Chapter 8: The Culinary Tycoon

Fish Head with Chopped Peppers

When he got home, Chang Hao couldn’t stand the sleepiness after a long day and was napping. In the main room, Grandpa Chang was weaving mats, and Chang Le was mending clothes. The two were staying busy waiting for Yu Qingze.

Seeing he came back, Chang Le made a gesture and asked him if he wanted to take a bath now, he helped him bring the water to the bathroom. Grandpa Chang translated for Yu Qingze.

He shook his head, asked Grandpa Chang and Chang Le to sit down at the table, and then solemnly discussed with them, “Grandpa, Brother Le, I’m new here, fortunately, Brother Le saved me, and thank you all for your hospitality. I’m really grateful for your care. You know, I have no relatives here, and I don’t have a place yet, so I want to discuss with you, no, actually it’s a request. I want to ask you one thing.” If you’re not reading this on hololonovels, the ending will be missing.

The grandfather and grandson looked at each other, and both saw seriousness in Yu Qingze’s eyes.

Grandpa Chang said: “You say it.”

Yu Qingze said to the two seriously: “I want to live in the house for a while, I will pay the rent monthly, and I will move out when I have enough money and find a suitable place.”

They didn’t expect Yu Qingze to say this.

Grandpa Chang waved his hand and said, “You’re already living here. It’s just a matter of a bed. You don’t need to pay rent.”

Chang Le also nodded.

Yu Qingze naturally refused to live in vain, he said helplessly: “Grandpa, Brother Le, if you are like this, I won’t feel at ease to live here.”

Grandpa Chang glared, “What not at ease, didn’t you teach Xiaole and Xiaohao to write? Didn’t you say that you wanted to teach Xiaohao to learn kung fu? It’s just an extra bed at home. If anything, it’s us taking advantage of you.”

Yu Qingze laughed, “In that case, it’s Brother Le who saved my life, grandpa.”

“That’s not the same thing, you can’t mix it up.”

Yu Qingze is very persistent, and Grandpa Chang has a tougher attitude.

The two sides went back and forth for several rounds, but to no avail.

Chang Le watched the two of them fight, pursed his lips and smiled.

Seeing that the old man can’t be convinced, Yu Qingze can only say: “Grandpa, I’m serious, I can’t eat and live for nothing, I hope you can understand.”

Grandpa Chang looked at him for a while, then sighed and said, “Then, just give however much you like.”

Yu Qingze smiled and said again: “I don’t know the rent here. Is one tael of silver a month enough?”

Both grandfather and grandson were shocked by his generosity.

Grandpa Chang said dryly: “Our family does not have the conditions of an inn.”

Yu Qingze said: “I also included the food.”

Grandpa Chang waved his hand, “Those things in the field are not worth a lot of money. Everyone grows them and sells them on the street.”

Yu Qingze acted as if he didn’t hear it and made a final decision, “Then it’s settled, one tael of silver a month. I’ll pay for three months first.”

Yu Qingze asked the translator to thank you for reading on hololo novels.

Yu Qingze took out the cloth bag. He didn’t know how many taels of silver coins were, so he simply took three copper coins and handed them to Grandpa Chang, “Grandpa, here it is for you.”

Grandpa Chang reluctantly took it and handed it to Chang Le.

Yu Qingze could see that Chang Le was the one in charge of the money at home. So he said to Chang Le again: “Brother Le, can you please keep the money for me? I don’t have a place to put it. After the double harvesting is over in a few days, I’ll take it back. I want to go to the city to do some small business.”

Chang Le is a little embarrassed, so much money, in case it is lost…

Chang Le looked at Grandpa Chang, who nodded and said, “Help him keep it.”

Chang Le took the cloth bag and entered his room cautiously.

Grandpa Chang looked at Yu Qingze and asked, “So, you want to do business in town?”

Yu Qingze nodded: “I want to make some snacks to sell. I have to find a way to make a living.”

Grandpa Chang frowned and said, “Didn’t you lose your household registration certificate? You need it to do business in town.”

