(Li’s Kitchen) Episode 10: Soybean porridge with steamed rice roll
Somehow, Li began to recall his past recently. In his memory, steamed rice roll means a lot to Li, especially when the rice roll is served with soybean porridge. The mouthwatering delicacy is at the top of his favorites.
Numerous steamed rice roll shops scattered in streets and alleys of Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture. They are with various flavors and open twenty-four hours a day. Li is one of the post-1980s generation born in the prefecture. He always immerses in nostalgia if food spots like Xiaodaixiang, paper mill, Cheli commercial firm, back door of Renmin Middle School, Gasacha Road are mentioned.
Every morning, Xishuangbanan wakes up in the kitchen smoke of breakfast stores. No matter where you are from or what business you are in, one should follow the simple rules: line up, pay the food and choose the flavor.
Minutes later, when it is your turn to fetch the hot shre of rice roll, other customers will make way for you. The ingredients section is the next stop. Although rice roll is the same, the dishes taste different after the processing of each person.
Holding the bottom and brim of the enamel bowl firmly, the rice roll slide into the throat smoothly. It is truly a feast for foodies no matter you are standing, squatting or sitting on a stool.
It is not necessary to relate the making process of the delicacy in detail. One just needs to remember: the easier it looks, the harder it is to be done.
The keys are: Stewed pork must come from tendons because it is of low fat and fine chewiness; Stir is absolutely needed in the moment when creamed soybean jumps into hot water; Chili oil and white pepper powder should certainly be added. Soybean porridge with steamed rice roll is indeed the type of food without luxuriant container, fancy food material or superior dining environment. But as it is from Li’s hometown, he always indulges in images of the delicacy.
He starves both physically and mentally as soon as thinking about it. But he is sure about one thing: Our taste buds also have feelings and memories.
Translating by John Li