Qian Huang looked at Xiao Ming strangely and then glanced at the clock. Obviously, they hadn’t been streaming for long so what was this talk about ending the stream already? But there was really only one dish left. He was a little confused but naturally couldn’t ask on the stream itself. Thus, he just bowed his head and ate the creamy cabbage casserole while keeping a look at the comment section and making sure that Xiao Ming didn’t get too close to see anything.
Next to him, Li Shui had started on the char siu buns and immediately took a second one, since he obviously wasn’t sick and didn’t need to hold back.
Meanwhile, Xiao Ming once again took out the prepared dough and filling. “Once again, I’ve already done most of the preparation so all that’s left is to wrap the ingredients in the dough, and then start the cooking process.” Saying so, he started to divide the dough and make the wrappers. “It probably won’t surprise you but once again, there different ways to make the potstickers. Not only that, but we can even make a second dish with the same dough and filling.
“First, let’s start with steaming them. When you think about it, steaming is actually related to boiling a dish. While in this case, you don’t boil the ingredients in the water directly, you still have to boil the water to utilize the steam in the cooking process.”
He soon finished up the wrappers and then started to put the prepared filling on top, finally wrapping them up. “Alright, these are finished now so we can put them in the steamer.” Saying so, he took the steamer that was standing to the side, poured in the water, and then put it on the stove. “I’m only going to steam about half of these so that we can process the other half in a different way.”
He put the wrappers he had prepared so far into the steamer and then turned on the stove before returning to finish the rest of the wrappers. “While these steam, let’s give another option a try: Frying the wrappers. For that, I would suggest using a pan instead of the wok because the surface is bigger so you can fry more of them at once.” He took out a pan to show what he meant, held it in the camera, and smiled. “I formed the wrappers slightly smaller so we should be able to fit five to seven or maybe even eight in there. Traditionally, they would be a bit bigger though.”
He put the pan on the stove next to the steamer and poured in a bit of oil, heating it up before he added a few potstickers. “Now, neither of these ways is the traditional way of making potstickers. Originally, this dish was made using a combination of both steaming and frying which is called steam-frying.
“For that method, you would only fry the potstickers for a bit before you add liquid to the pan, steaming it for the rest of the process. I’ll do a batch by just frying first and then demonstrate the steam-frying for you in a bit.” He finished up the potstickers that he had only fried and arranged them on a plate, pushing it toward Qian Huang and Li Shui. “Alright, let’s do another batch where we actually steam-fry them.”
He poured a little more oil into the pan, made sure that it was heated through, and then added another batch of the potstickers. Finally, when it started to sizzle, he picked up a glass with water and added it to the pan. Then he grabbed a lid from one of the drawers below the counter and put it on top of the pan. Keeping his hand on top of the lid for a moment, he looked back up at the camera. “It’s important to use a lid for this.
“Just like in a steamer, the dish will be steamed by the evaporated water that is trapped inside. What’s important is that you don’t use too much water because then, you might end up simmering the food instead which isn’t what we want to do right now. Now, let’s give this a few minutes.” He turned to the other two, once again taking a look at Qian Huang.
Over in the comment section, the viewers were catching on to what was likely going on.
Cuddly Lion: [Wait. Is Qian Huang sick?!]
Little Butterfly: [Seems like it. Li Shui said he isn’t and Xiao Ming wouldn’t have warned them if he was sick himself. That can only mean it’s Qian Huang instead. Actually, I feel like he has been looking a little pale today. He probably really isn’t doing well. Take care of yourself, Qian Huang! Even though you’re not the one cooking, you are also part of the team. So take care of yourself!]
Cooking Enthusiast: [Actually, this is one of the things I’ve been thinking about since I saw that shameless blog post from that Misses Youya. She honestly said that Li Shui and Qian Huang were just there to pay lip service to Xiao Ming. I’m afraid she’s never really seen a single stream of Bright Yellow Water.
Obviously, both their tasks are important as well. Like, just look at right now: Since Li Shui is currently eating, we haven’t been getting any close-ups of the cooking process or how Xiao Ming just plated the potstickers. That is one of the things that I find really important as somebody who is interested in cooking. It’s something that ‘Bright Yellow Water’ is doing better than other streams that will only film themselves from one direction the whole time and not show any details as if it’s just the person we want to look at.
On the other hand, Qian Huang might indeed choose only some comments to read out loud but he usually doesn’t choose brainless praise. He’s going with comments that are either something personal like what a viewer is associating with the dishes or genuine questions about how something is done. That is what I want to see from a cooking channel! Because this allows Xiao Ming to explain more to us. If we don’t understand something, we can always have them clear it up. It’s one of the things I really love about Bright Yellow Water.]
Little Butterfly: [Yes, it’s the same for me. Actually, I can’t cook at all but I really love watching Xiao Ming do it. Whenever I see it, I feel like cooking actually isn’t that hard. It’s just that when I try it afterward, it usually goes wrong. But it’s still nice to see.]
The regular viewers continued to talk among themselves, the atmosphere not too different from usual. Qian Huang pretended not to see anything and just continued to bury his head, eating the food. He really was happy though. It seemed he had been scared for nothing.
Xiao Ming had tried one of the fried potstickers as well and then dusted off his hands before turning back to the stove. “Well, looking at this, it seems that these are almost done. When it’s time, we can take off the lid, and then wait for the rest of the liquid inside to evaporate.” He put the lid to the side and then just looked at the pan, waiting for the dish to finish.
By now, the potstickers inside had turned a light golden color, looking as if they were about ready. Finally, the last bit of the liquid had evaporated and Xiao Ming turned off the stove and took the pan down. He moved the potstickers to a second plate and placed it next to the first one.
