The food material called pickled tofu dregs is a specialty of the State of Zongzi. The State of Zongzi is a tribal state established by the descendants of Xia and Shang dynasties. It is settled in somewhere and attempts to restore power. Later, it is destroyed by the great general Zi Kong of the previous dynasty. Although it is still called the State of Zongzi, it is actually only a county of the great State of Chu.
Lin Dan doesn't expect anyone to know such a remote place, and also to describe in detail the production process of the local specialty. She can't help looking at the handsome man. The man looks at her in the eye and then continues eating his solid food.
The bacon slices in the pan have been all wrapped with a layer of pickled tofu dregs. The rich fat continuously gives off crunchy sounds after boiling and volatilizes rich aroma. Lin Dan stops looking and says to the little servant girl sitting beside her, "We can pour water."
The little servant girl hurriedly pours water from the pottery pot slowly into the pan. As soon as the water flows in, the dish that is not good-looking becomes even more turbid. However, the smell of pickled dregs that assails the nostrils becomes much lighter. Instead, the pleasant smell of beans and the strong smell of bacon are stimulated to have the original flavor.
This changed smell is immediately spread everywhere by the spring breeze. The three men sitting not far away can't help inhaling the smell with their noses. Their thirsty mouths that are originally thirsty immediately secrete a lot of saliva. They can swallow hard steamed buns without drinking water. But now looking at the hard steamed buns, they have a feeling that they can’t eat and swallow.
Lin Dan doesn't care about the feelings of those people at all. She seems to think the food in the pan is not delicious enough. She adds several seasonings separately and slowly stirs them with a slice. The soup has already boiled and is bubbling noisily. White water vapor is carrying a wonderful aroma and is spreading all around, assailing everyone's nose and taste buds.
While swallowing saliva, a little servant girl asks, "Master, the soup has been boiling for so long before you put Chinese prickly ash in it. Is it not tasty enough?"
Lin Dan says slowly, "This is rattan prickly ash (another kind of Chinese prickly ash but different from it), not Chinese prickly ash. Chinese prickly ash tastes numb, while rattan prickly ash tastes numb and astringent. If rattan prickly ash is cooked too long, the dish will be bitter, so we need to put it later. The numb flavor of rattan prickly ash is actually more authentic than that of Chinese prickly ash. It does not need to be stir-fried with oil, only needs to be boiled in boiling water for a quarter of an hour to stimulate the pure hot and spicy flavor. "
The little servant girl nods to show that she is being taught. Lin Dan puts the chopped bamboo shoots into the pan and cooks them for a while. At the end, she rolls three to five wild scallions and prepares to put them into the pan.
The little servant girl hurriedly takes hold of her sleeve and says doubtfully, "Master, you once said that the most taboo thing in cooking is being mixed in flavors. Why is Stewed Bacon with Pickled Tofu Dregs mixed? This dish is tasty originally, but you still put this kind of wild scallions that choke noses. Don't do that in case it will become tainted in flavor in the end. It is not edible! I think the taste is very good now and there is no need to add any other seasonings. "
Lin Dan squints at her with a smile and softly explains, "Do you remember the seasoning skills I taught you? Dishes with strong flavor need the flavor enhancement skill to highlight the richness of the dishes. For dishes with light flavor, the flavor reduction skill should be used to highlight the fresh flavor of the dishes. There are also mixing skills, flavor changing skills and so on. Now I am using the flavor enhancement skill. I add the sour and spicy flavors of pickled tofu dregs to the smoked salty flavor of bacon. After mixing those flavors, I add the numb flavor of rattan prickly ash. The flavors of being sour, spicy and numb are slightly mixed. At this time, I add wild scallions to add slightly sweet flavor, slightly astringent flavor and slightly bitter flavor. In addition, the fantastic smell of wild scallions is mixed with the strong smell of pickled tofu dregs, making the flavor strong step by step, and making it enhanced in different levels. Then a good dish is made. The so-called "the most taboo thing in cooking is being mixed in flavors" does not mean that the less seasoning you put, the better. It means that the clearer the flavor, the better. The emphasis is on the levels, not appearances. Moreover, the flavors enhance and reduce each other, the sour flavor can reduce the salty flavor, and the salty flavor can enhance the sweet flavor, which is also very wonderful. Therefore, I did not boil the bacon in boiling water when frying this dish, because the sour flavor of pickled tofu dregs will weaken the salty flavor of the bacon. The flavor will be weak if I boil the bacon, you should pay attention from now on. "
Lin Dan says as she puts the wild scallions into the pan and stirs it gently. The tofu dregs soup, which has been pasted together, immediately turns distinctly white, red and green. The color of the dish becomes very beautiful, and a thick and unspeakable aroma pervades all around.
The little servant girl sighs with feeling as she takes a sip of water, "Master, you are really good! After putting wild scallions, the taste of the soup is indeed different! The dish in the pan has changed three flavors one after another. If you don't say so, I really can't think of doing this. "
Lin Dan chuckles and says, "Then let me test you. Why did I put in the bamboo shoots?"
"Bamboo shoots and bacon are meant to be cooked together, and they taste better together." The little servant girl has just learned to cook and has been in the stage of being ignorant.
Lin Dan patiently explains, "Both pickled tofu dregs and bacon are pickled food materials. Although they taste good, the biggest shortcoming is that they lack delicate fresh flavor. Bamboo shoots slices are used to improve freshness and can make up for the shortage of the dish’s color. Taste it. After adding bamboo shoots, do your tongues taste the freshness?"
Lin Dan scoops up some soup with a spoon and hands it to the little servant girl's mouth.
