“Why This Spicy Salted Egg Salad Is So Sweet” – The Geekiary

Cooking Crush continues to be a delight. It’s so fluffy I want to die. “Why That Spicy Salted Egg Salad Is So Sweet” showcases Off and Gun’s undeniable chemistry as Ten and Prem cleverly flirt their way through every interaction. (Only to guess right away and then end up turning into a puddle of slime.)

“Why Is This Spicy Salted Egg Salad So Sweet” picks up where last week’s episode left off (which I didn’t review because, again, Texas), with Ten picking up on Prem about their non-date. Since this is an absurd romantic comedy, ten pictures flash around Prem’s head as he approaches. (This is totally related since I too see sparks around Gun’s head when he appears.) After a comical attempt to avoid accidentally touching Ten last week (until Ten canceled all his efforts), Prem crawls into Ten’s personal space. Ten is naturally confused, notice the overload of attractiveness.

This scene is the perfect example of how much Ten opens up to Prem. Last week he told him that he didn’t need to make such an effort, so this week Prem is much more careless with Ten’s personal space. There’s also a scene later in the episode where Prem and his sister spot Ten in the market, which he barely endured just two episodes ago, and it turns out that Ten is buying the ingredients for another cooking lesson.

Prem accepts Ten to One Good Meal and reveals that his dream is to open a similar restaurant. It is definitely a unique experience as the chef – Prem’s idol Chang Ma from his and his friend’s favorite cooking show – personally serves them and explains the dishes. Prem can’t resist gushing to Chang Ma about being a fan, and as the night goes on, Ten grows more jealous. This leads to Ten taking Prem to another restaurant despite the fact that they had literally just eaten.

I like this dynamic between Off and Gun because it’s very different from other couples they’ve portrayed. This isn’t their first romcom, but in the Puppy Honey Off’s character, Peake, was either deeply closeted or simply in denial about his own sexuality, and c Theory of love, his character Khai is a big goofball. In both series, Gunn’s characters (Rome trans puppy baby Third c Theory of love) were helplessly, somewhat pathetically in love with the Off characters.

So anyway, I really enjoy watching them both like this: both equally overwhelmed and slightly confused about it, going back when they think they’ve made a mistake, and trying not to read too much into every bit something they do. (Prem freaked out about his text when Ten didn’t immediately answered, and it turns out that Ten saw the text before he remembered it. And then Ten eats the food that Prem claims he didn’t make especially for him, even though he’s already had breakfast.) I love that Off’s hero was the one who fell first. Every scene between these two is just super cute.

What I really love is the symmetry. In last week’s episode, Ten attributed his racing heart to playing tennis earlier in the day. In “Why’s This Salted Egg Spicy Salad So Sweet”, Prem starts seeing Ten everywhere (even as a pregnant woman, I giggled so hard) and panics, and when Ten finds him, immediately checks his pulse. Last week, Ten took Prem’s hands and put them over his ears because the earlobes absorb heat. This week, Prem grabs Ten’s face himself because he’s trying to determine if he’s another hallucination.

Another great thing about this episode is Ten and Prem having conversations! They don’t fall in love right away and move at the speed of light. Prem tells Ten all about his desire to open a chef’s table restaurant; Ten talks about coming to the paddy field with his uncle. Ten also admits that he really didn’t have anything outside of his studies and that Prem’s cooking lessons brought some sunshine into his life.

I would like to add here that I am incredibly annoyed with GMMTV for not uploading the uncut episode to YouTube like they do for their other shows. I managed to catch the full episode each week, but there so much they cut out. It’s kind of ridiculous, and I think it’s one of the reasons the pacing feels off and some relationships (Dynamite and Fire, for example) feel underdeveloped. So now I’ll wait until I see the raw version to do those reviews.

Oh hey, speaking of Dynamite and Fire, I finally got my wish from episode 2 where I was hoping Dynamite would do something “nasty and haunting” to Fire. In “Why’s This Salted Egg Spicy Salad So Sweet”, he gets involved with Fire’s mother, who is not only domineering but highly judgmental.

This whole scene was just awkward. Fire’s mother aggressively lectures not only her own son, but also Jane and later Dynamite after he tries to defuse the tension. Although I’m a bit taken aback by how quickly Jane decided she wasn’t in the fire (it had to happen, of course, it just seems very sudden), she undoubtedly realizes she dodged a bullet after his mother practically insulted everything about her and Fire just stood there and left her. (She might be realizing that he doesn’t seem that into her? After all, he couldn’t even approach her for her number on his own.)

What this scene does is show how Dynamite can actually help Fire. In almost all of their interactions so far, Dynamite has trampled Fire’s boundaries (which he somewhat apologizes for, but it’s still not really cool). It dealt with traditional romcom behavior that most audiences now recognize as the chase, played as romantic for decades. He even admits it’s persecution.

Anyway, my point is that Fire is clearly too repressed to really stand up to his mother. Dynamite can step in and help because he’s used to being scolded and it doesn’t bother him. Finally, his boundary-pushing has a purpose! I think these two are actually quite suited for each other and I believe Dynamite will ultimately help Fire become more assertive. I just need Dynamite to make me at least 30% less obnoxious when they’re together. The scene where Fire thanks him by giving him a drink? Have more of them please.

One last thing, I love the two different groups of friends. Everyone is so supportive of each other. I love how Prem, Samsi and Dynamite get together every week to watch their cooking show and even have matching t-shirts. And I’m really intrigued by the fact that Dynamite seems to correctly guess Ten’s motives (he tells Ten that he’s jealous of Chang Ma, and also correctly judges that Prem made Ten feel embarrassed last week) while being so uneasy about of your own love life.

So yeah, I’m enjoying it a lot Cooking Crush. There are still some things we don’t know—Ten’s mystery wife hasn’t been mentioned in a while—and I want to punch the culinary school bullies every time they’re on screen. But overall, this series is sweet and satisfying, and I’m happy with my weekly dose of serotonin.

Author: Jamie Suga

Jamie holds a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York with her vampire demon ninja cat. She covers TV, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the New York area.

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