Little Chef - Chapter 3
Chapter 3 This is Interesting
Su Tang removed the bean smell of the tender tofu by placing it in boiling water and then quickly moving it to the cold water.
After finishing the entire process, the next step was to cut it into pieces.
She worked fast with her hands and neatly cut all the tofu blocks into the same sized cubes. She then cut the spring onions into the same length as the tofu.
The color of the white tofu and the spring onions looked particularly beautiful when mixed together. Su Tang poured in boiling salt water without stirring with chopsticks, but instead she gently shook the mix in the bowl.
This was to keep the soft texture of the tofu and also allow the tofu to fully absorb the salt.
Finally, she topped the blend with the special sesame oil of the Su family. The fresh fragrance of tofu and the mellow aroma of sesame oil bursted out.
Several flavors were fused together to give a refreshing sensation.
Su Tang was the last person who finished cooking. Coincidentally, the judges arrived at the same time.
“Nonsense, this is the God of Cooking competition not a child’s play! Who has never eaten spring onions mixed with tofu? Are you making such a simple dish on such an occasion to fool us?”
It was Ji Shu who said this. He has always been old-fashioned, and he was already very unhappy to be a judge. Fortunately, a few chefs made excellent dishes, but this little girl did not meet his chef standards.
What’s so delicious about this kind of home-cooked spring onions mixed with tofu?
Su Tang said, “This girl boldly ask the two gentlemen to taste it first.”
Su Tang flicked her sleeves and divided the dishes into three portions. This is in accordance with the rules of the competition.
Then she gracefully placed the chopsticks near each portion while keeping her smile light with no fault.
Seeing this, Hua Shi Xin next to him felt that the woman was a little different.
“Come on, let’s try it first.” Hua Shi Xin pulls his colleague. It was their job to taste it anyway.
They have already tasted thirty-five dishes, so even if they weren’t able to eat any more delicacies they would just have to try a bit.
Hua Shi Xin just wanted to get it over with so he only ate a small mouthful of tofu, but unexpectedly the scent of tofu melted perfectly with the freshness of the spring onions. Even the greasiness from the big fish he had just eaten disappears.
It was not only Hua Shi Xin who thought the tofu was good. Ji Shu also started eating his second piece with his chopstick.
All the dishes they just ate, whether it was beef stew or stir-fry mountain treasure, or abalone and lobster were very delicious. However, it was easy to grow tired of them if they ate too much.
The taste of the fresh and delicious tofu mixed with spring onions was like a palette cleanser. It was very refreshing.
Eating a piece of tofu together with spring onion felt like a perfect match, and the tofu got more fragrant as one chewed with the aftertaste of sesame oil that kept lingering in the mouth.
The two of them finished their portions of green spring onions with tofu at a quick pace.
Su Tang also found it strange that there were only two judges. So why did they have to divide it into three portions?
Although she was baffled, Su Tang kept it in her heart and didn’t ask. Her goal was to pass this competition and get silver as the prize.
She knew that as long as she entered the top ten there was a silver reward.
As long as she has that money she could repair the small restaurant, cook, and properly raise her brother.
The corners of Su Tang’s mouth turn gently and the people next to her couldn’t help but look a few more times.
It was obvious that the scar on her forehead was ugly, but people couldn’t turn their eyes away at all.
Ji Shu and the officers around Hua Shi Xin immediately took away the last portion of spring onions mixed with tofu.
The officers have already taken four or five dishes, and this caused people to rack their brains on what was going on. However, the most important thing on their mind was the selection result!
There are a total of 36 contestants and they will promote only 15 of them. Those who are named by Ji Shu and Hua Shi Xin can enter the actual competition directly.
Not to mention the thirty-six contestants present. Even the onlookers were all sweating.
A lot of people’s eyes were on Su Tang because the dishes she made were the simplest, but it was the only dish that was completely eaten by the two judges at the scene.
Even the plate with the sauce wouldn’t have been spared if they didn’t mind common courtesy.
Ji Shu opened the list and slowly said: “Group 8, No. 7 Wang Rui, No. 11 Zhang Yu, No. 17 Fan Zheng, No. 20 Ma Xian Hong…”
As the reading proceeded, the remaining contestants felt very nervous.
“No. 33 Huang Yue Tong, No. 35 Su Tang.” Ji Shu finally finished reading out all the fifteen names. As the results became clear some people were joyous and some were distraught.
Huang Yue Tong smiled and said to Su Tang: “It’s great that we both officially entered the competition!”
They were two out of the few women that took part in this competition, so Huang Yue Tong was happy for Su Tang, but she was confused about how Su Tang passed since all she did was boil water.
“I don’t accept it! I can’t accept it!”
A man who was eliminated shouted, causing the eyes of the crowd that was ready to disperse to gather again.
The audience around them and the other nine people in the examination room were preparing to leave. Seeing that something has happened on their side, they gathered back around to watch the situation.
Ji Shu frowned and scolded: “What are you dissatisfied with? What is your name? Not satisfied with what?”
“My lord, this humble one’s name is Li Feng. How could this woman that just made green spring onion mixed with tofu but able to enter the competition? I made abalone rice, but I still did not pass! This humble one can’t accept it!” Li Feng shouted with his fist clenched very tightly.
