Synopsis: A novel adapted drama about food and romance follows Hua Xiao Mai as she falls in love with a mercenary for hire. Through her passion for the culinary arts, Hua Xiao Mai starts small and slowly makes her way up in the food business. After being saved by Meng Yu Huai, who heads a mercenary agency, in the hills behind the Huodao village where she has just moved in to stay with her elder sister. Hua Xiao Mai falls in love. She does her best to attract his attention but he just doesn’t get her feelings. But as Xiao Mai shows her intelligence, her culinary skills and her boldness in professing her love for him, he slowly realizes he will not be able to escape from her. But success in love is not her only ambition, her goal in life was to show the world that any edible food can be delicious if made properly. From a small food stall to a famous restaurant in the city, she slowly builds her way up, improving her skill in the process before finally realizing that the best part of life is simply a simple delicious meal with the ones you love.
- Plain soup noodles/ Yangchun noodles: Once praised by Emperor Qinglong of the Qing dynasty as one of the best soups of China, this is perhaps one of the most famous chinese noodle soup dishes. The key to it’s success is a meat based stock (often pork or chicken or both, if you’re making it fresh remember to use bones with a little meat on them to make the best stock ), lard (pork fat) and good quality light soy sauce (not lee kum kee). Often you will find there is a sprinkling of spring onions with the noodles. You can add other ingredients like meat or eggs as well but the original is just the stock, noodles and spring onions.
- Cold food festival: despite having it’s origins in China it’s not celebrated much now instead it’s mainly celebrated in Vietnam. Often sometime in late March or April. Instead perhaps due to it’s history and the it’s closeness in date with the Tomb-Sweeping festival, it has influenced some of the food consumed during that festival (such a mugwort sweet dumplings and popiah) in some areas of China. It’s primary activity is to forbid the use of fire during that day under the superstitious belief if will lead to violent weather however in the 6th century people started to worship Jie Zitui who was burned alive by the Duke of Jin despite saving the duke’s life by cutting a part of the flesh on his leg to save him from starvation so it became a festival to commemorate his selflessness.