Chapter 381: Layered Hotpot with Chinese Cabbage & Dungeon Pork
Translated by Zzonkedd
Edited by Gumihou
“Since we have these, let’s have a Layered Hotpot for dinner tonight.”
In front of me were some very splendid-looking Chinese cabbages with bright green leaves and strong white stems. They were also heavier than they looked, a good indicator of their quality.
These were grown by Alban in a field behind the main house.
Alban said, “We grew this leaf vegetable from some of the seeds provided by Mukouda-san. It’s very delicious, we all enjoyed it very much.”
I really can’t recall what kind of seeds I had given to Alban. Cabbage most probably, and lettuce too, I must have included Chinese Cabbage seeds when shopping at [Net Super] without thinking too much about it. 
Anyway, they were growing very nicely in the field
In short, Chinese Cabbage was just perfect since I wanted to make something for everyone with Dungeon Pork or Beef and a Layered Hotpot is just the thing. It’s basically a hotpot with a twist, or layered. Everyone’s already familiar with hotpot , this is just a slightly different way of enjoying hotpot.
Right, let’s get the ladies to help me prepare this dish.
Please read this at kitchennovel dot com ~
“Big Brother Mukouda, is this alright?”
“Yes, yes, very good, very good!”
Lotte-chan grinned .
The Layered Hotpot, otherwise more well known by its more romantic name, the Mille-feuille Hotpot, consisted of layering thinly sliced meat and Chinese Cabbage, stuffing the pot full until it looked like a large flower when viewed from the top.
First, the larger, more even pieces of the Chinese Cabbage leaves were taken apart and layered so that meat slices and vegetable leaves alternate, kind of like making a meat and vegetable Mille-feuille or lasagne.
Next, slice the meat and vegetable layers into 3 inches long. These would make up the outer part of the ‘petals’
The core of the Chinese Cabbage, would form the unopened ‘bud’. I wrapped the short, almost tube-like core with meat, wrapped that in more leaves, then meat, followed by leaves… until the core was a little too large for my hands.
I then carefully set the core in the middle of the claypot and slowly surrounded it with the sliced meat and cabbage layers we had prepared earlier.
The idea is to fully stuff the claypot so that none of the layers would collapse during the cooking process.
Lotte-chan had a lot of fun putting these meat and cabbage ‘flowers’ together.
Alternatively, the centre could be stuffed with other things like mushrooms, tofu or even cooked pork ribs to make it more interesting. However, since we have plenty of excellent meat and Chinese Cabbage, it’s fine to just make the Layered Hotpot with meat and Cabbage.
Once the pots were fully stuffed, pour in the soup stock, just enough to submerge the meat and cabbage ‘flowers’ and let it simmer until the vegetables have softened. The meat was finely sliced and would cook through quickly enough.
 The best way to eat this Layered Hotpot is with your favourite hotpot sauce. Personally, I like both the ponzu and sesame sauce.  The ponzu sauce is basically just rice vinegar and maybe some citrus juice with equal amounts of soy sauce. It could be garnished with sesame seeds or sliced leeks. Sesame sauce is creamier and richer, made from finely ground sesame seeds, as well as other ingredients such as mayonnaise and little toasted sesame seeds on top.
 Ponzu is perfect to cut through the strong meaty flavour of the pork, while sesame sauce adds a creamy richness to the Chinese Cabbages.
It’s up to you which one you like best.
 Since we’re having fun with Layered Hotpots, I thought it would be interesting to simmer some with miso instead of just ordinary soup stocks. In fact, let’s push the boundaries and go for Spicy Miso. Yup, a Spicy Miso Layered Hotpot. The rich and spicy flavour of the miso would soak into the Chinese Cabbage and meat, giving the ingredients a richer aroma…
Oh my, I’m drooling…
Anyway, the most troublesome thing about this recipe is layering the meat and vegetables. Since I have the ladies to help me, it would be quite easy to make them, especially since I could just buy soup stocks and broth from [Net Super].
Aside from these Layered Hotpots, I would also be serving up the meat skewers and other stall food I had brought back from Rosendal.
Once the hotpots were done, we placed the pots onto the long table large enough to seat 20 people. Naturally, Fer Sui and Dora-chan were on the side, waiting to be fed.
“It’s finally here,”
“Yo, I’ve been waiting,”
The dumb twins were the first to sit down.
Tabasa grabbed their heads .
“Why are you two always so restless? Why don’t you think about my feelings as the elder sister of idiots like you? In fact, those kids are more well-mannered than you!”
Tabasa forced their heads towards where the boys  were standing with their parents.  The girls, including Lotte-chan, were in my cooking team, of course.
Instead of repenting, the twins merely sighed exaggeratedly.
“Aha… sister’s scolding again~”
“Haha, it’s the same thing all over again~”
 Bish! Bash!
“Try and talk back again,”  Tabasa clenched her fist.
  Bartel observed the twins calmly, “Do you suppose their skulls are so hard that their brains have trouble processing thoughts?”
I laughed a little bitterly at the twins’ blockheaded behaviour.  If Kazuki’s autobiography is to be believed, Tabasa should be the abnormal one here.
 Whatever, best to ignore them.
While everyone seated themselves, an odd aura came from behind me.
I turned and saw Fer glaring at his two hotpots. 
 “What is it, Fer?”
“What is it? You still ask this after the many times I told you how much I hate leaves?”
 “Oh? Is that all?”
“What do you mean is that all?!”
“Oi! Get your face away from me, you’re too close!”
Arrgh, I get it, you’re angry, but surely you don’t have to stick your face so close to mine?
“You say you hate vegetables, but you always eat them,” 
“Guuu, do you want me to eat you?”
 “Eat me and enjoy the last bit of good meat for the rest of your long life!”
