Transmigrator Meets Reincarnator
Chapter 593: Nanjing Cuisine (2)
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“Elder Brother, since Jinyi came over, let’s have her prepare some dishes for you to try. That child is a talented cook. I don’t know where she learned it, but I think she’s a better cook than the imperial cooks of the palace.”
The emperor collected his gaze and smiled. “Then I’ll stay to taste Jinyi’s cooking today.”
He had only seen Chu Lian once, before the new year. After that, he had been preoccupied with all the government affairs, so he had nearly forgotten about it.
However, when he thought about it now, he realised that he still remembered it very clearly.
Chu Lian had originally come to seek Princess Wei’s help, but she was somehow turned into a cook…
Chu Lian still didn’t know that she was cooking for the emperor. She just thought that she was cooking to show filial piety to Prince and Princess Wei.
She inquired about the foods that Prince and Princess Wei couldn’t eat, then brought Senior Servant Lan, Wenqing, and Wenlan over to the estate’s kitchen.
The kitchen in Prince Wei’s Estate had all the necessary ingredients.
Chu Lian always carried some spices and seasonings with her, so she wasn’t afraid that they would lack anything.
It was early spring now, so hot and spicy dishes were out of the question. It was also the time when wild herbs were the freshest and richest.
There was a small garden close to the kitchen. Chu Lian walked around and saw an array of delicious fresh vegetables.
She instructed a maidservant to gather the vegetables that she needed and bring them to the kitchen.
Chu Lian personally picked out some fresh mugwort and wild chrysanthemums. She ordered Wenqing to prepare some freshwater shrimp and fish, and then she told Wenlan to make minced meat.
She wanted to make light and healthy dishes. There were also many spring ingredients available, so making Nanjing cuisine was definitely the best choice.
Nanjing cuisine had a mild taste that was fresh and crisp. The dishes looked delicate and exquisite with an elegant touch. Therefore, it was the most well-suited cuisine for the early spring season.
Chu Lian decided on several dishes that wouldn’t take very long to cook.
The five dishes were completed in an hour.
Each dish was placed in a porcelain plate of a different style, then decorated with fresh flowers. The bright colours drew in both the eye and the belly.
Princess Wei had informed her beforehand that Prince Wei would be dining separately from them, so Chu Lian prepared two servings for each dish.
Then, Chu Lian instructed some servants to bring along the dishes that she was going to eat with Princess Wei, while Wenqing brought the other set over to the outer court.
Within the parlour of the outer court, Prince Wei and the emperor were already seated and drinking tea.
An imperial guard outside reported that the dishes had arrived.
With a wave of his hand, the emperor signaled and said, “Set the table.”
Senior Servant Lan entered the parlour first, followed by Wenqing and the maidservants carrying lacquer boxes filled with dishes.
Wenqing knew that Prince Wei was in the outer court. She had seen Prince Wei before when she had followed Chu Lian to Prince Wei’s Estate. At first, she had thought that Prince Wei would be the only one present. Perhaps the eldest royal prince might also be in attendance, but it was unlikely there would be anyone else. However, she was greeted with the sight of an unfamiliar middle-aged man.
When she lifted her head and took a peek at him, she was shocked by his imposing aura. She immediately bowed her head in a proper manner.
Someone who could sit at the same table with Prince Wei as an equal and had a rather close relationship with the prince definitely wasn’t an ordinary man..
After understanding this point, Wenqing became even more disciplined.
Senior Servant Lan instructed the maidservants to bring out the dishes from within the lacquer boxes and place them on the table one at a time. After that, she said with a smile, “Masters, please enjoy your meal. These were all personally made by Honoured Lady Jinyi!”
Five porcelain plates of different shapes and colours were placed on the table. Princess Wei had specially ordered her handmaid to find these porcelain plates. They were all very valuable, but the food inside looked even better. Its allure couldn’t be underestimated.
It could even be said that these porcelain plates had become accompaniments for the food.
The Chengping Emperor’s eyes lit up. He pointed at the dishes that looked even more exquisite than artworks and questioned, “Quick, tell me, what are all these?!”
Although Prince Wei thought it was a pity that the roast duck he had eaten last time wasn’t on the table, he was also very eager to taste the fragrant delicacies that were currently in front of him.
Wenqing came forward and introduced each of the dishes, just as Chu Lian had taught her.
“Replying to Masters, these stir-fried vegetables are called Nanjing Grass, which is made from the most tender parts of the tips of Chinese mugwort. It was stir-fried with light seasonings and has a naturally fresh taste. The dish beside it is Phoenix-Tail Prawns. The freshest river prawns were selected for this dish. After peeling off the head, the prawn is covered in egg whites and other seasonings, then fried in fragrant duck oil…”
Wenqing gave a simple introduction for all five dishes. As each dish was introduced, the emperor and Prince Wei would taste the dish.
Upon tasting the first dish, the emperor’s eyes were immediately set alight.
The fresh mugwort was originally tender and fragrant, and its flavour was complemented by the simplest of seasonings, oil and salt. When cooked at the right temperature, it would highlight the natural taste of the mugwort. There were also bright red Chinese roses adorning the dish, and the visual impact caused by the contrasting red and green appealed to the senses, stimulating the appetite.
The freshwater prawns had pure white meat with bright red shells. They were arranged on the plate in the shape of a phoenix tail. Green beans were placed beside them, creating a gorgeous mixture of vibrant colors. The prawns were fresh and tender and the batter was crispy and delicious in the mouth, without being greasy. The duck oil they were cooked in had imparted a special aroma to the prawns.
These two dishes had already conquered the emperor, so it went without saying for the other dishes: steamed fish belly, crispy eel, and wild chrysanthemum soup.
TL Note: I forgot to add the food porn pictures /o/
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