Chapter 174 Panda Rice Balls (d)
Translated by Gumihou
Edited by Gumihou
When the three generations of Ding men left the Shi Estate, Elder Ding smiled at his grandson, “What do you think of them?”
“Very strong!” Ding Qi blurted out. As a young man, the people he paid attention to most were the ones closer to his age. “So young but she’s already at Core Condensation stage!”
He was naturally talking about Shiyu.
As for those Divine Transformation youths, they were beyond his scope of evaluation since they stood at a height that even his grandfather had never reached. There was no sense of jealousy since their level was just too far apart.
Moreover, it is said that the really powerful Divine Transformation masters have the ability to maintain their youth. Who knew if they were truly youths or ancient masters in disguise?
“Were you shocked?” Elder Ding chuckled lightly.
“How can I not be shocked?” Ding Qi said a little depressedly, “I know that the world is big and there must be stronger people out there, but I had not expected the gap to be so big.” It almost made him want to give up Cultivation.
“Hahaha!” Elder Ding laughed and rubbed his grandson’s head. “The point is, you’ve never been outside of Dawn City. Who knows, after some travelling, even this kind of scenes may become tedious to you.”
Ding Qi’s eyes brightened, “Grandfather, you mean…”
“When the time comes, I shall send you to the Imperial College. Once there, you may witness with your own eyes what a gathering of heroes looks like.”
After the departure of the Ding men, a representative from the Zheng Clan came to beg for Elder Zheng’s body. Madam Shi allowed them to take the old man back after paying compensation in the form of land concession.
Once the Zheng Clan departed, peace returned to the Shi Clan. Madam Shi looked at Shiyu with a complicated expression, “Thank you very much, we managed to overcome this incident thanks to you.”
“No need to be so formal, Madam Shi. As I have mentioned before, ‘The One who Receives Money Should Avert Disaster’. We have accepted Madam Shi’s hospitality, you have taken very good care of us. It is only right that we should defend our hostess” Shiyu had benefited the greatest without having to do much, but that was not something that she should mention.
If both sides were to stack up the benefits received from the other side, Shiyu still can’t thank Madam Shi enough for giving her the two crucial items she had specifically set out to find. The recovery of her mental powers alone was incredible.
Behind Shiyu, the three Panda Brothers nodded enthusiastically.
Seeing their unpretentious attitude, Madam Shi could only tuck her feelings away and wait for her husband to return and discuss how to repay these youths later.
“If there’s nothing else, I shall return to Xiao Shu’s courtyard,” said Shiyu. She had stood watching the cook made Cold Serve Rabbit for so long that she was sure that she could recreate it.
Regardless of the result, she was eager to attempt the recipe. After Madam Shi gave her permission, Shiyu skipped off. Naturally, the three youths trotted after her.
Xiao Shu was left alone in the hall with her mother. Her eyes were very wide as she stared at Madam Shi, “Mother, Xiao Yu… she-”
“Not of the same world as us,” Madam Shi sighed. “Sometimes, we could only envy other people’s talents.”
“True,” Xiao Shu was still shocked. It turned out the little friend she had defended in the mountain range and took in as a guest out of half pity was such a powerful person. Compared to the so-called geniuses in her school, this person’s talent was on a completely different level.
When someone is better than you, jealousy would brew in your heart. However, if someone is twice or three times above you, there is only envy and nothing else.
Xiao Shu was currently feeling this envy.
When she returned to her personal residence, she found a food stall had appeared on the previously empty courtyard in front of her house. There was a cooking station, pot, chopping board, a wok and a stove. A fire was burning merrily on the stove while Shiyu was chopping up meat on the side.
“Are you hungry? Should I get the kitchen to send food?” asked Xiao Shu. How hungry must Shiyu be to set up an entire kitchen in her front yard?
“No need, no need,” said Shiyu. “It’s been a few days since I last make something and my hands are itching to cook. Oh, by the way, I’m a cook you know?”
Though the status of a cook was low in this martial world where strength and Cultivation is the basis of everything, cooking was one useful skill she managed to bring with her into this fantasy world. She had relied on that skill to gain entrance into a Michelin Star kitchen and was something she has the best confidence in.
“That’s right, ah. Go ahead and sit down. You must taste my Cold Serve Rabbit and tell me what you think.”
Very soon, the flames on the stove shot up and the diced rabbit meat was being tossed in the wok. The previously tranquil residence was suddenly suffused with the sharp and pungent fragrance of chilli peppers and other spices.
Shiyu’s confidence and skilful handling of the wok soon convinced Xiao Shu that her friend’s cooking ability was real.
Only…after having felt the gap between their respective talents, she was now treated to the sight of Shiyu making food. A cook. The disparity between Shiyu’s occupation and her unusual strength was too weird, ah.
