Little Cooking Saint – 0147 – Dry Hotpot (f)

Little Cooking Saint – 0147 – Dry Hotpot (f)

Chapter 147 Dry Hotpot (f)

Translated by Gumihou

Edited by Gumihou

 

The void opened up right above the treetops of Spiritual Beast Mountain Range.

[1] Shiyu found herself tumbling into the air space and cursing at Wen Heng as the trees seemed to shoot closer and closer in seconds. Luckily, Chasing Clouds & Moon had trained her mind to think fast in the face of speeding objects and Shiyu activated the technique, zapping sideways as soon as her foot could touch the treetops to slow down her ‘to earth’ trajectory and skimming over trees like a skimming dragonfly before flipping in the air a couple of times before finally landing safely on her feet.

[1] After her first gulp of air, she used her second to scream, “Damn you, Wen Heng!!” and shook her fist at the sky for good measure.

“Tch,” she kicked an errant rock in her path and harrumphed twice before the adrenaline in her body settled down enough for her to think properly.

[1] Great Lord or not, Shiyu did not appreciate being spat into the air like that. What if she fell to the ground and broke her neck? What if the tree branches scratched her face?! Though she could not be called ugly, Shiyu understood that she could not be considered beautiful either. However, ever since she started Cultivating the condition of her skin had gotten better and she really does not want anything to damage it.

As she was pondering over this, Fat Cat said, “What are you planning to do next?”

Before Shiyu could explain her ideas for a proper beauty regiment, Fat Cat continued, “It’s the Third Month now. You must stay within Spiritual Beast Mountain Range for the next two months. There are a lot of Core Condensation Beasts here as well as a few Divine Condensation Monsters. You had better watch yourself. I shall also remind you that the Way of Suppression doesn’t apply to the Mountain Range, so work hard.”

“…” luckily she did not manage to answer Fat Cat’s question just now. Also, the last thing she should worry about was the condition of her face since… it looked like she had leapt out of the wolf’s den into the tiger’s den? Again? Anyway, let’s try asking some intelligent-sounding questions. “Err, I’ve always been curious. Why aren’t the Spiritual Beasts of this mountain not suppressed by the Way of Suppression?”

After all, the entire land under the sky should be the Ninth Realm and all of Ninth Realm should be under the Way of Suppression. Even if the powerful monsters here were prevented from leaving, kind of like a huge zoo. A zoo filled with powerful and vicious animals…

On the other hand, it looked like humans could wander in and out freely?

“When the Human Race was forced into the Ninth Realm, they were chased down by the more stubborn Spiritual Beasts. The monsters within the mountains descended from those beasts. As for other explanations… it can wait until you’ve gained more strength.”

Shiyu stared at Fat Cat, “… …” Whatever, whatever! She’s more interested in knowing how to make use of the Nascent Formation Leopard in her ring anyway.

“A-about that, let’s cook the Spiritual Leopard! I can’t wait!” In Shiyu’s eyes, the Spiritual Leopard was basically a huge lump of meat packed with Spiritual powers and special buffs. Moreover, it’s a Nascent Formation creature, ah! What would happen once she eats it?

Fat Cat gave her a contemptuous glance. “For a miserable Cultivator like you, every single gram of this Nascent Formation Spiritual Beast is a treasure. If you wish to waste it with your deficient cooking skills, I won’t stop you. But know this, if you wish to permanently absorb the Beast’s attribute into yourself, the possibility would be greatly reduced by your current… skills.” There was clear ridicule in Fat Cat’s sneer of disgust [2].

“Wait, wait… there’s something I don’t understand,” Shiyu was used to Fat Cat’s sneering by now. [2] It was no worse than the sneering she used to get from head chefs. In fact, one could say that the shouty [2] Gordon Ramsey is the norm rather than the exception in the cooking world. Especially towards female chefs… “Are you saying that if I eat a flying monster, I could permanently gain its ability to fly?”

“Do you have other definitions for ‘permanent’?”

There’s that sneer again, but Shiyu was too elated to be bothered by it!

Hurrah!

“However, if you rashly cook your Nascent Formation Leopard, you will only gain ordinary effects. After all, an ordinary cook could only gain ordinary effects.”

“Then, how should I cook it?” asked Shiyu.

“You will receive a vision,” was Fat Cat’s only answer. In truth, he had no other answer. That guy used to receive all kinds of weird visions when cooking. When he cooked, it’s all glowing halo, lighting flashes and an amazing variety of fragrances shooting out in all directions. He could only describe it as a ‘vision’ for now.

“Alright! I’ll try my cooking on other monster meat first!” Just as she was about to stalk forward and hunt down her first Spirit Beast she stopped. She turned to Fat Cat and hesitated.

[3] “What is it?” asked Fat Cat.

“Fatty, are you alive?” she used to believe that Fat Cat was a living thing. But after her experience at Xuan Chu, she was no longer sure.

Fat Cat used to be her master’s pet, so he had to be at least a thousand years old. If he really was alive, then, he should have easily dealt with those group of people coming after them before.