““Hey, this hotpot flower thing is really good. It doesn’t look like it has a lot of meat but the taste of meat is quite strong .””
“”Uncle Fer, creamy sauce makes the flower meat thing more tasty~”” 
“Grr, you two…”
“Hey Fer, there’s also grilled meat on skewers too. That’s all meat, which is why I made the meat and vegetable hotpot. Vegetables are a must for a healthy body!”
“Humph, very well, I shall put up with it for today. However, tomorrow’s meals must be meat. Just meat,” grumbled Fer as he stuck his face into the Layered Hotpot and began to chomp on the cabbage and pork slices.
Well, look who’s eating deliciously now? 
“Ahem, shall we eat too?”
I gestured for everyone to eat, especially the children.
Lotte-chan extended her spoon first. “Lotte will eat this with this black sauce first~”
 She first scooped some of the meat and vegetables into a smaller bowl, used a teaspoon to sprinkle a bit of the ponzu sauce over her bowl and nibbled on a piece of pork.
 “Oof, hot, hot, yummish~”   
Lotte-chan ate so deliciously that everyone picked up their bowl and spoons and began ladling hotpot into them. Soon, everyone was nibbling and huffing from the heat. 
 The twins alternately chomped on the meat skewers and slurped the hotpot slathered in sesame sauce.
“Woohoo! This is delicious!
“Yessh, creamy and rich~”
 I guess they had gotten over their fear of Orc and pork meat?
“Oh yes, can’t forget this!”
I opened up [Net Super] and bought a couple of crates of beer for the adults and chilled orange juice in plastic bottles for the children.
My household cheered at the sight of these unusual drinks.
Bartel reached for a couple of canned beers. “As expected of Mukouda-sama. You sure know how to liven up a party.”
He popped open the tab and chugged,  “Kuh, that’s delicious!”
Naturally, that encouraged a series of pops and fshhh of carbon being released into the air. I too popped open a can and took a couple of swigs.
“Ahh, that certainly hit the spots. Hotpot and beer really go well together.”
Murmurs of agreement followed.
Tabasa  took a meditative sip of her bowl of hotpot. “Hmm, this must be some quality meat.”
“Oh yes, it’s dungeon pork, I have some beef too but I thought we’d enjoy the pork today.” 
“Dungeon pork? I’ve had it before, but was it always this delicate and juicy?”
“Maybe because it’s been cooked in a soup?” said Luke. 
“Grilled meat could sometimes be dry,” said Irvine.
“It’s possible,” I agreed. “However, I think this time, it has more to do with the fact that this Dungeon Pork came from a higher species Dungeon Pig.”
All the former Adventurers were staring at me in shock. Ah, I recall them giving me the same look when I told them I used Rock Bird meat with our last hotpot.
“Mukouda-san, you really shouldn’t use such high-quality meat for our meals. We’re your slaves, after all.”
“That’s right, we’re happy and grateful for the delicious food, but it’s really not regular.”
“In fact, I’d say we’re eating better than we did when we were Adventurers…”
My combat-able people were dumbfounded. As for the normal families, even having ordinary meat was difficult, they really don’t know how to react to hearing that they have been eating high-quality meat.
“Ahem, well, that’s fine. I am your master after all. Anyway, I have loads of it…” my eyes drifted to where Fer, Sui and Dora-chan were eating their food and I could see the moment the combat-able slaves received their ‘ahah’ moment.
“Yes, if Fer-sama is involved…”
“I can totally see it…”
The twins, having been to that traumatic Orc excursion with Fer, understood this best.
  
“… …” we all stared at my familiars who have their faces stuck inside their bowls.
“Hey hey, Big Brother Mukouda, why aren’t you eating?”  Lotte-chan asked curiously.
“Hm? Oh, I’m eating, look, I have meat in my bowl. Everyone, do keep eating!”
“Ahh, I guess it was a mistake to think of Mukouda-san as an ordinary Adventurer,” said Tabasa.
“Eh, what? Me? No, no, I’m totally ordinary.  Fer and the rest are the ones who are extraordinary”
 “Well, in my eyes, as their master, Mukouda-san is truly amazing.”
“Ah, well…” 
“Ahaha, duty calls~” I said, happy to have an excuse to escape this conversation.
[Gumihou: There were some continuity errors, but it’s all fine. Gumi fixed it. Also, deleted the ending since it was just some dialogue that served more like padding than points of interest]
 Structural Change: Combine 2 paragraphs
 Structural Change: Combine 3 paragraphs
 Structural Change: Combine paragraph & dialogue
 Structural Change: Change passive sentence to dialogue
 Delete Repetitive or Pointless Information – Deleted Mukouda’s entire incoherent story about the familiars hunting the dungeons dry. Too OOC
 Additional Information for Aesthetic Purpose
 Add Dialogue Tag
 Creative Licence Taken – What is this bullet point way of writing?
While eating it, you could add your favorite sauce.
My recommendation was ponzu and sesame sauce.
Ponzu is refreshing, and sesame sauce goes well with Chinese cabbage and meat because of its rich flavor.
Both are quite delicious so it’s a matter of trying them out.
Gumi: …anyway, just… general fixing
 Layered Hotpot (Mille-feuille Hotpot) – The instructions were rather dubious:
Simply layer thin slices of dungeon pork on top of the Chinese cabbage.
Lotte-chan, Teresa, Aiya and Celia-chan imitated me doing the layered Chinese cabbage and meat as I showed them how to do it. After stacking the Chinese cabbage and the meat and repeating it for about 3 times, I cut it into pieces about 5 cm wide and spread them in a pan.
Gumi: … what. As someone who has made this before, the instructions are just…
Anyway, have a look at how it could be done in the proper way.
 Re-establishing Mukouda’s position as master
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