As Shiyu set the Cold Serve Rabbit out on a large plate to cool, a little man came trotting in, his nose sniffing the air happily, “To be greeted with delicious food as soon as I wake up, how blessed, ah.”
Shiyu eyed the little guy, “Why have you been sleeping all day lately?”
After gorging himself on Shiyu’s thousands of cooking ‘failure’ at Spiritual Beast Mountain Range, San Pang had either slept all day or disappeared to goodness knows where.
“I’m not sure, I think I might be growing again,” he would like to be as tall as a normal human, ah.
“Congrats, congrats,” Shiyu said as she finished ladling out the brilliant jewel red  Cold Serve Rabbit.
While the dish was cooling, Shiyu made a round of introductions,  “San Pang, you remember Bei Bei, Jing Jing, and Huan Huan? They are my distant cousins,” she gave San Pang a meaningful look. Luckily, San Pang was one sharp radish, “Oh yes, I remember. Hello, Shiyu’s cousins! I’m your senior, call me Senior Brother Pang!”  The three youths looked at Shiyu, who nodded.  “Senior Brother Pang!” they chorused.  “Good, good,” the little guy nodded graciously at the much taller Panda Boys.  Shiyu ignored the antics of the boys and began portioning out the Cold Serve Rabbit onto plates and began handing them out to the people within the courtyard.
“Come on, give it a taste,” she said eagerly. This was the first time she made Cold Serve Rabbit. Hopefully, it doesn’t taste too bad.
Xiao Shu was a little more reserved when it comes to taking the first taste. On the other hand,  the Panda Gang and one Radish couldn’t wait and eagerly gobbled up their plates of Cold Serve Rabbit.
Shiyu watched everyone’s expressions carefully. The four non-humans ate happily enough, none of them were picky eaters and would pretty much eat anything set in front of them. As for Xiao Shu…
Xiao Shu picked up one piece and took a small bite, “It’s not bad,”
Shiyu had half expected this. Even so, she was fairly confident with her spicy dishes, even if a dish is not done well, it won’t be done badly. However, what she really cared about was, “Is it very different from the one done by the master at Qing Xiang Place?”
“I expect you will improve after a few times,” Xiao Shu answered vaguely.
“Alright, I’ll keep practising.” As expected, it was impossible to match the skill of a master who had spent decades perfecting a single recipe. Nevertheless, she felt that the flavour was pretty good. Perhaps she could try cooking Spirit Beast meat using this recipe.
Despite her love for all things oily and spicy, just eating meat without rice or noodles was getting a bit excessive.  Licking her lips, Shiyu was about to boil some rice when sudden inspiration struck. Instead of reaching for the regular rice, Shiyu opted to boil a large pot of glutinous rice instead. Once the rice was done cooking, she quickly shaped them into balls while the rice was still warm with wet fingers.  Then, as a finishing touch, she took out some of the black seaweed she had ‘collected’ from the ship where she had met Qing Chen and proceeded to give it little black eyes, mouth and black ears.  That’s right, she’s making Panda Shaped Rice Balls.  “How cute!”
Xiao Shu’s eyes shone as she watched the cute little Panda Rice Balls took shape. As a typical girl, she loved all things round and cute, ah. However, the Panda Brothers were not feeling so good…
When Xiao Shu grabbed one of the rice balls and bit off one of its ears , they trembled. They could feel the chill down the back of their necks as they thought of that overwhelmingly powerful human who brought them here to be cooked… Were they being threatened?  Don’t threaten us, ah!  We promise to be good pandas!
They ran forward and hugged Shiyu’s thighs, “Don’t eat us, don’t eat us, ah!” Shiyu had no idea whether she should laugh or cry as she did her best to calm the panda brothers down. Meanwhile, Xiao Shu took a second bite and found that the rice ball was stuffed with something fragrant and spicy. “Hmm? This is?”  Her eyes widened, “There’s Cold Serve Rabbit inside!” She took another bite and closed her eyes blissfully.  Though Shiyu’s Cold Serve Rabbit was not up to the master’s level, Xiao Shu was charmed by the fact that it was served inside a glutinous rice ball shaped like a panda. The chewy sensation of the sticky glutinous rice mixed very well with the fragrant and spicy meat.
“These rice balls are very good, may I send some to mother? I’d like to let her try some.”
“Sure, go ahead and send these. I’ll be making more anyway.”
Xiao Shu quickly ordered Yun Duo  to bring a food box in. After arranging the Panda Rice Balls on a strip of bamboo leaf, she happily trotted off towards Madam Shi’s courtyard.
Shiyu smiled at Xiao Shu’s departing back.
It’s so nice to see kids being filial, ah.
