The two lords are enjoying Golden Lion Fish together, and it is obviously unnecessary to make a same dish. Lin Dan ignores the constantly urging of the waiter and only picks out a few fresh pig kidney pieces, carves on them beautiful decorative patterns of the ear of wheat with a graver, quickly boils them until kidney pieces turn into flower shapes in the pan, then mixes sesame paste, peanut paste, spicy oil, aromatic vinegar, white sugar and other seasonings into thick sauce, pours the sauce on the kidney flowers, and she slowly explains, "When making the sauce, water, oil, sesame paste and peanut paste must be made into thick and glutinous sauce, because only when the sauce is thick and glutinous, can it sticks onto kidney flowers, look."
She picks up a kidney flower and motions others to observe carefully. The kidney flower is wrapped in a layer of extremely thick and glutinous sauce. One can imagine its delicious taste only by looking at it rather than tasting it. The sauce is thick enough, but it is still firmly attached to the surface of the kidney flower without dropping. It preserves the taste and flavor of the kidney greatly.
The little cook whose surname is Qiu looks at it carefully and quickly writes down the recipe.
"Take it out." Lin Dan washes the pan clean and continues to cook the next dish. The two lords are distinguished and have already been eating. It is obviously unrealistic to keep them waiting for every single dish. She must chooses some dishes that are simple in cooking and quick in stir-frying, and she needs to prepare a table of banquets which look good as soon as possible, so that the guests can eat comfortably.
Most dry goods haven't been soaked enough and can't be used. Lin Dan has to check the water tank and she finds several live sea cucumbers and abalones in it. She fishes them out and cleans them.
"I'm going to make a salad of live sea cucumbers; do you have ice in your restaurant? Please bring me a few if you have ice." Lin Dan deals with sea cucumbers quickly as she speaks.
"Yes, we have, Zhou Fu, go to the cellar and fetch some ice cubes!" The little cook Qiu turns around and directs one of the assistant chefs to fetch ice. The assistant chefs have stopped their works and stared at Lin Dan with eager eyes since Lin Dan soaking the sea cucumbers. It's an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn some secret skills from a top chef.
Zhou Fu runs immediately to the cellar, fearing that when he is away, Shopkeeper Lin will teach others skills and he will miss them.
Lin Dan cuts open the bellies of the live sea cucumbers, and she removes the internal organs, cleans them up, and then cuts them into consistent strips, slowly explains, "Live sea cucumbers are also very troublesome to handle. Why? Because of the temperature is not easy to master. If the temperature is too high, sea cucumbers will be overcooked, and the meat will be hard to bite. If the temperature is too low, they will not be cooked enough and will have fishy smell. I'll teach you a way, that is, when the water is about to boil, put a finger in it. If the finger can only stay in the water for a breath, and the skin will hurt hard after the finger is out, then the temperature is proper. The cooked sea cucumber strips will soften after being put into cold water, which will affect the taste. At this time, boil them again and pour in ice water for quick freezing, it will quickly tighten the meat quality of sea cucumbers, forming a unique taste which is soft outside and tough inside, which is very suitable for making a salad."
She puts cooked sea cucumbers into ice water for later use, and sets up a pan to prepare the salad sauce. With chopped fresh chili, shallot, minced garlic, raw soy sauce and aromatic vinegar, she pours sesame oil into the sauce to make bright brown color, and pours it on the iced sea cucumber strips. Finally, a dish is finished.
The little cook Qiu hurriedly picks up a mouthful of the dish with chopsticks, Brother Tang also tastes a little under the old shopkeeper’s stare, his long and narrow beautiful eyes suddenly cast light. Nothing special but the taste of the salad is absolutely unique. The original fishy smell and astringent taste of sea cucumbers disappear completely. Instead, it adds a full flavor of freshness, with a little soft and glutinous flavor in the crisp and chewy taste, the soft glutinous outer layer is saturated with the sour and hot taste of the salad sauce. The flavor is really delicious beyond description.
The little cook Qiu somehow regrets. He regrets that he shouldn't have tasted the dish with chopsticks. If he hadn't tasted it, he wouldn't have known how delicious this dish was. So when the waiter carries it away, he wouldn't have suffered regrets.
Brother Tang stares at the waiter with his eagle eyes, making the waiter absolutely terrified. He can't even walk unless against the wall.
Lin Dan takes abalones out and continues her explanation, "The taste of live abalone is not as good as that of dry abalone and it is not elastic enough. However, I have a way to make the taste of dry abalones from live abalones, that is, sugar water treatment. First, live abalones are frozen in ice cubes and shaped, then soaked in sugar water, and the soaked abalones can be easily brushed off the black film on the outer layer."
She takes abalones soaked in sugar in her hand and brushes them lightly. The black film, which has never been cleaned before, falls off completely. The white and tender abalone meat is exposed in the air and its appearance is surprisingly well.
"After cleaning, next step is to boil live abalones with shell, after boiling; we should remove shells to take meat, waiting for putting them into the dish. The live abalones boiled by this method are soft and glutinous and elastic, which are almost comparable to dry abalones. The dish I'm cooking now is braised live abalones, mixed with a proper amount of fine salt, white sugar, cooking wine and stock soup, it should be simmered for a while with a small fire, and finally dark soy sauce can be added to turn it into bright red, and to thicken the sauce with a big fire. Well, I'll get one for you to try. "
Lin Dan fishes out an abalone and puts it in a small dish. The waiter takes the rest. The crowd pours in to taste, but they are all pushed away by Brother Tang. He takes advantage of his good martial arts to eat almost half of the abalone, and his face is full of satisfaction.