The wind stirred Fat Cat’s fur. After a while, Fat Cat said, “Cats have nine lives, my last living day was autumn of over a hundred years ago.”

“Is that why you can’t leave the Saint’s Dwelling?” Shiyu asked. “Then, can I bring you back to life? Revive master?” She had been considering these questions many times now. Once she has achieved a certain level of strength, would she be able to rescue people from the past?

“Perhaps, but those thoughts are well beyond your current strength now,” said Fat Cat. “Don’t think about those things. After all, whether living or dead, as long as one can still spend time with one’s comrades, isn’t that good enough?”

Shiyu could not tell whether Fat Cat was being plaintive or realistic from his tone of voice. She was a little disappointed by his answer, but it was not beyond what she had expected.

In the end, as a soul who had transmigrated into this place from a different time and space, she may actually have the power to pull him back into the world of living.

One day.

After all, if everything in this world is doomed to follow the wheels of fate, what is the point of trying to make a difference?

 

Please read this at kitchennovel dot com ~

 

That evening, Shiyu managed to hunt down a Core Condensation Stage Phoenix-Eye Vulture. She specifically went after a flying creature because she was dying to experience the sensation of flying. Who knows, she might even be lucky and gain a permanent buff!

After dressing and gutting the Spirit Bird, Shiyu went through the list of poultry dishes in her mind. No matter what it has to be spicy. That’s right, let’s make Dry Hotpot. To be specific, let’s make the super spicy Mala Dry Hotpot [4]!

While at Xuan Chu, Shiyu discovered that the people over there preferred lighter food. Things that were slightly sour or eaten with pickles. The problem was, she disliked sour food. After touching a bit of vinegar, her teeth would feel weird all day. Coupled with the worry over the true identity of the fake Venerable Ancestor, she had not been able to eat well for days.

Now that everything had been properly taken care of, she could finally relax and eat her favourite super spicy dishes. Ahh, just thinking about the delicious, sharp smell of Mala Oil made her mouth water.

Though the Phoenix-Eye Vulture looked ferocious. Its flesh was very firm and white with very little excess fat. When she cut through the flesh with her knife, she found that the meat was layered like pork belly [5] which she cut into cubes and marinated with a little wine, salt and soy sauce.

The next thing to do was to chop up the necessary aromatics: Chilli, ginger, garlic et cetera. Speaking of which, she had planted some of these aromatics in the space. Shiyu idly wondered if the spices and aromatics grown in the space would take on some special flavours due to the special atmosphere. Once she has access to the space again, she must make something and find out if they contain some kind of special flavour.

After chopping up her spices and aromatics, Shiyu got her wok of hot oil ready and quickly deep-fried the cubed Spirit Bird meat before setting them aside. Then, she began to fry the aromatics over a medium-low fire.

As she fried the aromatics, the oil took on the colours of the chilli peppers and began to turn red. Once the spicy fragrance began to permeate the air, she tossed the Spirit Bird meat back in. She also threw in a few pieces of sliced yam [6].

Suddenly, as she was stir-frying the Dry Hotpot, she recalled that she had bought a lot of dried lotus seeds from Xuan Chu. Shiyu quickly put the fire out and got a dozen over dried lotus seed out. Shiyu quickly and efficiently split them, taking out the lotus seed hearts and setting them aside.

Then, she tossed the dried lotus seed into the wok with the Spirit Bird meat and yam. It all looked a little dry, so she added some water and began to simmer the [7] No Longer Dry Hotpot over low heat.

The peeled lotus hearts were not thrown away. Instead, she collected them into a teapot and poured some hot water in. Once the little lotus seed hearts unfurled their tiny leaves, the tea was ready.

Once the tea was ready, the [7] Not So Dry Hotpot should be done.

[7] Shiyu scratched her head but thought that having Braised Spirit Bird should be fine too. Especially since the meat looked a lot like pork belly [5]. Braised Pork Belly is a standard Chinese dish, so it should all be fine.

[7] Look! Most of the water had practically simmered away so it was really Practically Dry Hotpot. Moreover, some recipes also called for extra broth, wine or water if the Dry Hotpot became too dry. So, it’s probably fine.

[7] Yeah.

[8] Shiyu stirred her wok full of fiery red ingredients. Everything was red. The lotus seed, the meat, the yam… everything was a delicious, amazing, blazing, fiery red! What a sight for sore eyes, ah! Shiyu was nearly in tears as she looked fondly down at the pot of super spicy meat and yam dish. She sniffed and sighed appreciatively.

[9]Those southern vinegar eaters don’t know what they’re missing.

Eagerly, Shiyu reached into the pot with her chopsticks.

Right now Shiyu did not care whether she would successfully gain any buffs with this dish. What’s matter is the taste, ah!

 

[Gumihou: …*covers face*]

 

Gumihou is keeping track so that you don’t have to ~

 

Condensation Stage Stage 1
Core Transformation Stage 2
Core Condensation Stage 3
Divine Condensation Stage 4
Nascent Formation Stage 5*

 

*Previous ‘missing stage’. Now it re-appeared as Stage 5. Eh, whatev…

 

[1] Changed Details for Prevention of Stupid: Original “the Beast Mountain Range grew closer and closer. In a fit of anger, she turned in the last minute to protect her face and hit the ground with her back

I’m not sure how to say this except… Have you forgotten the Chasing Clouds & Moon you’ve been practising every day in, oh, the past three months?