Yu Qingze said with an “ah”, “I forgot about this. Grandpa, if I want to get the household registration here, what do I need to do?”

Grandpa Chang frowned and thought for a while, then said, “There seems to be a special department in the yamen to take care of this. You can ask the village chief, he should know.”

“Okay, I’ll ask.”

“You want to be a resident of our Niutou Village?”

“Yes, it’s fine here, I’d like to be live in Niutou Village if I can.”

“You have a good vision! Back then, a dozen households in our village saw that this place was very good, so they settled here. In a flash, more than ten years have passed.”

Yu Qingze asked curiously, “I heard that you moved here during the war?”

Grandpa Chang nodded, took a sip of dry smoke, his eyes were a little reminiscing, “We were originally from Qingzhou on the north bank of the Qinghe River, which was severely damaged by the war, and people couldn’t continue living there. I heard that the war in the south was not so serious, so we tried to find a way to cross the river together and came here.”

The Great Sheng Dynasty was founded only after the wars of the previous dynasty ended. It was fifteen years after the founding of the country. Yu Qingze had heard of this.

“Yeah, it is the common people who suffer the most from the war.” Yu Qingze had never experienced it, so he could only sigh with emotion.

Grandpa Chang exhaled a circle of smokes, sighed again, and said distressedly: “Xiao Le got his injury at that time, alas…”

Yu Qingze wanted to ask what really happened, but when he saw Chang Le coming out, he stopped in time, then went back to his room and took out his clothes, and said to Chang Le, “Brother Le, please bring me some water.”

Chang Le nodded with a smile.

The next morning, Yu Qingze saw that Chang Le had picked up a large bucket of beans, and asked him when he was having breakfast.

Chang Le was worried that there were too many beans growing in the fields, and he didn’t have time to sell them recently, so he picked them back for drying, otherwise they would all be overripe.

Yu Qingze asked them how they eat most of the beans here. He found out that they are usually boiled and eaten. If they can’t eat it and sell it, it will be prepared into dried beans.

The beans in the dung pan are very tender. Yu Qingze thought about it and asked, “Brother Le, do you still have any empty jars at home? The kind with edges.”

Chang Le nodded, looked at him curiously, and asked what he was going to do.

Yu Qingze said: “Pickled sour beans.”

“Sour beans?” Chang Hao asked curiously, “Is it delicious?”

Yu Qingze asked the translator to thank you for reading on hololo novels.

Yu Qingze nodded and said, “It’s very appetizing, very suitable for summer and winter.”

“Is it better than dried beans?” Dried beans are often eaten in winter, and Chang Hao is a little disgusted by them.

Yu Qingze said with a smile: “It’s a different taste, I’ll pickle some for you to try. If you think it’s delicious, we can pickle a jar and keep it to eat in the winter.”

Hearing that it was delicious, Chang Hao was happy and raised his hands in approval: “Let’s do it!”

Big Brother Yu said it was delicious, it must be super delicious! He now has a blind admiration for Yu Qingze, especially when it comes to food.

So after breakfast, Chang family of three went to plant the fields, and Yu Qingze made sour beans at home.

He washed the jar and let it dry naturally. Then select the fresh and tender beans, remove the head and tail, rinse and let dry, boil a small pot of boiling water and let it cool.

After all the preparations are completed, he directly poured some cold boiled water into the jar, put in the beans, all submerged in the water, add a little more salt, and you’re done.

Yu Qingze thought for a while, and then put some green peppers in it. In fact, if there are radishes, sour radishes are also delicious, but it is summer, and Brother Le and the others have not planted summer radishes, but they can still pick some bitter gourds and soak them.

Finally, closed the lid, poured water on the edge of the jar to prevent the air from entering, put it in a cool place, and you can eat it after two or three days.

Since he had already made capers, Yu Qingze made a simple version of pickled cucumbers from the extra cucumbers.

