OCN C4 Who Thinks of Xiao Ming?

Qian Huang blew him a kiss when he saw the comments that flooded in after that message. Quite honestly, he normally hated it when Xiao Ming was so idealistic. In the past, that had already made things troublesome for them quite a few times. He had refused a few sponsorships by brands because he didn’t want to advertise something that he hadn’t really tried himself or didn’t approve of after trying it out.

While he understood where Xiao Ming was coming from, it was seriously hurting their business in the early stages. If you wanted to make money, then there were a few things that you would likely need to accept. Now though, there were a few opportunities that they wouldn’t have that their competition could take. It really wasn’t a good way to start out. So for the first few months, he had always argued with him about how they were supposed to grow if he was this way.

But anyway, things had turned out to be right this was because this was also what their audience loved about Xiao Ming: The way he genuinely loved what he did and was able to show his passion.

If he lost that or suppressed it just so they could better cash in, that also wouldn’t be right. In that case, the ones that had always supported them and were attracted by Xiao Ming’s way of being would definitely leave. And that … While it might not generate that kind of large sum, it was at least something that they could rely on.

He was sure that these people wouldn’t just leave when trouble occurred. Those sponsors though? They definitely would. They would in a heartbeat if they thought that their channel didn’t have any value to them anymore.

Their current audience was different from that. It had taken him some time to see that but now, he finally agreed with Xiao Ming’s way of seeing things so he didn’t want to risk losing them either.

Just how right that decision had been could be seen when looking at the screen of the laptop. Qian Huang’s lips curved up when there was another message coming up. This one was once again from Nin Sha:

[I love you just as much as you seem to love cooking. Hope you will never lose that passion.]

Qian Huang covered his eyes with his hands and then silently laughed. That guy … He one hundred percent had a crush on Xiao Ming. Well, it probably wasn’t that unexpected. Xiao Ming was handsome, definitely looked good on camera as well, and was also gentle. Furthermore, he could cook. Many people could already be conquered just by that. Still, most people wouldn’t be as shameless as this Nin Sha and just put the truth out there like this.

The next few comments were a row of ridicule for precisely this confession.

Xiao Ming Ming: [Nin Sha, don’t be shameless! ( ≧Д≦) What are you going to do if Qian Huang reads that comment aloud?]

Little Butterfly: [If you love him so much and want him to not stop, then you’d better shell out, Nin Sha! (੭ु˙꒳​˙)੭ु⁾⁾ What are you going to do if he has to work on TV after all?] She sent a row of laughter after that, definitely making a jab at how he had been behaving in the afternoon when they got out of the press conference and Nin Sha wouldn’t stop giving out gifts to their channel.

Quite unsurprisingly, Nin Sha didn’t have a problem with that. Instead, he probably decided that actions spoke louder than words and sent another row of presents their way, not even choosing to be cheap and instead working himself up from the lowest all the way up to the highest as if he wanted to say that as long as Xiao Ming asked for it, he would provide him with everything he needed.

The other viewers were shocked speechless and could only send a row of ellipses.

Meanwhile, Xiao Ming didn’t have the slightest idea of what was going on in the channel. This was also why they had originally decided to do it like this: If he always had to keep an eye on what was going on online, it would distract him from cooking and who knows if the dishes would turn out well? Thus, Qian Huang always screened what was happening and only mentioned the highlights so Xiao Ming could react to them.

Right now, Xiao Ming folded the last radish puff up and then picked up the tray, motioning behind him. “Speaking of which, the radish puffs are prepared for now. They can either be deep-fried or baked. For today, I’m going to bake them so I’ll have the next twenty minutes to take care of the Singapore rice noodles instead.” Putting the tray into the oven, he turned back to the camera and glanced that Qian Huang. “Do we have any other questions?”

Qian Huang was startled awake from his glee at what was happening online and hurriedly went to see if there were actual questions. Thankfully, somebody was still staying on the subject.

“Yes, ‘Food Enthusiast’ is asking what kind of basic skills you meant before and whether we will cover all of them in the weeks leading up to the show.”

“Ah, I see. Well, I can’t say for sure that we will manage to cover everything in-depth but I will at least try to mention everything and go into detail with a few of the things that I would deem the most important.

“As for the basic skills … Well, when you think of food, you will normally think of the taste, right?” He glanced at the camera but picked up the ingredients for the Singapore rice noodles at the side and started to prepare that dish.

“At the very least, this is what I would probably think of first. But then, when you think deeper, you might come up with other things. Like, when you go into the kitchen while somebody is cooking and or you are cooking yourself and open the lid of a pot, then there will be steam wafting out and sensation of heat on your face. The smell of the ingredients that you have used will hit you just the same and even hours after you finish cooking, it will still be everywhere in the house, making your mouth water when you notice it.

