Fishing the Myriad Heavens - LightNovelOnl.com
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Fan Fang Ming lightly breathed in the appetite-inducing aroma as he stirred the broth slowly. He felt somewhat regretful about the current situation.
In a way, he had no choice but to brew this pot of soup like it is. Back when he was young, he had inherited a pot of precious soup which had been passed down through the family for 200 years. The fire under the pot of soup had never been extinguished even once throughout all those years. But because of his impulsiveness as a teenager and because the soup could not be moved away, he decided to abandon it and embark on his own adventures. In the end, the soup was completely ruined.
Right now, there was also a pot of precious soup in the kitchen. For the past ten years, he had kept the fire under it burning constantly. Fan Fang Ming would also add fresh cattle spine and thigh bone every day into the soup. But ultimately, the soup still lacked the texture of a precious soup which had been simmering and absorbing the essence of fresh ingredients for over a hundred years. Due to this, he was forced to come up with this "instant" version of the soup.
"Ta, ta, ta!"
A series of rapid knife chopping sounds rang out in the kitchen. Fan Fang Ming's wrists were extremely nimble and the knife in his hands looked like it had morphed into an extension of his arms. Countless ingredients and seasonings were diced into tiny pieces.
While rapid, the chopping sounds sounded incredibly harmonious, like a piece of music being performed in the kitchen. It had a strange rhythm to it, but was not the kind which sounded jarring to the ear.
When all that was done, Fan Fang Ming reached gingerly for the cabinet and took out a small box, the size of a chicken's egg. The box was completely sealed with a thick lid which, once opened, revealed only a few tens of processed tea leaves.
"This time, I've really suffered a huge loss!" Fan Fang Ming's lips twitched uncontrollably as he retrieved five tea leaves from the box. But upon further thought, he stiffened his scalp and picked out one more piece.
These tea leaves were not simple, ordinary tea leaves. They were leaves from the Da Hong Pao parent trees of Mount Wuyi! Most people had never even seen this super rare tea leaves before, not to mention drink tea brewed with it!
He himself had only managed to get his hands on this tiny box with just 1 liang of top-grade Da Hong Pao tea leaves after spending great efforts to prepare a table of his best dishes for an influential person. In return for the delicious meal, that influential person had decided to gift him these tea leaves.
Normally, this box of tea leaves was treated like precious treasure. He would only take it out if there was a great, joyous matter to celebrate.
Fan Fang Ming proceeded to put the tea leaves into a top-grade purple clay teapot. With the addition of some pure boiling water, the tea leaves started to smooth out.
The thin leaves floated on the surface of the water while incessantly releasing a strong, bewitching aroma. It was only a few tea leaves, but water in the teapot had all been dyed a deep orange.
Three minutes later, when the thick aroma of the tea had spread in all directions, Fan Fang Ming came over and poured the tea away.
Then, he added a new batch of boiling water into the teapot and waited for a few minutes again. This time, he carried the teapot over to the stove and poured the dark yellowish tea which now carried a hint of red into the soup.
The leaves in the pot were taken out and grounded into paste with a wooden rod, then added into the sauce plate. Such use of the tea leaves was truly a tad puzzling for normal tea drinkers.
Finally finished with his preparations, Fan Fang Ming carried the pot of soup and brought it into the dining room where Bei Feng was. The Dark Jade Snowy Dragon King's meat had been cut into extremely fine slices as thin as a cicada's wings. Arranged in a beautiful manner, they were slightly translucent, causing them to glimmer in the light as they sat on the plate.
Bei Feng's eyes lit up with surprise. As expected of a professional! The presentation of the dish alone was enough to show that the dish was extraordinary! The difference between his presentation of the dish and the old geezer's craft was inestimably big.
Bei Feng could hardly sit still as he waited for the old man to start up the fire under the pot of soup. When he was finally done, Bei Feng picked up a piece of meat with his chopsticks and dipped it into the soup while gently moving it around.
About ten seconds later, the old man suddenly spoke. "Alright, you can eat it now. If you dip the meat for too long, it will be overdone and the texture of the meat would become old and wrinkly."
Bei Feng did not seem to have heard Fan Fang Ming's words as he continued pulling the meat through the soup.
"Young man, the meat is already overdone now. How can it still be eaten like this?" Fan Fang Ming frowned and raised his voice a notch.
