Chapter 31: Let’s Make a Uni Rice Bowl!
I cooked the rice in accordance to how the previous head chef taught me to. First, carefully wash the rice with clean water and then pour water into the rice in a 1:1 ratio. This type of rice belonged to the ‘dry’ category so… It needed to be cooked in a small amount of water. I then threw a piece of dried kombu into the rice while it was soaked in water.
“E-Excuse me… Miltia-sama? That… What’s that black parchment thing…?”
As I was about to start cooking, the…. Castle’s maid? This pretty lady tilted her head to the side as she stared at the dried kelp piece anxiously..
“This is dried seaweed called kombu. I dried the seaweed by drying it in the sun. This konbu will give a refined and gentle taste to the stock.”
“In the meantime…..”
I took out the sea urchin and an inverted scissor from 『space-time storage box』. This inverted scissor was often called as 『sea urchin scissor』since this scissor was perfect for breaking the sea urchin’s shell. This scissor had a peculiar shape that people in this area rarely ever see in their life.
In general scissors were designed so that when a certain amount of force was applied, the blades would close together, cutting whatever object was being held between the blades. This particular scissor, the blade was inverted so when you gripped the handle and applied force onto it, the blades would separate, allowing the user to put put the sea urchin between the opened blade and as soon as the user released the force from the handle, the blade would close back again, breaking the sea urchin’s shell or any other hard object in its wake.
I asked Bhadra-sama to make this scissor for me. This scissor was modeled after the tool belonging to the kind head chef, who received this tool from his master.
But… The sea urchins that I had taken out in large quantities were still moving their spines vigorously. The maid stiffened when she saw the twitching sea urchins.
“Kyaaaaa?! T-They’re moving?! The demons with black thorns! They’re moving!!”
『Space-time storage box』was so amazing… It would 『stop the time』 for whatever things were put inside the box. So as long as they could fit into the box, we could keep anything in their prime condition….! Theoretically speaking, if we could make a human-sized space-time storage box, maybe we could use this box to time travel into the future….?
But even for a box this size… If they were trying to make it even one inch bigger, it’d require a tremendous amount of magic. The difference of magic needed to create this box and to make another box one inch bigger was enormous. To be able to successfully make a human-sized space-time storage box, it was beyond anyone’s wildest dream.
Despite this space-time storage box being a very precious item, there were a lot of these boxes left unused in Lönnrot dukedom. As expected from a dukedom…. Their level was in another realm entirely.
“Yes! That’s alright, this is proof that they’re still fresh… There!”
Creak! I put one of the sea urchins on top of a colander, poked the scissor onto its butt and then applied enough force to break it open. Then the sea urchin easily broke into two.
“Hiiiii! I-It’s still moving even though it’s already broken in two?!”
“That’s right. Even after you scrape all of its content out, the sea urchin will still keep moving.”
The maid looked a little lost at words after she heard my explanation. Probably she was thinking something like…
『If you give something like that for Prince Ars, can you even take any responsibilities if by any chance something bad were to happen to him?! 』
Her line of thoughts were justified though since it was considered a bad omen if the face on “silver coin” changed while the face on “gold coin” remained the same.
Feeling excited, I gently scooped the sea urchin’s inside with a spoon. The uni wiggled on top of the spoon. I then rinsed away all the inedible parts and the gravel away from this glimmering, golden flesh.
“Would you like to try one?”
With a smile on my face, I offered her the jiggly uni I had just washed. As I expected, she must’ve felt anxious since this was her first time seeing someone prepared a sea urchin. In order to prove the sea urchin was not poisonous, I grabbed one of the uni and brought it into my own mouth.
Gently, the fresh scent of the sea tickled my nose. Because I had used salt water while cleaning the sea urchin’s gut, there was a slight tint of salt, enhancing the creamy taste of this sea urchin. Despite its jiggly, plumpy texture, there was still a slightly crunchy texture, a clear proof of its freshness.
Ahh… As I thought, the best way to truly taste 『the sweetness of seafood』is by eating it directly off the bat. It tastes so incredibly good, I can’t stop myself from smiling. When Maricle-sama eats this, I’m sure I’ll be able to witness how cute his face is as he looked a little bit surprised at the taste before a pleased smile blossomed on his face. Just imagining his happy face makes this uni taste 30% even better. I hope Ars-sama will like it too…
“It’s really delicious.”
Seeing me eating the uni happily, she seemed to be in deep thought for a moment before she finally gathered her resolve and tossed the uni into her mouth.
“!!! D-Delicious?! And… It’s melting….?!”
Poof! The maid’s eyes immediately sparkled.
“This… You only need to put the uni as it is on top of the freshly cooked okome, add a dash of shoyu and done. It’s going to taste so incredibly delicious.”
Yes. The moment I saw okome and shoyu among the many ingredients in the kitchen, I knew right here and there I wanted to make this meal. When I was little, the former head chef used to make this blissful meal for me. This meal is called 『uni rice bowl』.
But first, I needed to continue gathering the edible body parts.
CREAK! CRASH! CRASH!
With expert hands, I steadily cracked the sea urchin open and scooped the golden parts only. I didn’t want to trouble the people in the royal palace with the crushed sea urchin shells so I would put the shell back into the space-time storage box as I worked through the fresh sea urchins.
Finally, I had finished taking out a plate full of sea urchins, enough for three people. The okome looked like it was about ready to go too. Since we already have shoyu on hand, I should use it to further enhance the flavour of the soup.
I took out a large orient clam, washed it free from sands and threw it into a pot of boiling water to make a soup out of it.
T/N: A pic of unidon for y’all.
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