[Gumihou: There are so many things that Gumihou like and hate about this chapter… Go ahead and #LaughAtGumisPain]
Gumihou is keeping track so that you don’t have to ~
|凝氣||Condensation Stage||Stage 1|
|化丹||Core Transformation||Stage 2|
|凝丹(46)||Core Condensation||Stage 3|
|化神(52)||Divine Transformation||Stage 4|
|成嬰||Nascent Formation||Stage 5|
|返墟||Revert Decay||Stage 7|
|歸真||Original Purity||Stage 8|
|成仙||Become Immortal||Stage 9|
 後院or backyard, generally meant ‘Inner Court’ where the women of the family resided. Something only an estate would have. If it’s a bungalow, the word would mean ‘back garden’.
Anyway, Shiyu and Xiao Shu returned to the 後院 where they’re either hanging out at Xiao Shu’s personal courtyard or the garden shed, depending on whether this is a Shi Estate or a Shi Bungalow.
This is the main reason why I changed the Shi Bungalow into a Shi Estate every time author turned the estate into a single standing building. Xiao Shu has her own ‘courtyard’.
Please don’t let our side character live in the back garden as though she’s a garden gnome.
 Original text: “When she returned to her courtyard, she found there was a fire inside. Shiyu had somehow moved a kitchen here and was cutting meat.”
… I’m amazed you noticed the fire first and not the whole bloody stall.
 I don’t know why the author keeps insisting that her Cold Serve Rabbit is ‘light brown’ in colour despite the number of chilli peppers used. In fact, not a single Cold Serve Rabbit I found on the internet is ‘light brown’. Unless you want ‘Deep Fried Rabbit’. Deep Fried Rabbit is a nice light or golden brown.
Anyway, since it’s cooked with so many spices that the air turned ‘pungent’, I expect the dish would be chocked full of chilli peppers. In other words, it should be red. Whether dark red, jewel red, brilliant red, ruby red, blood red, take your pick. It’s red.
 Added Details for the ‘introduction’. Since the total ‘introduction’ from Shiyu is barely half a sentence.
 USMiC: For some reason, after Shiyu ‘introduced them’ in that single sentence before Note 5, San Pang was never mentioned again. He was not even mentioned as one of the enthusiastic eaters. Shiyu, don’t forget your companions!!
 Glutinous Rice Balls: As a general rule, rice balls or onigiri are NOT made with glutinous rice. They are made with Japonica rice.
Chinese rice balls are made with glutinous rice, BUT, the rice is ground into flour first and then shaped into balls. Not cooked rice shaped into balls.
Interestingly enough, I did manage to find a couple of rice ball recipe utilising long grain glutinous rice. So, it’s doable.
Stuffed Rice Ball (Onigiri with glutinous rice)
Shaped Rice Ball (Bear head shaped, mixed and plain rice)
Panda Shaped Rice Ball recipe requires ‘rice’
Turns out the Panda Shaped Rice Ball recipe was translated from a Japanese page
Recipe requires ‘rice’, but since it originated from a Japanese website, it’s most likely Japonica or Japanese rice
However, if you are making Taiwanese Rice Balls. Which is a different specie of rice ball compared to the Glutinous Balls (China) or Onigiri (Japan), glutinous rice is a must.
Taiwanese Rice Balls are:
- Made with glutinous rice
- Contain savoury meat fillings
- Can be round, but is usually cigar shaped
Panda shape is a creative interpretation, so, Shiyu had accidentally made Taiwanese Rice Balls.
 Adjusted Details for Comprehensive Instructions: The shaping and decorating of rice balls. Shiyu was babbling on about how she had no time to make 海苔 (seaweed/nori) and will make do with 紫菜 (seaweed/nori) to decorate the rice balls.
The definitions in the dictionary for both are the same, in Japanese and Chinese.
Anyway, here’s a recipe to press your own crispy nori sheets.
Since she just pulled seaweed out of her ass, I might as well give it a plausible source. From the ship where she met Qing Chen and worked as a cook.
 Changed Details for Logistic Purpose:
Original text “Xiao Shu ate half the rice ball in one bite”.
2 paragraphs later…
“Xiao Shu took a second bite and noticed that it has meat inside. Warm gravy gushed out, making the rice even more fragrant.”
Rant 1: If you bite half a rice ball and haven’t reached the filling, that’s not a lot of filling and the maker is damned stingy
Rant 2: Rice balls CANNOT have a juicy filling. Because it will disintegrate the rice ball into a pile of rice grains soaked in liquid.
While I’m at it, I’ll just adjust the text to reflect something that made sense.
 USMiC: Let maid Yun Duo make an appearance. I mean, surely she’s going to lurk on the edges over her young mistress after such a huge incident? It’s only logical.
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