The meat had been cut by him personally, so naturally, he understood its texture well. This strange meat was extremely smooth and tender, with great amounts of springiness. In addition, he had sliced it into pieces as thin as paper. The way he saw it, the meat only needed to be dipped for ten seconds and it would be ready. If the meat was blanched for too long, the texture of the meat would be affected!
Bei Feng did not reply as he directly lifted the meat out of the soup and dangled it before the old man. Then, he immediately dipped it back into the soup.
'How is this possible? How can such a thin piece of meat still not be cooked? No! Don't mention cooked, its color had not even changed!' That one look at the meat was enough to make Fan Fang Ming doubt everything he knew about the world. A piece of meat which was as thin as a piece of paper was dipped in hot water exceeding 90 degree Celsius in temperature for over half a minute and there was actually no change?!
A terrible thought flashed past Fan Fang Ming's head. 'Could it be... I've created a fake dish? Maybe I'm just a fake chef...'
Unwilling to accept the results, he also grabbed a piece of meat with his chopsticks and dipped it into the soup. '10, 9... 1! It's time!' Fan Fang Ming pulled the meat out of the soup with conviction. The piece of fish before him still looked unchanged, its faint pinkish color mirroring the vicious slap his face had just been dealt.
The other two also began to get excited as they each dipped a piece of meat into the soup. Only after three minutes did Bei Feng finally lift his chopsticks from the soup!
By now, the piece of fish had curled up and was shining with a jade-like radiance. Clear droplets of the milk-white broth could still be seen coating its exterior.
Smiling lightly with satisfaction, Bei Feng swiped the meat across the sauce plate and placed it into his mouth.
The fish still tasted as exquisite as before, but this time, he could taste the fragrance of the countless fungi ingredients, along with a hint of exotic tea aroma. The smooth texture of the fish had perfectly blended with the flavorful soup, causing one to be unable to stop eating even if they wanted to.
'Not bad! The Grade 5 meat which had already been peerless in taste had actually risen by at least half a level in terms of taste after being handled by a top-tier chef!' Bei Feng could not help smacking his lips repeatedly after the delicious meat disappeared down his throat. That one bite had left his tongue feeling light. The faint aroma of tea still lingered in his mouth, not receding for a long time.
One must not underestimate this 'mere' half a level of an improvement in taste. The meat was already extremely flavorful in the first place, so every bit of improvement to its taste was an immensely difficult task! When Bei Feng cooked with the Dark Jade Snowy Dragon King meat, he could not even completely bring out the taste of the meat!
Following that, Bei Feng directly put all the meat on the plate into the soup. Otherwise, if they were to blanch it one by one, the entire meal could not be finished without 2-3 hours!
Three minutes could not be said to be long, but it was not a short amount of time either. At the very least, to the trio waiting impatiently while enduring the aroma assaulting their noses, it seemed like an eternity.
"It's finally done!" Fan Fang Ming's eyes lit up as he looked at the tender meat which quivered gently under his chopsticks. His heart was filled with anticipation.
He brought the piece of fish into his mouth without smearing any sauce on it and lightly bit on it. For a top chef, it was more important to gain an understanding of the original taste of an ingredient when tasting food for the first time.
"This?! This is too unbelievable!"
As soon as the piece of fish entered his mouth and came into contact with his taste buds, an indescribable taste exploded on Fan Fang Ming's tongue, causing him to involuntarily shiver with pleasure.
As he bit down, the tender yet chewy texture of the meat was unraveled in his mouth. With just a few light bites, the meat dissolved into a stream of frosty substance which slid down his throat without obstruction.
'F*ck, aren't we just eating some blanched fish? Is there a need to look so exaggerated?'
Mystic Four and Zheng Xuan looked on with skepticism at Fan Fang Min who had his eyes closed, swallowing with a blissful smile on his face.
The magical change from piping hot to icy cold was like taking a roller coaster in his mouth. Fan Fang Ming felt like he was falling from paradise into hell one moment, and in the next moment, he was barging his way out of hell and back into the light again!
"You were right, as compared to your ingredients, the ingredients in my shop are really not worth a mention... "
Fan Fang Ming put down his chopsticks and said with some depression. The way he looked at Bei Feng was extremely solemn.