Once the word for competition is out, despite what the particular feelings of each competitors may be, the number one concern for all three is how. How to make a dish with fish intestines that incorporates good taste, creativity, and the ideal of the restaurant.
In the race of three, Min Woo had no problem coming up with a dish: he is using the intestines as part of the stuffing for an exquisite looking dumpling, paired with une soupe délicieuse. Very original, isn’t he? While busy seeking an appropriate wine for the dish, Min Woo has just enough time to send out his little spy to make sure his cuisine is superior than his two fellow competitors.
When the food source of the competition is announced, Sung Chan had no inspiration except to use the intestines and fill it with … food. What kind of food, he doesn’t know.
Noticing Sung Chan’s listlessness over a lack of ideas for the competition, Joo Hee takes him to the blacksmith to replace his lost knife set while giving him a chance to relax. The blacksmith friendly invites the two to stay for a little afternoon tea with eggs. Swallowing the egg, a light bulb turns on. Sung Chan urges Joo Hee to return to the restaurant with him, he wants to try something.
Sung Chan fills the fish intestines with eggs along with other ingredients. He steams it and cuts it open, the stuffing all mesh together, so do the flavors. Unsatisfied, Sung Chan stays up all night experimenting and reading recipe books to figure out a way to separate the stuff from one another. When his assistant wakes up in the morning, Sung Chan has devised a way to do so – separating each ingredient with fish skin, which also give the particular dish more chewiness. Yet, something is still missing.
Bong Joo is holding up strong as the confident older son of the chief, yet two of the three day limit has passed, he has not set his foot in the kitchen once for practice or experimentation with the food material. What he has time for is feeling a little uncomfortable seeing Joo Hee taking Sung Chan on a ride.
However unfavorable Bong Joo’s situation seemed, he once again demonstrates his excellent leadership when 30 reserved gusts arrive in the restaurant and there is no record of the reservation whatsoever, nor any prior preparation for the food. The little crisis is resolved gracefully in an intensive but extremely cooperative division of labor, but it also gives Min Woo an adequate reason to pick on Sung Chan’s assistant who took the reservation but forgot to record the event. Sung Chan stands up for his friend plus assistant, the two competitors collide once more. During the confrontation, Sung Chan’s assistant knocks down the bowl containing Sung Chan’s near completed dish. When Sung Chan steps between Min Woo and his friend, he also steps on his own cuisine.
It’s 8 pm, Sung Chan is running out of time. He needs to replace the fish to harvest the organs for his competition. While Sung Chan’s friends all crowd around him worries, Min Woo walks over to offer him some spare intestines. The big bad wolf can’t turn good all of a sudden. He doesn’t. He only does it because he is a pain in the anus. The intestines are all cut open, impossible to fill.
9:20 pm. Sung Chan is back to the starting point. Right when everyone on Sung Chan’s side is feeling aghast, Bong Joo pushes open the swing door and walks towards his station without glancing at either of the two. He picks up the intestine, showers it in steaming water and dropping it back down in a bowl of light yellow sauce.
9:40 pm. Sung Chan is standing with his eyes closed, thinking. Thinking hard. And then, he picks up a piece of fish and starts cutting.
The competition starts.
Sung Chan rolls up stuffing into the split intestine; Min Woo continues with his dumpling; Bong Joo is stirring. Sung Chan pours the sea water he gathered during the trip with Joo Hee as broth; Min Woo takes out a can of old condiment; Bong Joo’s friend brings him a bottle of wrapped mysterious ingredient. 9: 55 pm.
At 10:00 pm, the old chief enters, expectantly.
He walks over to Bong Joo’s dish: intestine, a selection of veggie, paired with rice. Bong Joo harvests the rice personally and utilizes spring water to cook the rice. The minerals in the spring water adds nutrients to the rice, while the freshness of the water gives the rice a more refreshing flavor. The intestine is first rinsed with hot water to ameliorate its texture, then soaked in salt water to get rid of the smell and add flavor. On top of that, Bong Joo incorporates rice vinegar in the dish, whose taste complements that of the intestine. The old chief mixes the carefully laid out dish and takes a bite. The old chef is delighted.
He walks over to Min Woo’s stand, who offers the chief a bowl of dumplings decorated like flowers, each color is made of different materials to reflect the different taste and color. He uses tea to get rid of the smell of the intestine. To prefect the taste, Min Woo simmered the fish bone as broth. On the side is a dish of soy sauce from 17 years ago to pair with the dumpling. The old chef is pleased.
The old chief walks over to Sung Chan, who hasn’t had the time to name his dish. His dish incorporates egg, and a type of grass that grew up in salt (?), separated by fish skin, wrapped in intestines. The old chief takes a bite and closes his eyes. When he opens his eyes again, he exclaims, “It tastes of.. ocean.” Once notified that the dish was steamed using ocean water, the old chief is pleasantly surprised, “No wonder it tastes like the ocean. The sensation lingers even now. Well done.”
Round one, Sung Chan wins. Although the other two did a wonderful job, what they neglected is how to bring out the natural flavor of the food. Although losing the available food source is Sung Chan’s fault, the ability to make a better cuisine out of what’s left is praiseworthy. Finally, the old chief mixes Bong Joo’s vinegar, Min Woo’s soy sauce, and dips Sung Chan’s cuisine in the sauce to create something more delicious. (Which I’m dubious.) The old chief is still the best.
Not long after the first round of the competition, Representative Kim from North Korea came to the restaurant, ordering a soup, hugely different from the typical delicacies on the restaurant menu. The chief returns to the kitchen, the three competitors compete to cook the dish. However when the chief emphasize the importance of this meal and how it may affect the reputation of the restaurant, only Sung Chan is still willing to satisfy Representative Kim’s appetite.
The soup is cooked and brought up. While the viewers extend their necks with Sung Chan, anticipating an approving nod from the representative, he takes one sip of the soup, frowning, and throws down the spoon. Uh oh.
I’ve always used wine to get rid of the particular smell certain food carries (fish and especially eggs). I am aware that tea also takes care of it, I’ve just never done it like that. Now, according to the first episode of Gourmet, milk can also take away the smell? That’s completely new to me. Something to try the next time I cook.
PS: I need to expand my vocabulary. =(