He spent a lot of money on seafood like abalone! How could he lose in such a first part of the competition?
On the other hand, the one called Su Tang only used spring onions mixed with tofu to beat him? He can’t accept it!
Ji Shu and Hua Shi Xin understood what was going on and said faintly: “Are food ingredients important for cooking?”
“Of course it matters! That’s why people with small talents bought abalone for a lot of money!” What Li Feng said also represents the voices of some eliminated contestants.
No matter who the contestants were, the ingredients they used were more precious than Su Tang’s so how could she win!
Hua Shi Xin also said: “Since the ingredients are important, why don’t you check if the abalone was fresh when you came?”
These two are also the capital officials, so even if they rarely eat abalone they could have it when the emperor rewarded them with food.
People would feel afraid of getting stomach aches after eating it.
Hearing this stunned Li Feng while Ji Shu continued: “The spring onion mixed with tofu made by Miss Su Tang is very different. However, I am also curious why the tofu you made does not smell like beans and the sesame oil seems to be specially made.”
Su Tang was called out by the two gentlemen. She answered gently: “I have previously boiled the tofu with hot water in order to get rid of the unique smell of tofu.”
“That’s not right. When boiling tofu in hot water, it is easy to destroy it. However, the tofu you made is still smooth and firm. Why is that?”
Hua Shi Xin could be regarded as a glutton. In the capital, there are countless delicious foods he has tried, so he felt that this seemingly simple dish was not so simple.
Su Tang said: “It is indeed easy to get destroyed after boiling it, but that’s why while the tofu is still hot after boiling you immediately remove the tofu and put it in cold water. This allows the texture of the tofu to be maintained while the smell can also be removed.”
Everyone suddenly realized what happened. When they watched Su Tang cook the tofu and put it in the well water it seemed strange, but now it all made sense!
Hearing Su Tang giving them a straightforward answer made someone unconsciously ask: “Why would you boil it with so much water?”
The man sounded a little nervous because he was afraid that Su Tang wouldn’t answer.
Su Tang turned around with a smile and explained to him: “No matter what kind of water, there are small impurities. Although these impurities are not visible they will affect the taste of cooking. This is why the water used to brew tea and water used to cook rice are exceptionally different. I used the top two-thirds of the water and then filtered it with gauze to make the water more pure. This meant that the cooked tofu could retain the taste of tofu to a greater extent.”
To put it bluntly, most of the pots and pans contain lime and other minerals.
Even with modern boiling water kettles, there was lime residue after a long period of use.
Present-day people solved this problem with water purifiers, but in ancient times people needed to remove impurities in the water step by step.
After hearing this, everyone suddenly realized that it turned out that she boiled water over and over again not for sensationalism, but it was truly useful!
If she can be so meticulous in making just spring onion with tofu, how would her other dishes turn out? This caused many people there to remember Su Tang.
The man who questioned Su Tang’s results just now was embarrassed. Su Tang looked at him while answering his protest and saw he was now red-faced.
Su Tang turned around and said to Liu Feng: “In fact, I have a name for this spring onion with tofu dish. Do you want to hear it?”
At this time, Li Feng was dumbfounded. He knew that he had completely lost. Whether it was the processing of the ingredients or the identification of the ingredients, he had lost thoroughly.
“What’s the name?” Li Feng’s throat felt very dry as he squeezed out these few words.
Su Tang smiled by gently lifting the corners of her mouth: “The name of this dish is called innocent.”
( xiao cong ban doufu yi qing er bai 小葱拌豆腐一清二白 spring onion mixed with tofu is innocent – The color of spring onions is half white and half green, while tofu is white, so it is said to be one green and two white. 1. refers to the situation being clear. 2. refers to the relationship between people being innocent. )
Everyone was stunned, and Ji Shu next to her couldn’t help but applaud.
“Innocent, that’s a good name indeed.”
The spring onion leaf was green, and the tofu was white. Wasn’t that the perfect blend of colors to be called innocence?
She not only gave the dish a name, but also showed that her Su Tang was innocent in the face of any acquisitions.
It really was a good name!
Meanwhile, in a different location Marquis Weiyuan Qi Tian Yun raised his eyelids slightly: “Innocent…. Interesting.”
Shi Ding, the young general next to him, immediately said: “Marquis, look at the twenty dishes that have been selected. Please have a taste of them.”
If Su Tang was here she could definitely see that her spring onions mixed with tofu would be one of the selected dishes.
The judges in ten examination rooms selected over 20 of the best dishes and sent them over just to let Marquis Weiyuan Qi Tian Yun taste them.
As long as there was a dish that could catch this person’s eyes then this competition wouldn’t have been done in vain.
Qi Tian Yun swept through almost all the dishes, but he had no appetite for them at all. However, the innocent dish just now was quite interesting.
He pointed his finger casually: “Bring that up and let this Marquis taste it. If it doesn’t taste good, then don’t bother this Marquis anymore.”
Spring Onions with Tofu (xiao cong ban doufu-小葱拌豆腐).
Beef Stew (Dun Niurou-炖牛肉)
Stir fry mountain treasure (Chao Shan Zhen-炒山珍)
Lobster and Abalone
Abalone Rice (Baoyu Fan Que-鲍鱼饭却)