Little Miss Devil: The President's Mischievous Wife - BestLightNovel.com
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What the h.e.l.l? She was only able to name a few with the strongest flavors from the broth, but this woman had easily listed the spices Chef He used on this noodle dish. It was as if Lu Xinyi was already a cooking expert, one that had taken years of kitchen experiments, eating out, and scouring for good recipes around the world.
It was scary for her to think that Lu Xinyi could easily find out the secret tricks and ingredients used on one's dish by tasting it.
"Good. Very good." Chef He clapped his hands slowly, pleased that his apprentice's palette was improving gradually.
"Now, Miss Lu, Miss Han, can you tell me what parts were used to get enough beef flavor into the broth?"
"You can't make an awesome broth without awesome beef bones, right? So, it's only logical for you to use knuckle and leg bones that contain marrow," Han Yixin said. Most noodle dish recipes she knew called for bones to give extra richness to their soup broth.
"However, for this pho, bones aren't enough to give it that beef flavor." Lu Xinyi tried to remember the beef flavor that hit her taste buds.
"Indeed, you will not get enough flavor into the broth using just bones." Chef He affirmed.
There were fourteen junior students out there at the cooking arena who had to figure this out, but first, He Haotian wanted to know his apprentice's method if she's about to make one herself.
"For the bones, I think the knuckle and the leg bones are appropriate to use. The k.n.o.bby knucklebones are full of gelatin which gives body and richness to your broth. The knucklebones make the biggest difference in one's broth. Meanwhile, leg bone contains marrow. The marrow is good, but it's extremely fatty.
"If I have a lot of marrow bones, I'll have to scoop out the marrow with a small spoon or knife and discard it after the par-boiling. Having too much marrow will give a greasy film on the broth. Together, this combination will provide a rich, flavorful broth for Pho.
"Aside from the bones, I'll use brisket and bones with a decent amount of meat on them for beef flavor and some richness."
He Haotian raised a brow but kept silent, giving her a leeway to continue. Like j.a.panese ramen, a pho would stand or fall based on the quality of its base which was traditionally made by the simmering beef bones and meat along with a few aromatics for around six hours.
"Brisket has a beefy flavor, and it holds up to hours of simmering without falling apart while the meaty bones for beef flavor and some richness," she continued. "The bones and the brisket were simmered for at least three hours until all the flavors in the bone have been extracted."
Han Yixin hummed. What Lu Xinyi said made sense to her. The marrow provided the least beef flavor, but it would add that essential hint of richness in Pho broth so it'd only be appropriate to use brisket and meaty bone to extract a stronger beef flavor.
"And the toppings?" he questioned.
"The beef used to accompany the noodles was beef tenderloin. The beef slices were raw because pouring the broth over them will cook it to medium-rare," Han Yixin said her piece. She noticed that the beef slices weren't fully cooked upon tasting the dish. "For vegetables, fresh mint, cilantro, basil, bean sprouts, limes, and sliced chili peppers are some good accompaniments for pho."
"Good. Now that the two of you know the fundamentals of pho, we can now move to the Banh flan." He Haotian gestured them to take a bite from their Banh flan.
"This Banh flan looks like creme caramel," Han Yixin said as she tilted the small plate on both sides to take a good look at it before taking a spoonful to take it.
Lu Xinyi also took a spoonful and didn't touch the flan. One taste-test was enough for her to note the texture, sweetness, and the ingredients used on the Banh flan.
"Yes, in some places, this is also known as bánh caramel," Chef He agreed, "It seems I don't need to explain more as the two of you are familiar with custard and flans."
Lu Xinyi and Han Yixin nodded. They were more familiar with this sweet dessert than the cla.s.sic pho. Tender and soft and covered with a layer of sugary caramel, this crème caramel was a timeless and cla.s.sic dessert.
When it came to Banh flan and its darkish yellow color, many people would think it wasn't easy to make. Yet, the process of making Banh flan wasn't difficult at all. With some simple skills, one can make it by themselves. The main ingredients of making Banh flan were egg and fresh milk while the needed pieces of equipment are mold, steamer, and cooker.
This dessert often asked for condensed milk as the base, which gave the cake a somewhat denser and heavier texture. To make the perfect flan, it required patience, attention to detail, and focus.
"Great. Now, we only have to wait until they finish their dishes so we can start judging their plates."
Time was essential in making a good pho broth, and as to how the fourteen students would maximize their time to create two dishes would be a little tricky. Traditionally, beef pho was the popular version, but one could also use chicken, pork, and shrimp as its base. Some even made a vegan variation of this dish.
Using beef for pho could be a double-edged sword for this challenge. It would be a matter of waiting game which Lu Xinyi didn't find appealing at all. She rarely gambled when it came to cooking. Han Yixin was also relieved that she wasn't there to cook, for this kind of cooking wasn't her forte at all.
Meanwhile, the huge screen set on the stage lit up, showing everyone the three judges were waiting patiently as the timer ticked down. Huo Meili went inside the room to ask their opinions for today's selection.
"Chef He, what are you expecting to see and taste from our students' dishes?" she asked.
"Taste is everything. Tasting pho, we expect to taste that nice, beefy flavors or that flavorful broth of the variation the students chose to cook. I also expect to see clear broth from this dish," He Haotian said impa.s.sively while the two women on both of his sides remained silent.
"If you are to give them a tip on making pho, what would it be?" The emcee's followed up another question.
"That would be to enjoy and be calm when you're cooking. Clear your mind and focus on what's in front of you."
"Miss Lu, Miss Han, what about the two of you? I know both of you love desserts and have been looking forward to tasting the Banh plans." Huo Meili turned her attention to the two.
"To be honest, I don't wanna see a traditional Banh plan on my plate today," Lu Xinyi said with a slight smile. "I want to taste something different, something that could present the cla.s.sic Banh plan in another light. I know my cla.s.smates would agree with me that a pa.s.sable dessert isn't enough to win the ticket for the Interschool Culinary Compet.i.tion."