Chapter 11- Consort Selection
There was all one could think of on hand in the kitchen of the palace. Before, because he was too poor to afford good ingredients, Su Yu almost forgot that he used to be the head chef of a restaurant rather than the owner of a night market stall.
Now, in the face of a dazzling lineup of seafood, the long-lost working state suddenly returned.
Palm-sized top-notch scallops, wash them, pry them open, put in glass noodles, minced garlic, and other ingredients, as well as seafood soy sauce face prepared by Su Yu, and finally add sesame oil on the center point and steam all of it in the pot.
Then chop the fresh shrimp, thicken the shrimp head with egg white cooking starch, add hot oil and fry until it’s brown; Boil thoroughly the shrimp in plain water, mix in yellow wine and ginger slices to remove the fishy smell, take it out to remove the shrimp line, separate the golden shrimp head and its white meat into a Tai Chi shape, and fill two small plates with salt and pepper, and soy sauce respectively as the fish eyes of the Taiji yin-yang fish.
Like this, the first two dishes recorded in Su Ji’s recipes are successfully made.
An Hongyi rested his chubby face on the table and stared at the little cat.
“The two-month deadline is approaching, I think you should live in the palace.”
An Hongche, who was licking his paws, paused, glanced at his younger brother, and then continued to lick his paws.
“An Hongzho wants to join hands with the old man, but the old man didn’t buy it.” An Hongyi drew closer.
“Uncle Huang asked you to hurry back quickly, it is said in court that you will die soon. If you don’t hurry back, these people are going to break my threshold.”
Impatiently, he scratched his ear with his back paw. An Hongche shook his tail and motioned his brother to shut up, he had his own discretion of when to go back.
“You aren't perhaps reluctant to part with that fish seller, right?” An Hongyi lowered his voice and looked at Su Yu, who was walking toward them with a tray.
Long-winded! Unable to bear it anymore, An Hongche rewarded his younger brother with a slap, and it was finally peaceful.
King Zhao covered his scratched nose and looked curiously at the tray in Su Yu’s hand.
White jade scallops wrapped in silk was a common dish in the imperial family, but Su Yu’s recipe seemed to be a little different.
The aroma of minced garlic exploded in the hot oil, slowly overflowing, and when you got closer one can even smell the umami of the shellfish.
Experts can judge the grade of a dish as soon as they smell them, An Hongyi was naturally an expert. Before Su Yu even introduced the dish to him, he had already picked up his chopsticks.
“Oh…” Taking a bite, An Hongyi immediately burst into tears… He got scalded.
The kitten squatting on the table was too lazy to pay attention to his stupid brother.
He went straight to the plate with the Tai Chi Yin Yang shrimp and stretched out his claws to hook the white and tender shrimp meat.
Tai Chi Yin Yang shrimp was easy to get because of its simple recipe and easy to obtain ingredients, ordinary people could also eat it.
But An Hongche knew that the essence of this dish lies in the saucer of soy sauce cooked by Su Yu himself.
King Zhao learned to behave well this time, first he ate the not too hot shrimp meat, he picked up the white shrimp body, shelled it, and dipped it in the sauce. Naturally, the first bite was offered to show filial respect to his elder brother.
Su Yu was surprised to see King Zhao pass the shrimp meat covered with sauce to his cat. At this point, he believed that his Royal Highness was really familiar with the cat.
One person and one cat were eating. Su Yu began to explain his plan for the restaurant, he first would start to make his name in the capital. He would train apprentices and seasonings will be prepared by himself.
In less than three to five years, he would be able to open a branch.
The decoration style and waiter’s clothes should be exactly the same, similar to the business model of the McDonalds in the future. As long the funds were sufficient, they will be able to open all over the country.
After making an impassioned speech, Su Yu turned around and saw one person and one cat eating without lifting their heads. They didn’t even hear what he was saying.
Su Yu: “...”
When his highness King Zhao finished eating the last scallop, he coughed and said: “Okay, that's it.”
“Ah?” Su Yu became speechless because of astonishment. What do you mean, that’s it?
An Hongyi called for a Qingke and put him in charge of Su Yu’s restaurant. King Zhao’s Wangfu bought the two shops and was responsible for the early decorations and purchases.
Even the craftsmen and artificers were guaranteed.
To make a long story short, Su Yu only had to wait at home and go directly to cook and open the restaurant after it was finished. As for the money earned, it was divided into seven and three parts. Su Yu three and King Zhao seven.
Su Yu naturally had no problem with such a division. In fact, the main purpose was to let King Zhao give half of the money and pull the tiger skin of the prince’s mansion as the behind-the-scenes supporter. He didn’t expect such a good thing.
After signing the pledge and writing down the deed, An Hongyi didn’t put forward any other requirements.
He only asked Su Yu to leave the bottle of soy sauce and stuffed the sapphire jade token back in his hands.
Until he returned to Su’s residence, Su Yu still felt a little like floating when walking. How could he meet such a good thing as a living Lei Feng falling from the sky?
Unable to understand for the time being, he silently tied a red scarf to King Zhao. Su Yu rubbed his face and went to pay respects to his legitimate mother.
“The consort selection is imminent, I want to make some nice clothes for Ying’er” A woman’s voice came from the room, Su Yu stopped and frowned.
