Chapter 17: The Culinary Tycoon

Porridge Recipes

In the morning when they set up their stall, they were still somewhat worried, unsure of how the person behind the thief would react once they returned. When they passed by Liu’s Noodle House, they intentionally glanced over, but it seemed that everything was normal as usual.

Chang Le was still very concerned and kept looking over in that direction, afraid that a group of people might suddenly rush out from inside, wielding clubs to attack them.

“Brother Yu, look, he’s coming out!” Chang Hao nervously whispered to them while holding a small stool.

Yu Qingze and Chang Le turned their heads to look.

At the entrance of Liu’s Noodle House, a tall and thin middle-aged man stood there for a while, then he looked in their direction.

He was looking at them!

Chang Le and Chang Hao quickly lowered their heads, pretending to be busy, but their peripheral vision was still observing.

They saw Yu Qingze and the shop owner lock eyes for a moment, and then the owner walked towards the south.

He walked away…

The two brothers exchanged a glance, filled with admiration for Yu Qingze in their hearts.

To dare face the provocation of an adversary with ill intentions head-on, that’s what a real man does! Truly mighty!

Yu Qingze turned his head and saw the look in their eyes, but he didn’t understand. “What’s wrong?”

Both of them shook their heads, indicating that there was nothing wrong.

“…” Yu Qingze walked over to Chang Le’s side and patted his shoulder, reassuring him, “Brother Le, don’t worry, they won’t bother us.”

Chang Le gestured, indicating that even if those people tried to reason, they wouldn’t do such things.

Yu Qingze smiled and ruffled Chang Le’s hair, saying, “It’s alright. We can always switch to a different food option. I know more than just this. Don’t worry, okay?”

Perhaps it was Yu Qingze’s relaxed smile, his indifferent attitude, and his confident demeanor, but suddenly Chang Le wasn’t afraid anymore. He blushed as Yu Qingze touched his head and spoke to him with an affectionate tone, making him feel a bit embarrassed.

Why did Yu Qingze treat him like a child? He felt a little shy. He lowered his head, feeling a warm and happy sensation. After his father and mother passed away, apart from his grandfather, Yu Qingze was the first person to treat him like this.

“Xiao Hao, don’t worry either, okay?” Yu Qingze turned to comfort Chang Hao after comforting Chang Le.

Chang Hao nodded and continued arranging the small stools.

“Brother Le, what’s wrong with your face? Why are you blushing? Are you feeling hot? Since there are no customers right now, sit down and take a rest. Let me put up the sunshade. You guys have gotten a bit tanned these past few days.”

Just now, Yu Qingze unconsciously comforted Chang Le by patting his head. He had no awareness of how affectionate his actions were. He thought it was because they were hot from rushing to open the stall in the morning. He quickly made Chang Le sit by the table and prepared to put up the sunshade they had retrieved yesterday.

Chang Le quickly shook his hand, indicating that he was fine and helped to move stones to secure the sunshade.

“You sit down, I can handle it,” Yu Qingze said as he opened the sunshade and inserted it into the customized tripod. He then brought a large stone to secure it.

With three sunshades, one covering their stall and the area where they washed dishes, and the other two covering the tables and chairs, they finally didn’t have to endure the scorching sun while doing business.

Just as they finished setting up the stall, Mi Ge’er arrived carrying his food container.

These past few days, Mi Ge’er had been coming twice a day, in the morning and at noon. He always came early in the morning, and each time he would buy several portions of cold noodles and liangpi. He had become a loyal customer of the snack stall, and Yu Qingze and the others recognized him.

“Mi Ge’er, you’re here early today. We just finished setting up,” Chang Hao greeted Mi Ge’er warmly when he saw him.

Mi Ge’er smiled and said, “I wanted to be the first one to buy. Boss Yu, I’ll have a small portion of liangpi, two medium portions of liangpi, two medium portions of cold noodles, and a pound of pickled radish.”

“Sure, please wait a moment,” Yu Qingze replied and started cooking the noodles.

Chang Hao continued chatting with Mi Ge’er, “Mi Ge’er, you’ve been coming here for several days in a row, right?”

Mi Ge’er nodded and said, “Yes, your food tastes great. My second young master at home is not interested in anything else except your food. We finally found something he’s interested in, and we hope he can eat more of it.”

After a few days of chatting, Yu Qingze had gained some understanding of Mi Ge’er’s second young master. He knew that the young master rarely ate anything, so he frowned and asked, “Mi Ge’er, if your second young master eats very little, does he also have a weak stomach?”

Mi Ge’er nodded, “Yes, the doctor said he’s weak.”

