(Li’s Kitchen) Episode 11: Shellfish BBQ
How to define the word-“youth”? For Li, it represents that he can break the confines and show the true nature of himself when others behave cautiously or emphasize their so-called healthy lifestyle.
Playing in rainy days and using saliva for disinfection purpose are not patents of children for adult Li also play such tricks. Thought in his thirties, Li still drink water from taps directly and indulge himself in eating when hungry.
He said: “My grandma, who is 86, still drinks overnight tea, eats fatty cured beef, and asks me to bring her an ice sucker when I am out. Hence, I want to follow her steps and live at my own will.”
For Li, night snack is a weekly must, especially BBQ. Instead of buying fancy cookers, he purchased a down-to-earth BBQ stove from the suburbs. In China, BBQ generally reminds folks of booths beside streets rather than somewhere like five-star hotels.
The stove is a tool that can roast in a very direct way. Li wants to use it to cook mutton in the open air soon, and Li expects the picnic, together with the sizzle of cooking mutton, could bring him back to the nomad days.
As for the BBQ in question, plenty of mashed garlic is absolutely needed. Chopped scallions, as well as capsicum frutescens for chili fans, should be prepared. Salt, chicken powder, oyster sauce, fish sauce, pepper and peanut oil are also indispensable. Although it is a short list, one needs to be careful in each detail to make the delicacy.
A basin of charcoal fire, a fine movie, a bottle of cold beer, tasty meat, oysters and abalones… Facing so much, you couldn’t ask for more.
Are delicacies the only pursuit in Li’s life? He was always asked. Well, foods are basic needs, aren’t they?
By Li Wenjun; translating by John Li