The heartbeat at the tip of the tongue (舌尖上的心跳) Chapter 78

Word count: 1861

Pan Fried Sea Bass And Charcoal Grilled Lamb Chops

Iris looked at Ke Song who was on the other side, she was currently concentrating on plating.

At that moment, Iris couldn’t help but reevaluate this girl. No one could innocently just depend on luck, or depend on Jiang Qian Fan’s shadow to come this far. Taste is a very intuitive feeling. Even though these chefs always talked about cooking in terms of theory and experience, the ones who can really judge a chef’s skills, are the taste buds of the customers.

Delicious means delicious, not delicious means not delicious.

Winston looked at the antique clock in the great hall, and counted down with the judges and media.

When the second hand reached 1220, the participating parties had to have their main dishes ready.

At this time, YueJiangHotel’s waiters were serving up the dishes.

And Winston walked to the media.

“It’s been a long time, Madam LinYing!” Winston asked after a lady who looked about 40 years of age.

LInYing was from Vietnam, and when she was 12, she followed her parents to New York, she was a freelance writer, her facebook and column introduced all sorts of unique restaurants and signature dishes, and they were very popular.

“Hello, Mr Winston. Greeting me among many of my peers, may i guess that, i will be like the 3 chefs before me, to have the honour to be a special commentator for the main dish? ”

“Yes. I’m inviting Madam LinYing to comment of the first main dish from both parties, the pan fried sea bass.” Winston waved a hand, 2 portions of pan fried sea bass were placed in front of LinYing.

LinYing smiled, “because of the constraints of the theme of ‘pan fried sea bass’, both parties used similar methods of cooking the sea bass. As we all know, the meat of a fish is different from pork, beef, chicken and other meats, it has the unique trait of falling apart easily, and absorbing flavour easily. In the process of pan frying, once you lose control of the heat, the meat will become dry. If time and heat are controlled well, not only will you be able to maintain the fullness of the texture, you can also maintain the juices between the flesh.”

LinYing cut the sea basses of both parties for observation, and came to a conclusion, “As expected of the work of a master. The colour of the fish is very pretty, the meat looks like it was pan fried till there was a thin layer of golden yellow, really puts people in anticipation.”

“Which means, the pan fried sea bass of both parties, have done similarly well in terms of heat control. So all that’s left is the taste?”

“Yes.” LinYing tasted a piece of Jessica and Iris’ sea bass, and slowly nodded her head, “really very delicious! The sea bass was marinated very well! The flavour of the special butter sauce is just incredible. The smashed tarragon with the scallions, minced garlic, coconut milk and cumin, make a fulfilling layered feeling, but it is also like the tongue was hooked, making people want to swallow quickly, to allow the tongue to taste that flavour repeatedly!”

“Looks like you really like this dish?”

“Of course!”

“But I suggest you taste the other dish.”

LinYing nodded.

When her fork forked the sea bass that Jiang Qian Fan and Lin KE Song cooked, she wasn’t in a hurry to put it in her mouth, but waved it in front of her nose for a bit, like a scent had caught her attention.

“I smell a unique fragrance…… this fragrance whets  appetites……” LinYing swallowed obviously.

Winston laughed, while the other media looked over.

LInYing out that piece of meat into her mouth, then gently chewed, until she had eaten a big half of the sea bass, Winston finally couldn’t stay still but remind: “Madam LinYing…… after your comment, you may continue to finish the dish you like.”

LinYing couldn’t help but shake her head: “I totally can’t stop! The flavour of this dish is incredible! No matter the saltiness or the pairing of other seasonings to form a whole body. Its like if there were any of it missing, or a change in any of the proportions, it will lose this perfect flavour. The thing that is most worth the mentioning is where on earth did this kind of unique aroma and smoked roast fragrance come from?”

Winston looked back to Jiang Qian FAn and Lin Ke Song: “Hey! The both of you! Anyone able to explain this?”

“It’s the minced garlic and green onions.” Jiang Qian Fan only simply said those words.

Everyone on set was still confused.

Winston coughed, and looked towards LIn Ke Song who was plating the dessert, and said helplessly: “Ke Song, even though we are already used to the style of Chef Jiang Qian FAn saying these kinds of words, our friends here are unable to catch up with his thought process.”

Lin Ke Song methodically cut the blueberry pie, and smiled while saying: “until now, there are still times that I don’t understand what he is thinking la! But speaking of the minced garlic and green onions on the seabass…… after the green onions are cut and pan fried, the fragrance of the green onions will stay in the pan, which is followed by red wine. The minced garlic is actually placed on the sea bass when it is almost fully cooked! But, I did put the garlic cloves on the hay in advance to smoke them oh! Isn’t it very fragrant?”

“Oh!” LinYing had the expression of sudden enlightenment.

Lin Ke Song laughed as she rubbed her nose.

“Then Madam LinYing, of these 2 pan fried sea bass, which do you prefer?” Winston didn’t forget the most blinking question.

“Ah…… this is a really difficult choice to make…… both the dishes have their unique points! The heat control and flavour are outstanding, this is the most delicious sea bass I have ever tasted. But if I don’t give an answer, you will not let me go.”

“Yes.”

“Alright ba, I choose Jiang Qian Fan and Lin Ke Song’s dish. I have to admit that under circumstances where the texture and flavour are so rated closely, the smoked garlic fragrance gave me more of an appetite.” LinYing made a choice solemnly.

“Alright ba, let us see the votes of the judges! Ah ha! Jiang Qian Fan and Lin Ke Song take the lead once again, receiving 9 votes. And Jessica and Iris received 7 votes!”

