Chapter 3 – Meatbuns (a)
Rehosted by – Kitchennovel.com
Retranslated & Edited by Gumihou
… please read this at kitchennovel.com …
The Fish Bone Soup was very fragrant. Compared to the Mushroom Soup from before, it was even more appetizing. The wild vegetables soaked up the flavour nicely. Being wild vegetables, they still maintained their own individual flavours even when infused within the strong broth.
Grandpa and the rest had been beggars for a long time and the best thing they have eaten for a long time were a few warm-ish steamed buns or coarse biscuits given to them by charitable people. It has been a long time since they had fish or meat and the intoxicating smell caused everyone’s saliva glands to work overtime. Finally, it was time to eat, and everyone shamelessly grabbed their portions, gulping down the vegetables in large mouthfuls.
“Delicious!” Xiao Qi and the rest felt so blessed that tears brimmed in their eyes.
These couple of days felt like a dream to them. To be able to taste such hot and delicious food and sleep on a warm stomach was like a dream come true. In their hard and simple lives, this was what they dreamed about most often.
“Eat slowly, don’t choke!” Shiyu looked at them with pity in her heart. “In the future, we’ll have more to eat. Our lives will get better, you’ll see.”
Without hope, life has no meaning.
The next day, Shiyu got up early to make breakfast. It took a long time before everything was completed. First, she re-purposed one of the smaller earthenware jars of mysterious origin as a takeout pot. She wrapped some rags around it to preserve its warmth before calling the others over to eat breakfast.
Once the breakfast of more Fishbone Soup with Vegetable was over, everyone headed towards the city.
Shiyu followed them, but split up at the gates with her pot. She made her way to the back of the same restaurant and waited. After a short while, the trainee from yesterday came out with the fish bones like before. At the sight of her, he exclaimed, “You’re really here?”
“Of course, I did say that I’ll bring some soup for you to try. Here, take it!” The rag covered jar was still warm. When jostled, a rich aroma rose from it.
The trainee’s cheeks suddenly flushed embarrassingly, this was getting awkward. “You eat it, ba! My master treats me quite well, I have enough to eat…”
“The soup I made are different from your master’s. Take this as consideration for my gratitude for the fish bones,” said Shiyu.
Unable to refuse gracefully, the trainee ignored his own flushed face and accepted the gift. “Here, these are the bones I promised you. There will be more tomorrow, so please come back.”
“Thank you, here, quickly try it!” Shiyu urged.
The jar jostled in his arms, letting out another mouth-watering smell. Unable to resist, he quickly took off the lid and took a sip. Immediately, his mouth fell open.
“This… this flavour…”
Shiyu was very satisfied with his expression. Isn’t this the very expression she loved to see most when her guests tasted her delicious cooking?
“How is it? Not bad, right?”
How could it be just ‘not bad’!
The trainee took another gulp. The soup was warm and fragrant, not a trace of the typical fishy smell was left. The vegetables maintained their texture and brought with them the taste of wild outdoors. He never had anything like this before. Even his master could not create this kind of flavour…
The two of them were still standing there when a loud voice shouted, “Bu Yan, what are you doing outside? Why aren’t you working? Is that stinky child loafing around again?”
At this, the trainee jumped and called back, “I’m coming.”
Shiyu saw that there was still quite a bit of soup left and said, “You go and do your thing. I’ll come by and pick up this jar later today.”
“Yes, yes!” the trainee ran back into the restaurant with the jar in his arms.
Thus, the two went their separate ways. The trainee’s duty as an apprentice was to take care of all the various odd jobs around the kitchen. There was no way he could take a break and eat in such a situation. He could only place the earthen jar aside and threw himself into work.
Of all the places he could have put the jar, it had to be at the corner of the stove. Once the stove fired up, the temperature increased. By proximity alone, the jar also began to heat up.
Gradually, a unique fragrance permeated the kitchen. As someone who works in the kitchen. The chef has a well-developed sense of smell and taste. At first, the chef thought the smell came from one of his dishes. However, after sniffing through several different kinds of stir-fries and pots of soups, that smell did not diminish. Instead, it grew stronger.
Finally, he just stood there and began to sniff after the smell. Eventually, he managed to locate the little jar at the corner of the stove.
When the lid was taken off, a strong fragrance attacked his nose. A peek into the jar showed milk-white soup and dotted with wild vegetables. It was enough to hook anyone’s appetite.
He scooped up the content with a spoon for a taste, and his expression changed.
“Is this soup made from spiritual beast meat?”
It’s no wonder that he would think this way. To be honest, his cooking skill ability was at a lower average. Only regular commoners would come to his restaurant. Those with a bit of money would order food made from spiritual ingredients. For people with more money, they would demand actual spiritual beast meat. As the name suggested, spiritual beast meat contained a large amount of spiritual energy; moreover, the meat was exceptionally tender and delicious. More importantly, just one mouthful of the meat could prolong one’s life and increase their vitality.
Like humans, spiritual beasts could cultivate and were very powerful. Even the low-level Spiritual Beasts were not easy prey. Therefore, large restaurants would sometimes place commissions at the Adventurer Guilds to gather these high-end ingredients for them. Naturally, since supply cannot meet demand, even restaurants with money might not see even a piece of Spiritual Beast meat for a long time.
At this very moment, the impression of this soup tasted as delicious as something made from Spiritual Beast meat. Which was how he came to this conclusion.
However, there was not a single gram of spiritual ingredients in the kitchen, so where did this soup come from?
After some investigation later, Trainee Bu Yan was yelled up to face the chef.
“Master.” Bu Yan yelped.
The chef pushed the jar forward a little, and said neutrally, “Is this yours?”
“Where did it come from? Or should I say, where did you steal it from?”
“It is a gift from a friend.” Bu Yan replied.
“Friend?” The chef frowned and continued his line of questioning. “Your friend sure is rich, to be able to gift such an expensive soup. Do you know this thing is made from Spiritual Beast meat?”
“Ah? Surely not!” Bu Yan’s eyes widen. “She said it’s made from fish bones, ah!”
“Fish bones?” The chef clearly did not believe him.
“Yes, yes!” Bu Yan quickly explained the situation to the chef.
The chef sank into deep thought for a long moment, before he warned, “Tell no one about this. You hear?” he said, never indicating that he wished to meet this mysterious friend.
If what his disciple said was true, that little beggar could actually create delicacies from trash. Naturally, if a mere beggar could do it, a chef like him would have no problem recreating it. Well now, since he had received such a nice boon from her, he could be generous and give her a bit more food as a reward.
With this, the chef immediately brought out a few live fish, and began to experiment with fish bone soup.
As time went by, his soup turned white. The chef grew gleeful at the sight and quickly scooped out a bowl for a taste, and nearly spat the whole thing out…
[Gumihou: You need to add spices and things]
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