Despite the lack of comments so far, Xiao Ming was in a good mood. Whether it was this dish or the next one, they could both be done quite fast so the live stream actually wouldn’t need to go in for much longer. While they were usually streaming more than that and he loved doing this, it was better to take a bit of a break if Qian Huang really wasn’t doing well. He’d rather not take a risk in this situation.
Since he could finish the dishes soon Qian Huang also shouldn’t have a reason to complain about this decision. After all, they still would have done what they had promised their viewers. As for everything else, they would certainly understand if they explained.
Thinking like that, Xiao Ming took out the ingredients that he had already prepared and put the bowls down in front of him. “The creamy cabbage casserole is actually an easy dish to do no matter which way you prepare it.
“For this method, we’ll first have to stir-fry the ham and scallions and then just add the other ingredients bit by bit. The whole dish can be made in a wok or a pan if you like that better. As you can see, this really is a simple version that doesn’t require you to do a lot.” Saying that, he immediately started the process. “Since we’ve already talked about how to stir-fry, I won’t say much and just let you watch.”
Xiao Ming smiled at the camera and then indeed just went ahead and stir-fried the first ingredients. Having finished with that part, he added the next ingredients as he had said and only looked back up at the camera when he had poured the milk and chicken broth into the wok. “Now, the stir-frying part is already finished and we’ll get to the next one: Since the liquid has been added, the other ingredients should be boiled in it.” He looked more serious when he said that, giving a hint that he was going to explain something about today’s topic once again.
Back at the house of the ninjas, Si Jin’s eyes seemed glued to the screen. He really liked this version of Xiao Ming. Of course, his crush was good-looking no matter what he did or what expression he made but this was a special treat. Xiao Ming was obviously an easy-going person that would smile often but he rarely showed his more serious side. So despite loving his smile, Si Jin cherished these rare opportunities of seeing him like this. It was definitely screenshot-worthy.
Back in the stream of Bright Yellow Water, Xiao Ming was continuing to explain. “You might think that boiling is a very easy method of cooking where you just pour in some liquid and then you are basically done. But just like with frying, there are many different ways to boil ingredients and dishes.
“For one, there is the actual boiling technique. For this one, the ingredients need to be completely submerged in the liquid while the temperature has to be high enough to boil. For other boiling techniques, either the heat, the amount of liquid, or the time will usually be different.
“For example, there is a technique called blanching where you will also submerge the ingredients in boiling water but take them out after a short amount of time and then use cold water to cool them down. When simmering, you will still completely submerge your ingredients in the liquid but the temperature will be slightly below the boiling point which is 100 degrees Celsius. The temperature has to be even lower if you want to poach your ingredients which would be done at about 70 to 80 degrees instead.
“You see: Just by varying the temperature, the methods will differ. Of course, which one to use will depend on the ingredients. For example, a lower temperature is often used with delicate ingredients.
“Other than that, there are some methods that don’t only involve boiling itself. The first example of that would be the braising technique where the ingredients are first sauteed — which as you hopefully remember, is a way of frying something — or seared in a pan with some liquid before it is finally being simmered in a covered pot. So a dish that is being braised can combine either two methods of boiling or one frying and one boiling technique.”
At that moment, the time to boil the third dish was already over so Xiao Ming stopped speaking and turned off the stove. “Alright, with this, our creamy cabbage casserole is already finished. Since this will be cooling down much faster, I’ll let Qian Huang and Li Shui already take a bite. I hope you won’t mind.”
He waved for the other two to leave their places and hurry over to the counter. If two of the dishes had already been eaten, it wouldn’t be too strange to stop the stream earlier today. It was just a different way of going about things. He could probably just joke about it and tell their viewers that they’d be on for longer next time.
Xiao Ming’s mood lifted even further when he thought of that. It really was the perfect way to go about things. He waved at Qian Huang again who was still sitting at his place and didn’t look like he wanted to come over. Actually, he would have liked to just go and bring him a plate but he was afraid that Qian Huang also wouldn’t like that. After all, eating together was one of the things that had always been a part of their streams. While he didn’t mind changing the way things went, that was something that couldn’t be taken out completely without seeming strange.
Qian Huang was indeed still a little reluctant but the reason for that was naturally different from what Xiao Ming assumed. Actually, he was mostly worried that Xiao Ming might see something on the screen of his notebook if he went over and took it along. Leaving it at his seat would seem strange though. In the end, he could only get up reluctantly while taking it with him. It seemed like he would have to be very careful with how he turned the notebook if he didn’t want that to happen. Maybe he’d be lucky. Anyway, Xiao Ming still had to cook the last dish so he probably wouldn’t pay attention to that anyway as long as he didn’t try to show him anything.
On the other hand, Li Shui didn’t have any second thoughts and rushed over immediately, staring at the plate that Xiao Ming had just filled with bright eyes. He really couldn’t wait to have a taste. The smell of the casserole and that of the buns in the oven had permeated the whole room and even though Xiao Ming had given him one of the glutinous rice dumplings before, he was already hungry again.
Xiao Ming chuckled when he saw that gaze. He wasn’t heartless so he immediately handed Li Shui the plate he was eying before finishing a second one for Qian Huang. He gave him a slightly longer look, once again trying to figure out how he was doing and if there was something else he could do to make him feel better.