Yu Qingze said, “In that case, it’s better for your second young master to avoid eating cold noodles and liangpi. With a weak stomach, it’s not advisable to consume raw, cold, and hard food. Even if he eats very little, it might upset his stomach. It’s best for him to drink some nourishing porridge and soups every day to adjust his stomach and gradually recover a normal diet.”

(credit: cooksillustrated)

Mi Ge’er frowned with worry, saying, “But the second young master has high requirements when it comes to food. If the taste isn’t good, he won’t eat it. Our family’s chef has tried many delicious dishes, including porridge, and we have searched the entire county for tasty options, but nothing seems to suit his taste. Since spring started this year, he has only shown interest in your cold noodles and liangpi.”

“How do you prepare the food at your home?” Yu Qingze asked.

Mi Ge’er briefly described their cuisine.

Understanding the situation, Yu Qingze had previously visited the most famous restaurant in the county and knew that the culinary development during this era was limited, and the taste was not particularly impressive. When faced with someone as picky as Mi Ge’er’s second young master, it was natural that these dishes failed to attract him.

Yu Qingze said, “Let me teach you a few recipes for stomach-nourishing porridge. You can ask your family’s chef to try making them.”

Mi Ge’er’s eyes lit up, and he eagerly agreed, “Okay, please tell me.” They wouldn’t pass up any opportunity for fresh and appealing food, even if there was only a glimmer of hope.

Yu Qingze explained several common stomach-nourishing porridge recipes and also shared a few savory porridge recipes with good flavors.

Mi Ge’er became overwhelmed and hurriedly said, “Wait, wait, boss, I can’t remember so much at once.”

Yu Qingze also felt helpless and said, “Go get some paper and a pen, and I’ll write them down for you.”

“Alright, I’ll go right away,” Mi Ge’er swiftly ran off. After a while, he returned with a set of writing materials, skillfully prepared the paper, and ground the ink.

Yu Qingze sat at the small table and didn’t use the brush Mi Ge’er had bought. Instead, he dipped a bamboo stick into the ink and swiftly wrote down the ingredients and procedures for several porridge recipes.

He wrote down recipes for yam and red jujube glutinous rice porridge, eight treasures porridge, mung bean and yam lotus seed porridge, lotus seed and fox nut porridge, seafood porridge, boat congee, salted pork bone and dried vegetable porridge, yam and radish porridge. There were both savory and sweet options, and he was sure that one of them would catch the interest of Mi Ge’er’s second young master.

Seafood Porridge
(credit: soupeduprecipes)

After finishing writing, Yu Qingze reminded, “Make sure he doesn’t eat cold noodles and liangpi anymore. It’s not good for someone with a weak body and stomach. If there’s anything you don’t know how to make, come and find me.”

Grateful, Mi Ge’er left with his food container and the porridge recipes.

After Mi Ge’er left, Chang Hao asked curiously, “Brother Yu, why did you teach Mi Ge’er how to make porridge? If you made it and sold it, it would surely be popular.” The young boy had full confidence in Yu Qingze’s culinary skills!

Translated on ho lo lo novels dot com.

Yu Qingze smiled and said, “Just forming a good relationship.”

Mi Ge’er, as the personal servant of Cai’s Second Young Master, dressed more elegantly and meticulously than most people on the street, indicating the wealth and status of his master’s family.

For now, he had only provided a few recipes, but if he could be of help and form a good relationship, who knows when it might come in handy in the future?

Besides, with the rich and diverse culinary culture of Greater China, there were countless recipes in his mind. He had plenty to share!

Throughout the day, Mi Ge’er didn’t appear again, and Liu’s Noodle House across the street was also quiet. Constant worry started to ease for Chang Le, at least by half.

However, they did notice that many villagers came by to see if their snack stall was really doing well. Once they witnessed it firsthand, they were astonished to see how successful it had become!

Amidst their surprise, some people began to feel envious, including Chang Le’s uncle, Wen Li.

Upon returning home, even before their seats had a chance to warm up, Wen Li approached, inquiring about the recipes for cold noodles, liangpi, pickled beans, and pickled radishes. He also asked how much money they were making in a day.

Both Chang Le and Chang Hao ignored him, sitting at the table, taking a rest, and practicing writing on a sandalwood tray.

Not only the two brothers, but even Yu Qingze could no longer maintain a polite facade.

It was ultimately Grandpa Chang’s words that shut him up.

“Why ask so many questions? If you want to make money, figure it out yourself. Why should Aze tell you his secret recipes?!”

Wen Li couldn’t bear losing face and complained to Grandpa Chang, “Father, you shouldn’t be so biased. Chang Sheng is your son too. If there’s a way to make money, you shouldn’t only focus on your eldest son’s side. We have a whole family to support!”