Hearing that, Lin Ke Song loosened her shoulders in a sigh of relief.

“Well done.” Jiang Qian Fan lowered his head, and said gently at her ear.

She vividly felt the other party’s lip brushing past her earlobe. Even though it could probably be due to Jiang Qian Fan not being able to see and unable to gauge distance, Lin Ke Song knew 100 per cent that this lad was doing it on purpose.

“I wonder how long Jiang Qian Fan and Lin Ke Song are able to continue this lead? The Jessica and Iris that I know are not mediocre, they are able to spring a surprise anytime and anywhere. And as for Jiang Qian FAn and Lin Ke Song, 4 votes isn’t much of a lead, there can be a turn of events at any time! Next…… ” Winston went to stand in front of Luke, “Let’s invite my old friend, food critic Luke to critic the second main dish, charcoal grilled lamb chops!”

Luke looked happy: “Winston, I have been waiting! If you hadn’t chosen me to be one of the special tasters, I would really have severed all ties with you!”

2 portions of lamb chops were placed in front of Luke.

Jessica and Iris’ lamb chops were arranged on a wooden pallet, the lamb chops cut open, with all sorts of side dishes on top of it, it was a feast for the eyes.

And Jiang Qian FAn and Lin Ke Song’s charcoal grilled lamb chops were plated on a long disc like plate. The lamb chops were lying in a shallow pool of yellow sauce, the surface covered with a creamy vanilla crab salad.

Luke carefully observed the appearance of the meats in the 2 dishes.

“En, both parties controlled the heat to a medium well. For Jessica and Iris to cook it to this point is no surprise to me, but Chef Jiang Qian Fan…… his control of heat is always so precise, I find it hard to believe. I wish to know whether you have any technique to be able to determine how well done the meat is without using sight?”

Everyone looked towards Jiang Qian Fan who was behind the glass wall.

He was boiling caramel, no indication of lifting his head.

“Ke SOng, do you know?” Luke asked with a laugh.

“Ah? Me?” Lin Ke SOng tilted her head, and looked towards Jiang Qian FAn’s side profile, “thousands of times of practice forming experience and feeling…… and having a feel for the flavour and temperature?”

“Ha ha!” Luke laughed, “just let me taste the charcoal grilled lamb chops from both parties ba!”

Luke first placed a piece of lamb from Jessica and Iris into his mouth, he carefully chewed, tilting his head while closing his eyes, and letting out a long long sigh through his nose: “Ooh —— used pear, carrot, sweet pepper, thyme, lemongrass, ginger, minced garlic, fish sauce, cumin, salt and pepper to marinate the ;lamb chops. Because it was cut open to grill, the lamb chops are evenly grilled, every surface is crispy, fantastic texture! Especially the fresh sweetness of the pear and carrots give this dish an aftertaste apart from the kick. During the plating, I’m guessing that Jessica and Iris sprinkled a little lemon mint. This whole dish has a sumptuous flavour, and the jalapeno adds a strength to this dish. The goat’s milk fried in kimchi sauce matches with this dish very well. Overall…… no matter if it were 3 months later, I will not be able to forget its taste!”

Even though Luke praises were overflowing, Iris did not relax at all. Of course, their dish would give people an unforgettable taste, but this wasn’t enough, it has to have more of a punch than Jiang Qian Fan’s dish. The goat’s milk and kimchi sauce was something she decided to use last minute.

She understood now, if she wanted to win Jiang Qian FAn, she couldn’t go according to the rules. She had to take risks, she had to try things she’d never tried before.

“You did very well.” Jessica gave a thin smile, she was very satisfied with her daughter’s performance on this dish.

“Next, I will taste chef Jiang Qian Fan and Lin Ke Song’s dish.”

When Luke cut into the lamb, Lin Ke Song who was plating was so nervous her hands started perspiring.

“En —— thyme, ginger, garlic, cumin, pepper, salt, these seasonings are the same as the ones Jessica and Iris used. But I taste pepper powder, white sesame, it’s really fragrant. It feels like the sesame seeds were cracked at the tip of the tongue!”

 

12 thoughts on “The heartbeat at the tip of the tongue (舌尖上的心跳) Chapter 78

  1. I’m going to miss this book so much. I don’t even want to read the new posts. I want to wait and savour it so that it lasts forever because it’s delicious!

    Thanks for your hard work.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Completely agree with you….but it’s just as JQF said, all kinds of good food has an expiry date. Similarly, all good novels come to an end. And we can only revel in the feeling and re-read it many times over. 📖

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Oh dear… The last few chapters have been such a sour menu.. It leaves me with a pungent bitter and acidic taste only because I know the novel it’s coming to an end… I’ve been saying this.. But I never get tired… Thank you for your generosity in donating your time and effort to allow us to experience such a tasty and entertaining journey.. Thank you so much

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Are we really nearing the end?? T-T I don’t want this! I’m gonna miss JQF and LKS soooo much! They are one of my favorite OTP’s. Anyways, can’t wait for the results! Go JQF and LKS! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s really sad that I’m reading this while eating box mac and cheese… I want to be the judge in this story too, all the food that the main couple was cooked looks delicious 😦 Thank you for the translation!!

    Like

  5. Very much enjoyed reading all 3 chapters while having my morning cup of coffee and catch up to the latest update. What a nice start to my day. Thus, my appreciation and thanks to the translator for giving pleasure of this Chinese novel to us readers who otherwise would not have been able to read this novel. Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 2 people

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