The little servant girl takes a sip of it and immediately gives her thumbs up, "It's really delicious! Master, you have made this dish alive! "
Lin Dan smiles and shakes her head. Then she calls the servants who have been drooling so much, "All right, everyone, it’s time for dinner."
"It’s time for inner, it’s time for dinner! Bring bowls and chopsticks quickly!" Servants, who have already gathered, fill bowls with rice in the fastest speed and get the dishes ready and bury themselves in eating. Chopsticks rattle on the bowls and dishes, the sounds of rolling up food in tongues and gulping can be heard. They eat eagerly as if they have been hungry for days.
The little servant girl's forehead sweats and her cheeks flush. She can’t help sighing, "Master, we haven't had enough to eat for a long time because of your illness. I'm used to what you cook, and I really don't feel good eating anything else. "
Lin Dan rubs her head with indulgence which can be seen in her eyes. After taking a few bites casually, she gets on the carriage and lies down. Her illness is still not getting well. Due to the smoked and terribly hot environment when she cooks, her throat begins to ache again.
The two strong men sitting nearby can't swallow the steamed buns when Lin Dan is cooking. They crane their necks to look into the big pan. Even the indifferent leader looks at it for several times irrepressibly, swallowing the steamed buns more and more slowly. When Lin Dan begins to explain the seasoning skills of this dish, he can't eat the steamed buns completely and simply throws his water pocket away and he is all ears.
Lin Dan's voice is slow and soft, and her diction is vivid. Even if one can't see clearly the food in the pan, one can listen to her narration and smells the taste, and then one can imagine how wonderful the taste of Stewed Bacon with Pickled Tofu Dregs in this pan is. When the servants begin to snatch food, this imagination becomes a reality, and excites the bellies of the three men to sound like drums, their tongues to produce saliva, and hunger to be felt more and more.
"Damn, I can't stand it!" The strong man who is careless wipes his brilliant lips with his sleeve.
"Such a big pan, do you think they can eat the dish up?" Another strong man asks hopefully.
The handsome man doesn't answer, but his beautiful eyes are staring at the big pan beyond his control, Adam's apple of his slightly stirs up, it seems to be swallowing saliva.
The three men keeps silent for a moment, seeing the people over there successively put chopsticks into the pan to pick up bacon, bamboo shoots, and wild scallions and even scoop out tofu dregs soup to mix rice in the end. They suddenly can’t sit still any more.
"Zhao Liu, go and ask them if they have any extra food and dishes. Let's take money to buy it." The strong man who is careless pokes his companion with his elbow.
Zhao Liu scolds in a low voice, "Why don't you go and ask?"
"I just scolded the servant boy, right? I am a guy who wants to save face! "
"Luo Tietou, you want to save face, don’t I want to save face?" When his words are finished, a gust of wind spreads the rich aroma of the dish all around. The numb, spicy and sour flavors mix with the smoked salty flavor of bacon. Without eating, one can still have a feeling of being thoroughly refreshed. It is simply heady!
"Fuck, face, I don't save it, I'll go and ask!" Zhao Liu, neglecting his face, immediately runs over with two taels of silver.
The servant boy, who was mercilessly rejected and ridiculed by the two men before, takes a lot of effort to lift his face from his bowl and rolls his eyes. "Six people are served with such a little dish, how can’t we eat up it?" He says.
"We will pay for it, okay?" Zhao Liu takes out two taels of silver with a flattering laugh. The firewood has been burning all the time, and the soup has been boiling all the time. The smell is so good that no words can describe it! As soon as he gets close to the pan, he can't even walk and his saliva is pouring.
"No." The servant boy bypasses him and walks to the side of the pan, scooping up a few slices of bacon, several bamboo shoots and wild scallions. He devours these with his mouth and doesn't have time to talk again.
Zhao Liu stares at his brilliant lips straight with a miserable expression.
He seems to feel a little ashamed of his subordinates, the handsome man orders in a heavy voice, "Come back."
Zhao Liu looks at the rice with soup of the servant boy, and looks at the boiling pan, he has to come back unwillingly. The three men take up their water pockets and fill their stomachs with water. But it becomes more and more tasteless in their mouths. After sitting for a while, each of them takes a pee, and the water in their stomachs immediately disappears. Becoming even hungrier, the three green-eyed men stare at the big pan.
The servant boy is so shocked by the staring of the three men that he can't help wondering, “We will not go our separate ways until tomorrow. In the afternoon and at night, there may be some places where these three people can be used. Just give a little.” Then he scoops out the remaining bacon slices and soup with a slice, puts them in a large bowl, and exclaims, "There is still a little stewed dish left. Do you want it?"
"Yes yes, thanks to my little brother!” Zhao Liu, who is on pins and needles, runs as fast as he can. Although the other two try to cover up, the Adam's apple of each of them stirs up uncontrollably.
The soup boiled to the last is the essence. The bacon has already been thoroughly cooked, and the tofu dregs have been half-melted. The appearance of the soup is not good, but the taste is excellent. Steamed buns are broken apart and put into a bowl to absorb the soup, and then a big bite is taken. The dry and hard taste is immediately replaced by soft, glutinous, sour, salty, spicy and fresh flavors, making one want to swallow even the tongue.
The three big men huddle together head to head; each of them holds a piece of steamed bun to dip in soup, and also sandwiches bacon between two pieces of steamed buns, and gulps eagerly. In the end, there is only a little soup left. The handsome man glares, the other two do not dare to move. They watch tearfully as the leader eats all of the pieces of steamed buns that he puts in a bowl.
When Zhao Liu returns the bowl, his face is colored. There is no special reason for it, but the bowl is too clean and brighter than the one washed with water.