“It’s Concubine Wang from the eldest master’s house.” Chun Cao whispered to Su Yu.
Concubine Wang was the concubine of Su Yu’s uncle, Su Xiaozhang.
She had a concubine daughter named Su Ying, who was 15 years old.
As his uncle's concubine, although the generations were different, there was still the need to avoid suspicion.
Su Yu stopped in the corridor and didn’t go in anymore.
“Second brother!” A soft voice sounded behind him. Su Yu looked back and saw a little girl about eleven or twelve years old standing timidly three steps away.
“Xiao Zhi, why are you here?” Su Yu couldn’t help smiling.
This was his concubine sister, born by not the same mother, but the same father.
“Muqin called me over and I…” Su Zhi glanced at the tightly closed door curtain and quietly pulled Su Yu’s shirt.
Concubine Wang always sneered at her every time she saw her. She didn’t want to see her unless she had to, but due to mother’s summons, she had to go.
Unlike Su Yu, she had always been respectful and afraid of her first mother.
Reaching out and holding his sister’s hand, Su Yu asked Chun Cao to go in and announce their arrival and followed her in.
“Oh, the second young master is back.” Concubine Wang had been originally smiling brightly, but when she saw Su Yu she got up quickly and the smile on her face also subsided a bit.
Su Yu ignored her and paid respects to his legitimate mother.
“What did Furen call Zhi’er to do?” Su Ying didn’t salute when she saw Su Yu, she just stared at the thin Su Zhi with disdain in her eyes.
News came from the palace that this year’s consort selection will be held as scheduled. There were only two daughters in the family, and Su Zhi was not old enough.
Su Xiaozhang said that their family was going to send Su Ying and had already reported to the Zong Zheng Department. Originally, as a concubine daughter, Su Ying had no position in this family.
The female selection was the only chance for all the concubine sparrows from merit noble families to become a phoenix. Once selected, she would be the highest-ranking person in the family, how could she not be proud of it!
“Yu’er dutifully gave me some silver taels some time ago, so I had someone make a pair of bracelets for Zhi’er and they were delivered today.” Zhao Shi smiled, took out a small box, and handed it to Su Zhi.
“Muqin?” Su Zhi was startled and looked up at Su Yu. Su Yu was also in the dark.
Inside the box was a pair of thin silver bracelets. There was not much silver, but the carving was pretty good.
The bracelet body was slim and round, embedded with several butterflies spreading their wings to fly. They looked very nice on Su Zhi’s thin arms.
“It’s time for Zhi’er to learn the feminine arts, this is a congratulatory gift from your Muqin and older brother.” Zhao Shi smiled.
When Concubine Wang heard this, her expression immediately changed. These words were clearly told for the mother and daughter pair.
They had already split the family assets, so Zhao Shi and her daughter had to rely on Su Yu for their daily needs. Even if they wanted to come again to borrow money, they would not get a single copper.
“Furen, after so many years of mutual friendship, why do you do such a thing.”
If one wanted to go to the consort selection, you must have a presentable dress. Her own family Taitai was so stingy that she couldn’t find a decent dress after turning over all the chests.
That’s why she shamelessly came to the second branch Furen to play the autumn wind. She just got carried away for a moment and offended others, how could this be good?
Over the years, Zhao Shi secretly helped Concubine Wang several times, in order to check and balance the eldest branch. Now that they already shed all pretenses of cordiality, Zhao Shi was too lazy to pay attention to her and sent the mother and daughter away in a few words.
She asked about Su Yu’s restaurant and learned that everything was going well. Then she nodded slightly and sneered.
“Let them be proud for a few more days, you take this to Zong Zheng Department tomorrow.”
Su Yu took it, and it was a name card with his name and his eight characters written on it.
“What is this for?”
An Hongche, who was sleeping soundly in Su Yu’s bosom, was awakened by the sound arriving through the clothes.
He lazily poked his head out for a look, and suddenly woke up smartly.
“Your uncle certainly doesn’t want you to go to the consort selection, how could I let his wishes be fulfilled?” Zhao Shi's eyes were full of ridicule.
“Wait, Mother, what kind of election I’ll go to?” Su Yu was completely confused.
Didn’t they discuss the emperor’s woman consort selection just now? What does it have to do with a man like him?
Looking at Zhao Shi and Su Zhi’s proper and expected as a matter of course expressions, Su Yu suddenly had a bad feeling.
“The imperial family chooses concubines regardless of gender, of course you are going too.” Zhao Shi looked at him inexplicably.
Kakaka! A flash of lightning fell from the sky, striking Su Yu, who was standing foolishly, into dregs…
yellow wine->mulled rice wine
Qingke->proteges of the powerful who stay with their benefactions like parasites
Lei Feng->Lei Feng was allegedly a soldier in the People's Liberation Army who was the object of several major propaganda campaigns in China.After Mao's death, state media continued to promote Lei Feng as a model of earnestness and service, and his image still appears in popular forms such as on T-shirts and memorabilia.
red scarf->The red scarf indicates that they are members of a special Communist Party organization just for children aged 6-14– the Young Pioneers.
Muqin->Respectual way of saying mother.
Taitai->Tai tai (太太) is a Chinese colloquial term for an elected leader-wife; or a wealthy married woman who does not work.
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