At noon, Grandpa Chang said that he would cook the fish that the village chief sent yesterday. Yu Qingze remembered the first meal he had here, the taste of the smelly fish…

“Let them enjoy the deliciousness of the real fish dish.” Yu Qingze muttered to himself.

There is no ginger at home. Only rice wine or a little vinegar can remove the fishy smell, but it is not enough. Yu Qingze was worried when he suddenly remembered that he had seen a small piece of perilla on the side of the road in the village.

When Yu Qingze was plucking some, he met the village chief.

“Ah Ze, what are you doing with this?” The village chief was curious. The smell of perilla is rather strange. The villagers regard it as a weed, and even cows don’t like it very much. However, doctors sometimes use it as medicine.

Yu Qingze replied, “I don’t have any ginger at home, so I picking some to substitute. Village chief, have you thought about what we discussed yesterday?”

“Yes. My sons and I discussed it yesterday, and we will do as you said.” The village chief, Dajian, and Dayong discussed it until the early morning, and finally made a decision.

Another thing happened last night. The village chief’s wife found that the family suddenly lost 30 taels of silver, and frantically looked for them, thinking that they had been robbed. Later, he learned that they bought a piece of wood with money, and he made a lot of noise for a while. The village chief and the sons spent a lot of time persuading, and finally they succeeded with much difficulty.

Yu Qingze said happily: “I knew you would agree.”

The village chief smiled, and then asked again: “However, Ah Ze, I just want to discuss with you, can we start working on the threshing machine and the windmill projects later?”

Yu Qingze thought for a while, and probably knew what the village chief and the others were thinking. They just wanted to make rice beds with all their might before the autumn harvest. He asked, “How many people in your family can do carpentry?”

The village chief replied: “I, Dajian and Dayong are all good. My third son can only play around now, and my wife can also do some woodwork.”

Yu Qingze asked the translator to thank you for reading on hololo novels.

Yu Qingze pretended to think hard for a while before he said: “Well, that’s all right, the threshing machine and the windmill will not start until the autumn harvest. After the autumn harvest, After the autumn harvest, you arrange a person to study and make the threshing machine and the windmill with me. Everyone else can make other simple products.”

Yu Qingze pursues long-term cooperation. Let the village chief and the others see the benefits first, and the cooperation will be smoother in the future. It can be done one by one. No one knows what he has in mind anyways.

Besides, he wanted to ask the village chief to help him with the household registration.

When the village chief heard this, he immediately smiled and said, “This arrangement is very good.”

The two agreed to go to the village chief’s house in the evening to discuss the terms of the cooperation contract.

When Yu Qingze got home, estimating the time, he first cooked the rice, set up the fire, and then began to prep the fish.

The village chief brought a silver carp, which was quite large, weighing between two to three pounds.

Using perilla instead of ginger, Yu Qingze prepared the fish head with chopped peppers according to the palette of the Chang family. He marinated the rest of the fish and put it in a bowl to braise it for dinner. Then, he made a loofah egg soup with green vegetables, which is a very hearty lunch.

The food was ready, and the Chang family of three also came back at this time.

fish head with chopped peppers
(credit: easy tour china)
Loofah Egg Soup with Veggies
(credit: souperdiaries)
Braised Carp
(credit: cchatty)

As soon as Chang Hao entered the courtyard, he smelled the fragrance in the air; he rushed into the house and asked excitedly, “Brother Yu, you are cooking something delicious again?”

Chang Le’s eyes also lit up, another new dish! And it’s fish! It’s a pity that he didn’t see how to cook it, a little regretful. Click “NEXT” at the bottom of the page for the actual ending.

The greatest happiness of foodies is to meet a good cook!

And the greatest happiness of the culinary scum who aspires to be a good cook is undoubtedly meeting a great chef!


Translator has something to say: I thought the fish head dish would be a little … not so pleasant, but look at that pic .. holy carp.


  1. Thanks for the chapter!

  2. ruinthyself says:

    looking at those food pics, i’m getting hungry!! TT hahahaha thank u for the chapter~

  3. light says:

    Thank you for putting those pictures

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