Most people in Wulong have the habit of having oil tea soup, which has a kind of fancy effect and flavour, especially Gelao People’s oil tea soup in Haokou , a small township in Wulong. After having it, I can totally understand why people in Wuong are addicted to such kind of oil tea soup.
It was in the golden season of October, when we headed to Haokou township to collect some materials about local customs to write a book called Folk Customs in Wulong. We were too tired to go on to our final destination——an ancient settlement named Luoxintang in Chinese in Luoxin village. It was said that Luoxintang was built in the period of Daoguang in Qing Dynasty with a history about 200 years, hence we all were attracted. Our kind guide led us to taking a break at a Diaojiao Building, where lived a generous couple.
When we came into their house, the couple welcomed us with hospitality. After a while, the hostess served us with steaming and fragrant oil tea soup. While enjoying the oil tea soup, the host introduced it to us in details, thus making us know the essence of the oil tea soup.
Two peoples living there are Miao and Gelao, both of whom have the habit of having oil tea soup. The ancestors of Gelao people settled there and fought with wilderness. Hungry and tired, some of them picked up the fresh tea leaf to stop hunger and release tiredness. Miraculously, it was a useful method. As time went by, Gelao People were used to having oil tea soup and made it much more tasty. As a result, there is a proverb goes that people would get flurried if they don’t drink the oil tea soup and people would get spirited if they drink the oil tea soup in his meals.
It is complicated to cook pure Gelao People’s oil tea soup, which includes three steps: frying tea leave, stewing tea soup and adding seasoning to stew twice.
Step 1: Fry tea leave. Choose the pale brown tea leave as the cooking material. Fry the tea leave until the iron wok becomes hot. Take the medium-rare tea leave out from the wok and put them into a winnowing fan to rub repeatedly until becoming string-shape. Store them in a dry and ventilated place.
Step 2: Stew oil tea soup. It’s a vital step to cook delicious tea soup. Put smoked lard into the hot wok, then fry the tea leave until they become wax yellow. Next, pour moderate amount of water into the wok to make the tea leave into mash. Then, take them out of the wok and put them into a bowl.
Step 3: Twice stew the tea soup. Stew the tea soup until it becomes boiled. Then add moderate amount of salt, chive, Sichuan pepper powder, sesame, egg drops, crisp fat, diced smoked pork, fried soybean, Chinese chestnut, peanut, crispy rice. All of these can make the tea soup much more tasty.
When we finished collecting useful materials for writing the book in the afternoon, it was time to leave Luoxin village. What made us most unforgettable was the delicious and fragrant oil tea soup. We felt touched by Gelao People who fough with tough environment with perseverance and persistence. What can be conveyed from a bowl of tea soup is that the deep nostalgia, simple folk style and also forever friendship.