. They were little radishes after all, and it was easy to get information out of them.

However, the more information she had gotten from them, the more Shiyu felt like there were 10,000 tiny alpacas stomping through over her head.

Why, you ask? Because she had transmigrated into a world that she was ultra-super familiar with, ah!

Wasn’t this the world created by her stupid friends?

The two stupid friends in questions were: Two Dog (male) and Fat Onion (female).

To be fair, Two Dog was the original writer. He started off writing a Xuanhuan [2] story in the POV of the male protagonist who started off as a downtrodden, mistreated loser to become a legendary warrior man of all men.

Fat Onion got involved with the story because she disliked the way Two Dog made all female characters fall for the MC (Main Character). She borrowed his fantasy world and created a strong Xuanhuan female character who was supposed to be the equal of Two Dog’s MC.

It could be said that these two MCs started a kind of faction war, where one support a female MC and the other supported the male MC.

She had read both versions and thought they were both not bad. Thus, she begged them to put her into this world of theirs. It’s fine even if the put her as a random mob character. However, who would have thought that these two rubbish friends of hers had actually made her into a beggar!

Once she realized this, she began to harass them, nagging them to change her into someone more respectable and while they are at it, to also give her character some kind of mystical object that would help her to reach the peak of her potential.

The two so-called friends finally gave in to her pleas and gave her character some kind of artefact that would allow her to utilize cooking skills and cultivate her powers via the path of culinary cultivation. In fact, she was even helped by the male MC in the beginning, and later helped him out as a minor character.

Had she really transmigrated into a world where she play her fictional self?

Worse, had she brought this all on herself?

Sadly, Shiyu pondered upon her situation once more. To be sure, she checked her body through again and found nothing of note, who knows where that supposed artefact was now.

However, not all was lost. After all, she had foreknowledge of this world. She also knew who the male MC was, ah. She could survive by hugging the thighs [3] of both male and female MCs. She will thrive under their protection! Hurrah!

“Hey, you said something about a grandpa… do we really have a grandpa?” Shiyu asked suddenly. Weren’t they all beggars? Just where did this grandpa come from? Also, who knew how old this grandpa really was from the perspective of little kids like these.

The kids tilted their heads curiously, “Big sister, is your head all right now?”

“Ah?” just what are you talking about?

A little more questioning later, she found out that the person occupying this body used to be an idiot, and had been taken in by a kindly beggar grandpa. Not only her, but the rest of the little radishes were also taken in by this mysterious grandpa as beggars. As for herself, this body had met with an accident while begging on the city streets. A speeding carriage had passed by and struck the girl on the head. The bleeding had been so bad that old grandpa had begged a travelling monk to heal her, which was the only reason why this body had lived until now.

Or had it?

Shiyu felt incredibly complicated. For a man to take even a crazy person under his care, he’s either a monster or a saint. Well, whatever, let’s be grateful for the rescue.

After struggling to get out of the dilapidated temple, Shiyu came upon a tiny brook at the foot of a mountain. After washing up to the best of her ability, she studied her thin and weak person in the reflection of the water. No matter what, this body didn’t look like a 15-year-old person.

After her wash, Shiyu could not stand the smell of her stinky clothes anymore. Since they were so thin and brittle, she decided to just dunk the clothes into the water and give it a brief rinse before putting it back on, still dripping wet. Under the summer sun, everything soon dried up properly.

Now that she had cleaned up a bit, the next order of business was to take care of this rumbling stomach. That single mouthful of steamed bun and gulps of spring water seemed to have given her a bit of strength. To think that she, a three-star chef in her past life, would be on the verge of starvation in the sticks like this. If her former colleagues could see her now, they might laugh themselves to death. Though her skills were nothing like the top masters, she was good enough to work at a three-star Michelin kitchen, ah.

As she travelled along a winding path aimlessly, Shiyu cast her eyes about and found herself looking at all kinds of cooking ingredients. There was Shepard’s purse [4], Chinese Spinach [5] and other vegetables growing like weeds and grasses along the road.

Shiyu thought back to the steamed bun she had eaten just now and became thoughtful. It’s possible that the cooking in this world was not very developed. Unlike the modern world where ingredients from air, sea and land were in demand, where even soil [1] were eaten, the food here is probably limited to whatever technology was available. Sous vide most likely don’t exist either.

In the end, she decided to collect some mushrooms she found growing right next to her. She placed as many mushrooms as she could find onto a large leaf, and took them home to the broken temple.

Mushrooms are mountain treasures. They could be stir-fried, boiled or made into condiments. The simplest method was the cook them in a little saltwater. Since there were so many of them, it’s better to just make a hearty mushroom soup for everyone.

Back at the temple, she found that aside from the youngest little radishes, the rest had gone out for begging. Shiyu gritted her teeth against her bitter hunger and weak body to explore the little temple, to her surprise and delight she found a stone pot and even some cheap seasoning.

Without further ado, she ordered the smallest child to fetch water while she stacked the firewood together. When the water was brought in, she filled the stone pot with water and set it over the fire. Next, she cleaned the mushrooms since they were meant to go into the soup. She rinsed them out in the bucket doing her best to get rid of any bugs or parasites. Since fresh mushrooms sometimes taste weird, she blanched the washed mushroom in the boiling water for good measure. The used water was then thrown away and freshwater went into the pot.

There were quite a lot of mushrooms. Once the water was hot, she stuffed the lot into the pot. She then added a generous pinch of salt into the mushroom soup and all she had to do now was to leave it to simmer.

With nothing else to do, she turned to the little child next to her and asked, “What’s your name?”

“I’m Xiao Qi.”

“Xiao Qi, ah! Go and fetch grandpa and everyone else. Tell them it’s time to eat.” said Shiyu.

“Ah? We can eat these?” Xiao Qi’s eyes widen, she couldn’t quite believe her ears.

Just then a wonderful fragrance began to trickle out. Shiyu fished out a piece of mushroom with a pair of chopsticks and held it next to Xiao Qi’s mouth. “Have a taste. Be careful, it’s hot.”

Xiao Qi swallowed. She opened her mouth wide and chomped onto the tender mushroom. The hot and savoury mushroom seemed to explode in her mouth. It tasted fresh and savoury. The surprisingly meaty texture felt incredibly hearty and satisfying. In short, it was incredibly yummy!

“Yummy! Really yummy! I’ll call the grandpa and the rest over now!” Xiao Qi dashed out. At the very least, everyone could sleep with a full stomach tonight.

 

[Gumihou: I’ve re-translated it because I felt the original translation didn’t quite do it justice. Haha… ^_^]

 

 

Notes:

[1] No kidding, edible soil is food!

https://food-hacks.wonderhowto.com/how-to/make-dirt-you-can-actually-eat-0155614/

 

[2] Xuanhuan – This term is use for those fiction set in a eastern culture background(in contrast to 奇幻Qihuan). In Xuanhuan you get five basic element (metal, wood, water, fire and earth), Chinese style gods, powerful animal monster like fox and tiger who can transform to human look, Taoist practice that allow human to become immortal, etc. It’s a really general type, and Xianxia is just a subclass of this type. Against The Gods and Martial God Asura are examples of this.

https://forum.novelupdates.com/threads/genres-of-chinese-wns.2180/

[3] hugging the thigh of – depending on, clinging onto someone’s protection

[4] Shepard’s Purse

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8czB51G1iRQ

[5] Chinese Spinach – there are lots of variation of this plant and they tended to grow close to water

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