After cooking several meat dishes, Lin Dan puts a washed monkey head fungus into milk-white soybean milk, boils it until it is half cooked, fishes it out, then continues to cook in the bone soup, adds different seasonings at different times, gradually boils a pot of milk soup into red soup, until the monkey head fungus is thoroughly cooked and its surface collapses into irregular, brain-like grooves, then carefully fishes it out with a colander, and thickens the original soup.
When the waiter comes back to take other dishes, he becomes absolutely silly and asks, "We haven't had monkey brains in our restaurant for a long time. Where does this Greasy Monkey Brain come from?"
"This dish is called Braised Monkey Brain in Brown Sauce and is made of a monkey head fungus. Firstly put it in soybean milk, so it will taste fishy, then in bone soup, it will taste like the flavor of marrow, and finally in red soup, it will taste fleshy. The monkey head fungus is put into three soups one by one, not only preserving the fresh flavor of the monkey head fungus, but also increasing the peculiar fishy smell and fleshy taste of brain marrow, so it can almost confuse the real with the fake."
Although Lin Dan explains it simply, it is even harder to cook it. There are many steps, different ingredients should be added according to different levels of fire, different flavors should be added according to different ingredients, when to put the fungus in different soups and when to stop cooking are also skillful steps. If one step is wrong, the flavor will mixed badly. If the strength is a little heavier, the fungus will be broken; every tiny detail hides a deep skill foundation.
Even if all the people here see how Lin Dan cooks it with their own eyes, they can't grasp the secret skill at all. This is exactly the case with the top chef. If the chef doesn't teach the secret skill, one won't learn a bit even if he or she watches it a hundred times. This is the so-called "a spoon can be used to cook delicacies; a secret skill can only be gotten in the real practices".
Brother Tang, as always, picks up chopsticks and tries to poke a little of the dish, but his chopsticks are blocked by Lin Dan's long spoon. She can’t help saying, "Calm down, Brother Tang. I had a hard time making the shape of monkey brain. Once you pick up the dish with chopsticks, the monkey brain will not be in a whole shape. How do you let the guests eat?"
Brother Tang puts down his chopsticks and looks bitterly, but the smell of the Braised Monkey Brain in Brown Sauce still lingers on his nose, which makes his desire more unbearable. He secretly runs to the front hall, thinking that if he can’t eat it himself, it will be better to watch others eat it. But he soon realizes that watching others eat is several times crueler than not eating.
The empty front hall is already full of diners who are all attracted by the delicacies on the table of the two lords. When the waiter asks diners what they want to order, they point to the side and urges, "The dishes on Lord Cheng's table and bring to me dishes which are the exactly same with Lord Cheng’s. Hurry up!"
All kinds of scents are floating in the air, making people drool.
This is not over yet. Lord Cheng comments on the dishes while eating, with a surprisingly loud volume, "Oh, wow, this salad of sea cucumbers is very fresh, crisp and smooth in taste, which can be called a unique dish! It is not easy to make this kind of taste. When the temperature is high, it becomes hard. When the temperature is low, it becomes fishy. It can’t become a dish if the cook can’t handle the temperature. The temperature of cooking this dish is just right, just right!" As he speaks, he raises his thumb.
When Lord Cheng is speaking, Lord Gong takes advantage of the gap to hurry to eat with his lips covered by oil.
"Hey, are these dry abalones or live abalones? The fresh flavor is so strong, they should be live abalones, the taste is so glutinous, so elastic, and they should be dry abalones, hey, I am not sure now!" Lord Cheng smacks his lips while eating.
The waiter leans down and replies, "Lord, this dish is made of live abalones. The processing method is quite special, so the taste is a little bit unique."
Lord Cheng repeatedly motions with his hand, "A little bit? This is very unique! I have eaten so many abalones; this is the most palatable flavor, perfectly combining the advantages of dry abalones and live abalones! "
Lord Gong still doesn’t speak, and buries his head in a fierce meal.
"Is it Greasy Monkey Brain?" After eating the last dish, Lord Cheng is satisfied, "Since the disaster in the south, I have never eaten Greasy Monkey Brain for more than half a year. It is tasty, really tasty. The red oil soup is all smothered in the brain. A bite of it can spill juice in my teeth. The light fishy smell is mixed properly with faint freshness. It is absolutely amazing!"
He pushes away Lord Gong's spoon hardly and holds the whole dish in his arms.
The waiter carefully explains, "Lord, this dish is not a monkey brain, it is a monkey head fungus. Would you like to try it again?"
"Really, it is made of a monkey head fungus?" Lord Cheng is dumbfounded, repeatedly tastes the dish, just can’t feel anything different, "Hey, no, I have eaten dozens of even hundreds of times of monkey brains, can’t I taste whether it is a brain or not? This is the dish made with a monkey brain. It is still the freshest monkey brain that has just been taken out from the cracked head. Don't deceive me! "
"I really don’t deceive you. It is made of a monkey head fungus." The waiter finds the situation both funny and amusing.
Lord Cheng stops talking and dodges his younger brother who jumps up again to rob the dish. He eats up the dish quickly and wipes his mouth and sighs, "Whether it's a monkey brain or a monkey head fungus, this is what I love! The cook can make a vegetarian dish into a meat dish, the meat flavor is so strong, so unique, and the cook's skill is really..."
Lord Cheng raises the thumb of his left hand and the thumb of his right hand, and then puts the two thumbs together to express the meaning of "reaching the peak of skills".
"The cook is no worse than a palace chef!" Lord Gong expresses his sincere admiration.
More and more diners are attracted by this feast. The restaurant is full of crowds, bustling with noise and excitement, as if it had returned to its most glorious time. The old shopkeeper’s tears are coming out, and he feels that he must keep Shopkeeper Lin in the restaurant anyway. She is the treasure of the restaurant!