Let me break it down for you.

A void opens up over Spiritual Beast Mountain Range, which is covered with trees unless it opened up over a place devoid of trees, but a perfectly flat plane is impossible because it’s a bloody mountain range.

If you fall through trees, even while falling head down you could still protect your stupid face with your arms, kick off one of the tree/tree branches and change trajectory to  land on your feet.

If you fall towards a rough terrain, the same could also be true. Because Chasing Clouds & Moon is a high-speed technique and unless you want to keep hitting your face into things you should have learnt how to change direction in a dime no matter how fast or how short a distance.

If you fall from 3 feet, you could just twist your body and land on your feet.

However, since “…Spiritual Beast Mountain Range grew closer and closer” one could assume that you’re several hundred feet above and falling. If you can’t think in that extra point three seconds, the three months had been spent in vain.

If Shiyu really is as dumb as to fall on her back for vanity’s sake, she deserved to die with a broken neck or be paralyzed from a broken spine and have her eyes poked out by birds of prey and her flesh feasted on by wild animals.

Spits.

Finally: Is Cloud Beast dead?!

[2] Additional Detail for Character Development: This is an opportunity to mention something about Shiyu’s past and explain why she’s so blasé about Fat Cat’s sneering. Which, isn’t it kind of odd? Yeah?

Also, Fat Cat’s sneering is really Gumihou sneering.

Also, Gordon Ramsey remark is provided by Gumihou.

[3] Additional Detail for Logistic Purpose: Mostly transitional, Shiyu is about to ask a personal question, do you think she’d really blurt it out without Fat Cat’s belligerent ‘What?’

[4] For anyone who wants the REAL information and recipe for Dry Hotpot

Information – https://www.chinasichuanfood.com/chinese-dry-pot/

Recipe – https://thewoksoflife.com/ma-la-xiang-guo/

[5] Bird meat with alternating layer of fat and lean flesh.

Yeah, about that…

Do you know where else we can find meat with alternating fat and lean?

Beef brisket = cow’s belly meat

Here’s the thing, even on pigs, only the belly meat has alternating fat and lean. While you could argue that Phoenix-Eye Vulture is a Fantasy Bird, Gumihou is not satisfied with this explanation.

There’s one Japanese manga where the magical creatures they hunted have meat that is marbled like wagyu. Which the main character puzzled over because only sedentary animals with plenty of food would have meat shot through with fat. The explanation given was ‘magic’. The more magically powerful an animal is, the more marbled and delicious the meat. Because ‘magic’ reduces the need to actually use the muscles and the energy infused itself into the very muscles of the animal. Good explanation. Bravo.

I find it very curious that Shiyu is Not At All Curious about bird meat that looked like the belly meat of mammals. An entirely different category of creature! Land Mammal vs Bird!

https://myconsciouseating.com/pork-belly-substitute/

By the way, a reader recently pointed out something Gumihou has forgotten. In chapter 1, it’s said that Shiyu transmigrated into Da Niu’s body. This Da Niu or Big Girl, was an idiot. Gumihou can’t help but think that some of the idiocy was retained.

[6] By the way, she’s supposed to blanch the yams first, but she didn’t. One of the Golden Rules of Dry Hotpot is to flash fry the meat and blanch the vegetables. The meat was fried, but the vegetable was not blanched.

[7] Yeah, I just gotta put it out there. =.=

[8] Moment of Revelation: Yeah, if you want to read the lie, here it is:

The red of the chilli oil, the green of wild vegetables, the fiery and spicy bird meat looked wonderful against the snow-white lotus seed and yam. There are so many different ingredients together and yet, it all managed to hold its own and create this incredibly vibrant and colourful dish! The smell of cooked meat permeated the air, made even fragrant by the fragrance of wine

Lies!

Remember Gumihou ALWAYS Fact Checks!

If you do the Dry Hotpot right, or not right in this case, it will turn into 50 shades of red. Your ‘snow white’ lotus seed and yam would be red-stained if not red. Your meat? Red. It’s red all the way down.

Also, when did you add the green veg?

[9] Since Shiyu cooks everything with Mala and Chilli and thinks anything that’s not covered in chilli is subpar, it would not be surprising for her to have this kind of snooty superior attitude towards anything not covered in Mala Oil. This is actually annoying, but I find that it also made her more real and also worked as an explanation for her broken taste buds. Also, Chinese Nationalist propaganda tended to be in this style too, so, eh.

Please note that ‘more real’ does not mean nicer or better person. She just… a person with her own ideas as well as likes and dislikes.

 

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Eh...

    Well, considering Shiyu ran headfirst into everything when training Chasing Clouds…maybe just running into stuff has become second nature? That or brain damage (assuming there was a brain…)?

    1. Gumihou

      There should be a brain, and it’s probably damaged.

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