“And when you sit down to eat — especially when you do so at a restaurant — then you might have noticed that the plating looks really good. There are several colors and shapes working together to create a stunning dish. It is something that we often probably wouldn’t do in our daily lives when we cook but I think that you can agree that some foods might look a bit more appetizing than others.

“And while many might say that the taste is the most important, I think that everything comes together in cooking. Good food is never only just one of these things. It is always all of them. The aesthetic beauty, the aroma, the taste, we need all of that to make the best possible dish.”

Xiao Ming paused for a moment, finishing up the preparation of the ingredients and turning to take the radish cake out of the steamer. “This has steamed long enough now. It needs to sit for about half an hour so we have more than enough time to finish the Singapore rice noodles now.”

He took out a wok, added some oil, and then turned on the stove when he said so. As if he hadn’t interrupted himself at all, Xiao Ming then got back to his explanation while adding the first ingredient to the wok. “So, to summarize, I think that the basic skills are all the skills that enable you to make sure that these components are ensured.

“That might include simple knowledge of what ingredients to combine for the best taste but also of how the colors work together or which materials can be used as decoration. But that will also be things that allow you to make use of that knowledge. Like the way you cut and shape something, for example, or, of course, the different methods to process the food like how to fry or stirfry or roast or steam. It is also how to get the amount of spices and other seasonings right.”

Bit by bit, Xiao Ming added the ingredients to the wok. For a few moments, only the sizzling from the wok could be heard before the sound of someone smacking their lips sounded close by. He glanced over and smiled while Qian Huang shook his head and laughed.

“It’s really time he can finally get something to eat. Obviously, just one carrot isn’t enough to fill that black hole that is Li Shui’s stomach.”

Xiao Ming laughed at that and glanced at Li Shui again. “Don’t worry about it, it won’t take much longer.” He turned back to the wok but spoke to the viewers in the meantime, returning to the previous topic.

“Naturally, in only four weeks, we can’t do too many things. So I’m thinking of talking about some things that I would consider to be the most important and then add what you would like to know more about. So if you have something you are interested in, leave us a comment either here in the channel or on Weibo.”

Qian Huang piped up again at that. “Yeah, don’t be shy about it. Xiao Ming loves answering your comments. Normally, he doesn’t even let me do it if it’s something that has to do with cooking. I feel like a bit of a failure as an assistant.”

Xiao Ming chuckled. “It’s true. I really can’t deny it. I’m just always afraid that I will say something and Qian Huang will feel like it doesn’t sound good enough so he’ll paraphrase it and then get it all wrong. You know, these two guys can’t cook at all.”

Qian Huang chuckled. “Who would learn to cook if they were living with you? You honestly think I’d put in the effort for some subpar results? I’d rather do something better with my time and then enjoy your food.”

Before Xiao Ming got the opportunity to say anything, Qian Huang chortled. “Ah, look at this, it’s your crazy number one fan again. Nin Sha is writing, that he’ll learn to cook for you if you want him to.”

Xiao Ming chuckled and looked up at the camera once again, his smile a little mischievous. “Is that so? Then I guess you could be the substitute not only if Li Shui gets sick but also take over for me if I wasn’t available one day.”

Both Qian Huang and Li Shui laughed while some of the other viewers in the chat started to ridicule Si Jin.

The person in question wasn’t bothered though. Over at his house, he very casually put his fingers on the keyboard again and wrote back.

Nin Sha: [What would you prefer to eat if you were sick? There are a lot of nourishing soups.]

Qian Huang felt like he was choking on his laughter when he saw that question. The other viewers also fell silent, not quite sure if they should still ridicule him further or actually pity him for thinking that Xiao Ming would really need any of his dishes.

Xiao Ming Ming: [Actually … Nin Sha is delusional to the point where I think there might be something wrong with his brain. ( ⚆ _ ⚆ ) We shouldn’t laugh at him anymore. Who knows what the poor guy will do when reality hits him? (/ω\)]

Little Butterfly: [I guess you’re right. I wouldn’t want to have a death on my hands. ヽ(゚Д゚)ノ]

Si Jin ignored them and just looked at the screen, focusing on Xiao Ming’s pretty face. He actually felt a bit annoyed. While he loved watching Xiao Ming’s streams, it was always Qian Huang that read the chat and would read some of the comments for Xiao Ming to answer.

He would often choose his comments since he had been a viewer since their very first live stream and was always generous with his gifts but not every one of his comments was picked. And this time, it seemed that Qian Huang once again wouldn’t do him the favor. It really was annoying! He could only hope that he would have the opportunity to ask Xiao Ming in person soon.