“By now, the ones over in the steamer should also have finished. So let’s take a look at them.” He turned off the other hotplate and then opened the steamer, waiting for the steam to dissipate before he made another plate with the steamed dish, putting it next to the other two.
“I guess it’s not difficult to see the difference between these three dishes. Now, at this point, you will also be able to see how these are different dishes.” He motioned at the last plate with the steamed dish that he had put down with a smile. “In fact, these steamed ones are jiaozi just that the form varies from the traditional one. Meanwhile, the fried ones and the steam-fried ones are the actual potstickers with the latter being the traditional version.
“This is to say that depending on the different cooking method, you can actually end up with a different dish.” He winked at the camera and flashed a smile. “This means that for the future or if you take part in ‘Golden Spoon’, you should definitely know what kind of cooking methods there are and what exactly they will mean for the dishes that you make.
“You can’t just arbitrarily choose something because it is easier. It will depend on the specific ingredients you use which method is the right one. Choosing a different one could mean that your ingredients will not be cooked thoroughly or be overcooked. It could also be that you will still end up with a good dish but not the one you originally wanted to create which naturally isn’t what you would want. So not only do you need to keep the ingredients and steps for the preparation in mind but also the processing afterward.
“Now, are there any questions left on your side?” He looked at the camera and then turned to Qian Huang, looking a little worried.
So far, Qian Huang still hadn’t read out a single comment. He also didn’t want to bother him too much about it. After all, he could see that while Qian Huang was doing a little better, he still didn’t seem to be completely back to normal. It was probably time for him to go and rest. So he didn’t want to have him continue to stay here and work for long. Maybe it would be better if Li Shui took over that part.
Qian Huang glanced at Xiao Ming and then turned to the comment section, trying to see if there were any comments worth reading. He was actually quite hopeful in that regard considering that things had normalized a bit already. And indeed, he didn’t need to look long to find something he could read out loud. “The user ‘dragon kitty’ says that they have some trouble remembering recipes. They ask if you have any tips on what to do about that problem.”
Xiao Ming smiled at that. “I can imagine that that is a problem especially when you’re just starting out. For me, I originally started cooking together with my parents when I was still a child.
“We would do some simpler recipes together and for the more complicated ones, they would give me the easy tasks. So I would start out by just remembering these tasks and then later get more tasks that I could do myself so I learned the recipes bit by bit. Now, if you are cooking on your own, you can’t do it exactly that way but there is a similar option.
“If you look at the dishes we’ve done today as an example, you will see that they are actually quite similar in some regards: Three of them consist of dough and some type of filling. Usually, you can change the filling to something that suits your own taste so it is possible to substitute ingredients there. For the doughs, there are several recipes but they can be used for different dishes. Like, just think of how you would use the same dough for both jiaozi and the potstickers, while the gluttonous rice dumplings and the baked char siu buns will have another dough that can then be used in other recipes again.
“So if you want to slowly remember recipes, an idea would be to focus on a certain type of dish first. Taking today’s stream as an example, those could be dishes that use the same type of dough. Then, you would just have to learn how to make the dough and then prepare that over and over again until it sticks in your mind.
“You can use different cooking methods and different fillings to make it less monotone so that you can have different tasty dishes that are prepared in a similar way. After you manage to learn the recipe for that dough, you could go on to learn the one that is used for the baked char siu buns and similar doughs with yeast. With that, you already know the recipes for several dishes and then you just work forward from there.
“I do hope that helps. It’s definitely not something that can be done in a day or two but with enough time and effort, you can learn recipes one by one and finally remember a lot.
“Also, please remember: Unless you’re trying to take part in ‘Golden Spoon’, and are just cooking on your own at home, it’s not a shame to look something up if you don’t know it. I still regularly consult recipes every so often myself. You can learn a lot from the recipes of other people. That is how most people learn to cook anyway. So don’t be ashamed of it. We’ve all started to learn one day. For some, that might be a bit earlier than for others but it is still the same in the end.”
Qian Huang smiled to himself when he heard that. He really liked seeing Xiao Ming get into these motivational speeches about cooking. It just showed how much he really loved this and it always made him feel like all the time and effort they had put in over the last years been worth it.
So even if something like this matter with that Misses Youya happened, there really was no reason to get discouraged. Just because she couldn’t appreciate what they were doing, there were still other people that could. And at the end of the day, they were living their dream. They had worked hard to get here. And all three of them knew that. They knew what they had given up. Nobody could make them feel bad about it. As long as they kept that in mind themselves, it was alright.
He lightly shook his head at himself and then turned back to the comment section, reading a few more comments as if nothing else had ever happened.
Finally, it was indeed time to wrap up the stream. Xiao Ming smiled at the camera and couldn’t help but apologize. Even though he felt that he had made the right decision, he still had a bit of a guilty conscience toward their viewers. “Today’s stream has been a bit shorter than usual since we were already eating the dishes while I was still cooking instead of having a section for that only at the end. I hope you won’t mind too much.
“In any case, we’ll be back again in two days’ time with a normal-sized stream again. Looking back at the comments from today, I think we’ll be doing a special on related dishes. I will be going through what you can do with the same type of preparation and cover some practical tips on how to manage your time while cooking. Goodbye!”
He waved at the camera and Li Shui and Qian Huang followed suit before finally ending the live stream. Li Shui went to turn off the camera and Qian Huang stretched, already feeling much better.
Xiao Ming immediately turned to him though and patted his shoulder. “Alright, we’re done now. You should go and rest. I’ll make you some porridge. Is there anything else that you want?”
Li Shui looked up when he heard that, his expression stunned. “Wait. Qian Huang is sick?” Why hadn’t he noticed at all?
Qian Huang looked over with a difficult expression, the same question in his mind. But in any case, he also didn’t dare to say that to Xiao Ming. Obviously, his friend had been quite worried about him.