Right now, it didn’t seem like it though. Qian Huang was looking slightly better than before even though he was still a bit pale. It seemed that maybe he would just need some time to get better. Also making some porridge for him or something similar that was slightly easier on the stomach might be a good idea. Well, he’d do that after the stream. In any case, the creamy cabbage casserole also wasn’t that bad. While the milk might be a bit fat, he had used less oil for the frying before in anticipation. It shouldn’t be a problem.
He made a small plate for himself as well and took a bit but then already put it to the side again and turned to the camera. “Well, I said that this dish could be done in different ways. I’ve already shown you the first way so let’s talk about the second one. I won’t directly do it on stream because then we’d have way too much of the casserole to eat even among the three of us.
“In fact, the difference is not that big and the other version is even simpler. For that one, you will cook the cabbage with the chicken stock and scallion in a slow-cooker. This process uses lower heat than boiling or frying but will take much longer as well. In fact, it might take up to eight hours so this is something you can start to do before you go and take care of other things.
“It is a bit of a hands-off approach if you don’t want to bother about actually cooking right before you eat. Since the dish is simple, it might not seem like much of a difference but with other, more difficult dishes, this could make your life easier sometimes when you have time to prepare things but not to actually cook when it’s almost time to serve the food.”
Qian Huang glanced at the comment section when he heard that, afraid that mentioning this kind of ‘hands-off approach’ would once again draw out the people that had read Misses Youya’s blog post. Surprisingly, everything stayed silent and there were even a few people mentioning how this might be a nice idea for workdays or when family was coming over and they couldn’t do several dishes in a short amount of time since they were slower than Xiao Ming.
Seeing this, he heaved a sigh of relief, picked up his spoon, and also started eating. He was still worried but things were really looking up now. Maybe they would even go back to normal after a few days and the whole scandal would just blow over.
Meanwhile, Xiao Ming wasn’t done with explaining yet. “I can also tell you a third version of how to do this dish: In this one, you first have to boil the cabbage, make the sauce with the milk separately in another pot, and finally add both of them to a baking dish and put it in the oven for about half an hour. For this one, you could add a small crust on top for some variation but you don’t have to.
“In any case, this would be an option that is somewhere in the middle between the other two: It doesn’t take as long as the option with the slow-cooker but isn’t as fast as the version from the wok either. If you have several dishes to do, knowing these kinds of alternatives can be helpful because you can make several dishes at the same time without having to use the same space.
“For example, I couldn’t do the creamy cabbage casserole in the oven at the same time as the baked char siu buns because there is only one oven in our kitchen. But I could have made it using the slow-cooker, used the stove for the glutinous rice dumplings and our fourth dish, and done the buns in the oven at the same time. Speaking of which …”
Xiao Ming motioned over at the oven. “By now, our baked char siu buns should be finished. Let’s have a look and take them out if I’m right.” He turned to the oven, and seeing that still color was just as expected, he nodded to himself, put on gloves, and then took the tray out of the oven. Turning around, he put it on the countertop and smiled at the camera.
“Now, you can see that the originally pale buns have turned to the light brown color that I described before. That means that these are ready to be eaten now. You should give them maybe five minutes before you start so that they can cool down a little though. Especially the char siu filling is quite hot right after coming out of the oven. You can’t forget that these were in there at 180 degrees, after all.” He pushed the tray toward Li Shui end Qian Huang and then couldn’t help but caution them. “Don’t eat too much of those.”
Li Shui looked up with wide eyes, looking as if he was wronged.
Over in the channel’s comment section, people started laughing and for a short moment, everything seemed like in all the other live streams they had done before.
Xiao Ming Ming: [I think Li Shui is everybody’s spirit animal. Imagine Xiao Ming cooking something like this and then telling you that you shouldn’t eat too much. I can understand while he feels wronged QAQ”
Little Butterfly: [So true! If this was me, I probably would have started crying directly on stream. Isn’t this pure torture?]
Qian Huang smiled slightly when he saw these comments. He had still been a bit doubtful even though there had been more normal comments while Xiao Ming explained before but now, those doubts were dissolving completely. Yes, there would definitely be a few who wouldn’t agree anymore but it seemed that things weren’t that bad after all. They might lose some of the new viewers but their longtime fans would stay true to them. They wouldn’t be led astray just because some woman spouted some vile nonsense on her blog.
Thinking of that, he looked up at Xiao Ming. “Why that?”
Xiao Ming looked over in surprise. Did he really need to explain this? “You shouldn’t eat too much heavy foods when you’re sick.”
Li Shui looked up with confusion. “I’m not sick!”
Xiao Ming actually rolled his eyes at him and slapped his shoulder. “Who was talking about you? Are you the only person on stream?”
This time, Li Shui actually put down the spoon and gave Xiao Ming his undivided attention. “Are you not feeling well? Do you need help with something?”
Xiao Ming stared at him in a daze. There were only three people here. How did he manage to get it wrong two times in a row? He sighed and shook his head, turning back to the camera with a wry smile. “Well, in any case, there is one dish left: the potstickers. Let’s get onto that and wrap up the stream.”