Si Jin looked at the screen for a moment longer. Even if that question wouldn’t be read out loud, he hadn’t given up hope yet. He reached out once again and tried another approach.

Nin Sha: [About what you said before: Will you now announce the subject of the next stream beforehand? I would like to practice a little on my own so I can ask specific questions.”]

He leaned back, looking at the screen again and waiting for Qian Huang to read this question out loud. There was no way he would ignore something that was related to the stream. This time, his words would definitely be relayed to Xiao Ming and he would see how much he cared about him.

Si Jin was indeed right. As soon as Qian Huang saw the question, he cleared his throat and spoke up again. “Nin Sha has just been asking whether we are going to announce the subjects of the stream beforehand. What do you think, Xiao Ming?”

Xiao Ming continued to stir the ingredients in the wok and pondered. “I think that shouldn’t be a problem. Then I’m going to announce it in the stream from now on and we’ll also leave a post on Weibo so those who couldn’t turn in at the time can find the information more easily.”

He pondered for a moment longer and then glanced at the camera again. “As for the first stream, I was thinking of covering cutting techniques with you. I think that this is something that is a really basic skill for cooking and also very versatile in its uses.

“For one, the right way to cut ingredients is very important in some cases to make sure that it will taste right. And on the other hand, cutting will also be able to enhance the looks of your dish. So with just this one thing, you’ll be able to elevate the quality of your dish two times.” He smiled at the camera, making Si Jin reach out and take a screenshot.

Glancing at the corner where the number was displayed, it seemed that this was already screenshot number twenty-five in this stream alone. Ah, was it really a surprise? Xiao Ming was just very good-looking.

Si Jin didn’t give his opinion in the chat but the other viewers were fast to praise Xiao Ming for looking out for them.

Si Jin continued to look at him cooking but spoke up toward the man next to him. “Prepare a lesson on cutting techniques. I have to attain at least an intermediate skill level in two days’ time.”

“Yes, master.” A few gazes were exchanged and then nineteen of the men in the room almost soundlessly left. Only one person remained to make sure that he could relay Si Jin’s orders in case there were more.

Back in the stream, Xiao Ming finished the Singapore rice noodles just when it was time to take the carrot puffs out of the oven.

He put the two dishes to the side, keeping them warm while he checked on the mango pudding in the fridge and then gave a nod. “Seems like this will also be done soon.” He closed the fridge again for the moment and then cut up the radish cakes, putting them in a pan. “We could eat them like this but I personally prefer them pan-fried even if that means that Li Shui will have to wait a few minutes longer.” He smiled and then focused on the dish for the moment, making sure that it wasn’t fried for too long.

Finally, he took them out of the pan, got the mango pudding from the fridge, and then arranged all the dishes on the table. Without being asked to, Li Shui gave them a close-up, while Xiao Ming introduced them once again.

“Alright, guys, the dishes have been prepared. Here, we have the mango pudding, carrot puffs as a variation of the more traditional radish puffs, radish cakes that are often eaten during the new year, and the Singapore rice noodles. Now, all that’s left is eating.”

He took the bowls that were standing to the side and distributed them, also putting down cups and filling them with the Oolong tea he had chosen for today.

Li Shui zoomed out again, showing the whole corner of the counter where the three of them usually sat to eat the dishes afterward. Then, he rushed over, picked up his chopsticks, and started to fill his bowl, immediately digging in.

Xiao Ming raised his brows and then turned to look at the camera, giving a laugh. “See that? I wasn’t joking. Our Ah Shui has really been starving today. I guess it’s about time he got something to eat.”

Li Shui waved his hand and nodded like a chicken pecking rice, while still stuffing his mouth.

Despite ridiculing his friend before, Qian Huang also hurried to his seat, picking his chopsticks up as well. “You’re eating like a wolf again. If you continue like this, will there even be any left for me?!”

In the chat, the viewers were ridiculing the two of them.

Xiao Ming Ming: [Qian Huang also just thinks about himself. (눈_ლ) Who is thinking about our poor Ming Ming? (๑ˊ▵ॢˋ̥๑) He was the one who actually had to work at the press conference in front of all those cameras but he’s the one who will likely get the least to eat.]

Little Butterfly: [True! But then again, I sometimes feel like these two just picked up the easiest tasks and are mostly freeloading at his place. Well, who can put it past them? I would’ve done the same if I knew Xiao Ming. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯]

The other viewers agreed, giving a plus one while Si Jin observed how Xiao Ming first cleaned up the kitchen utensils he had been using before he went to sit down next to the other two and picked up his own chopsticks, slowly taking a bit of each dish for himself.

Ah, his Xiao Ming, he really was perfect in every sense of the word.

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