*(T/N: Grandpa Chang has two sons: one is the father of Chang Le and Chang Hao and the other is Chang Sheng. Wen Li is married to this Chang Sheng).

Grandpa Chang didn’t even look at him, tapped his pipe against his hand, and said, “You better put away those scheming thoughts of yours. The money-making ideas are all thought of by Aze, and the business belongs to Aze.”

In other words, it had nothing to do with the Chang family! So stop prying around randomly!

Wen Li heard the words and knew that he couldn’t pry anything out of Grandpa Chang. He turned his eyes and went to ask Yu Qingze, “Um, Aze, I see that your snack stall is so busy, and the three of you can’t handle it at all. Brother Le can’t talk and can’t greet customers. What do you think? Do you need an assistant? I can ask my son, Brother Yue, to help you. Don’t worry, Brother Yue is very clever, he can handle customers and handle money at the same time, he’s very diligent.”

Upon hearing this, Chang Hao rolled his eyes. If Brother Yue was considered diligent, then there wouldn’t be a lazy person in the whole village!

Chang Le glanced at his younger brother and patted him. Chang Hao helplessly lowered his head and continued writing.

Their small actions were noticed by Yu Qingze, who was sitting next to them, and he understood a few things.

He didn’t want to get involved in the conversation, but the belittlement of Chang Le by Wen Li’s words made him very uncomfortable. So what if he couldn’t speak? He still liked him just the same!

He originally wanted to retort directly, but after all, he was Chang Le’s uncle, so he had to say, “Uncle, it’s a small business, I really can’t afford to hire anyone.”

Wen Li paused for a moment and said, “Aze, you’re being too formal. Brother Yue is just going to help you, no need for wages. We’re all so familiar with each other, talking about money would just ruin the relationship, right?”

Yu Qingze replied seriously, “But talking about relationships can hurt money.”

Upon hearing this, Chang Hao shrugged his shoulders, and his writing hand trembled a bit. Chang Le’s mouth curved up.

These two little troublemakers. Yu Qingze felt helpless when he saw their expressions.

Wen Li was stunned for a moment, not knowing how to respond to that statement.

Grandpa Chang waved his hand impatiently and said, “Alright, hurry back, no need to cook?”

“Uh, no, um, Aze, please consider it again, we really don’t want any wages…”

Wen Li wanted to say more, but Grandpa Chang waved his hand and chased him away.

“Go back, go back, I already said we’re not hiring. And, make sure Brother Yue works harder in the future, don’t laze around all day, let’s see who would be willing to marry him!”

Wen Li sighed in disappointment as his purpose was not achieved, and he walked away.

Once he was far enough from the gate, Chang Le and Chang Hao couldn’t hold back and burst into laughter.

“Talking about relationships can hurt money!” Chang Hao imitated Yu Qingze’s expression with a straight face and then happily asked, “Brother, did you see Uncle’s expression? He was all stunned! Hahaha…”

Yu Qingze couldn’t help but laugh too. He poked Chang Hao’s forehead and jokingly scolded, “You little rascal! Finish writing and then do your marching!”

“Okay!” The little rascal grinned and went into the courtyard to do his marching.

Grandpa Chang let out a sigh and apologized, “Aze, I’ve caused you trouble.”

Yu Qingze replied, “It’s no trouble, Grandpa. Don’t worry, I understand.”

Grandpa Chang said, “That’s good. Actually, in the afternoon, several villagers came and asked about it, curious about the situation, but I managed to turn them away.”

“Thank you, Grandpa.” The villagers’ curiosity was within Yu Qingze’s expectations. He said, “The business of cold noodles and liangpi depends on the season. At most, we can do it until September. When the weather gets colder, not many people will eat it.”

Grandpa Chang was momentarily startled, but then he understood and asked, “What about after that?”

Chang Le also looked up at Yu Qingze upon hearing this.

Yu Qingze smiled and said, “No worries, by then I’ll have other ways to make money.”

Upon hearing these words, the grandfather and grandsons felt relieved.

The next morning, when Yu Qingze and his companions arrived at Beida Street, they saw Mi Ge’er waiting for them.



  1. Stela says:

    Thanx for the update❤️❤️❤️

  2. sissilia says:

    Thank you for the update ❤️💯

  3. Reeree says:

    Thanks for the chapter <3 Looking forward for more dishes to come 💞💞

    1. There’ll be a lot more. I’m excited to see the progress 😀

    2. Aprillen says:

      Thank you for the chapter!
      I think I spotted a typo:

      >Chang Le continued chatting with Mi Ge’er

      I think that ought to be Chang Hao?

      1. Iron Thandar says:

        Oppps so sorry bout that. Thank you for letting me know. It’s fixed now 😅

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