Eight Treasure Rice, Genshin Impact’s Ganyu Version plus some history and lore


Ganyu’s Prosperous Peace real-life equivalent is Eight Treasure Rice, 八宝饭, a rice pudding commonly served during Chinese New Year in Southern China.

A short history of Eight Treasure Rice 八宝饭

Traditionally, these 8 treasures are lotus seeds, red dates, candied kumquats, cherries, candied winter melons, barley and melon seeds. Though nowadays, any kind of sweet fruits or nuts are used for the dish. Each one of these ingredients is supposed to symbolise a different meaning like good marriage, harmony and auspiciousness.

Even older legends say that the dish dates back to sometime 1000 years BC just right after the Battle of Muye, the final battle leading to the establishment of the Zhou Dynasty. Eight Treasure Rice was served in the victory banquet, with each of the treasures representing the eight scholars who contributed greatly in the war to finally capture the capital of Yin.

Though take this with a pinch of salt as the legends also mentioned the opposing emperor, King Wen of Zhou, riding on a god beast with a single horn trampling countless soldiers to death.

Yeah… these were likely exaggerated stories that borrowed inspiration from reality.

Recipe for Prosperous Peace

Eight Treasure Rice

Ganyu's version (Prosperous Peace) of Eight Treasure Rice
Prep Time 8 hrs
Cook Time 2 hrs

Equipment

  • A bowl suitable for steaming

Ingredients
  

EIGHT TREASURE RICE

  • Glutinous Rice measured to half the bowl for steaming
  • Red Bean Paste to taste, only a few Tbsp is needed
  • Red Dates to taste
  • Lotus Seeds to taste
  • Walnuts to taste
  • Dried Prunes to taste (leave 2 whole as garnish)
  • Sugar to taste
  • Vegetable oil

RED BEAN PASTE

  • 200 g Red beans
  • 100 g sugar or more to taste

CARAMEL

  • 3 tbsp sugar (bigger batch is easier to control)
  • splash water

Instructions
 

  • The night before, soak glutinous rice, lotus seeds and red beans in water.
  • The next day, drain the liquid. Put lotus seeds and gluitnous rice in a steamer for 1 hour. Boil red beans in water just enough to cover for 1 hour as well. Remember to check the water levels regularly so it doesn’t dry up.
  • Take the time to cut out the patterns you want to go on the rice on a parchment paper. The plan is to drizzle caramel over. Also, peel thin sheets of carrots, then carve the eyes and ears of the Qilin using a knife.
  • Chop the other ingredients to go into the dish. Any sweet fruits ornuts work. You can follow the traditional ingredients instead of my list, for example.
  • When the hour is up for arts and craft, turn off the heat for the steamer. While the burner is still on for the red bean, add in sugar half the weight of red beans you used. (e.g. 200g red bean: 100g sugar)
  • Stir in the sugar until it is well dissolved into the red bean. You can blend this and strain for a smooth paste. If you’re lazy or prefer chunky red bean, just mash with the back of a ladle. This can store in the fridge for a week or in the freezer for a month.
  • Take a few pieces of lotus seeds aside from the lotus seed/rice mixture. Mix the rest with a sprinkle of sugar and some vegetable oil.
  • Line a steam-proof bowl with vegetable oil, and you can start arranging. This is pretty much up to your own artistic interpretation for how you want to arrange. I’m going with bottom layer rice, red bean paste, another layer of rice, dried fruits and nuts mixture, then rice to cover, with lotus seeds on the sides.
  • Steam this for another half hour to 45 minutes.
  • After steaming, loosen the sides of the rice, then put a plate to cover and flip over. Remember to use mittens or something as this is hot.
  • Make a caramel using 3 Tbsp of sugar and a splash of water. It is generally easier to make caramel with more sugar, but I don’t like wasting. Turn on to medium heat and watch the sugar melt. Water will start to boil away from the sugar.
  • Be very patient. As the liquid gets thicker, it will start to turn yellowish (this is the sugar caramelising). Once you see it turn just a little brown, shut off the heat and use this immediately.
  • Put the parchment paper over the rice, then pour the caramel over. Lift off the parchment paper, and the shape you cut out should be formed.
  • Paste the carrot ears and eyes over. The glutinous rice and caramel should be sticky enough. Add some edible white flowers or gum paste flowers and yellow berry look-alike (I used dried yellow prunes) for decoration.
  • We’re done!

Notes

  1. Parchment paper might not be the best solution to make the in game shape.
  2. I don’t think it matters much between Japanese/Chinese red bean paste. Japanese red bean paste seems to have a higher sugar ratio, going closer to red bean: sugar of 1:1.
  3. Traditionally, lard is used for the dish. But Ganyu is vegetarian.
  4. On hindsight, I probably should have utilised the caramel crystalising for a better picture of the dish by making even more caramel. But the ideal is for it to be just liquid enough to stain and not crystalise immediately. In my case, strings of caramel were forming as I pour since I’m bad at filming and cooking at the same time as a one-man crew.

What I made is kind of a failure. One reason is the small plate I’m using (it is surprisingly hard to find completely flat plates with a blue border). Eight Treasure Rice is usually birthday cake sized because it’s meant to be shared.

The other reason is that I’m not very good at decorating, and Ganyu’s version is more difficult to make than the normal version of the dish. It is also possible that Ganyu’s version is only made with rice since she has the motto of “Drink only spring water, eat only whole grains”, but eh.

If you want to make the normal version, like in Universal Peace, you can follow these videos:

Speculation of the Dish’s Significance in Genshin (Spoilers)

Genshin Impact’s food lore is a bit less interesting in the sense that the dish simply symbolises world peace. And… that’s it. But what made me curious is that they could have just called the dish Eight Treasure Rice, keeping the original meaning of the dish, and nobody would even mention anything about it.

Here is where I, a Genshin addict who happened to have a YouTube channel about food, decided to bullshit an explanation to create content satisfy my curiosity on the name change by reading up on Genshin lore.

Specifically, finding out if the number Eight has any special meaning in Genshin.

As it turns out, there are several clues pointing towards there being Eight archons in Teyvat originally.

Clue 1: Gnosis look like chess pieces

We were told that there are 7 Archons, each having control over one of the Seven Elements. Each channeling the power of Celestia through a Gnosis. In story cutscenes, we can clearly see that Venti’s Gnosis looks like the Queen, while Zhongli’s looks like a rook.

This should be obvious once you look at a chessboard, but if you remove the pawns, there are EIGHT pieces in chess.

Clue 2: Original Archons might have been based on Eight Immortals in Chinese Mythology

This is already mentioned by these two reddit posts if you want to read them, but here’s the gist.

We know that of the original Archons, only Venti and Zhongli remains. It also happens that these 2 Archons seem to draw some inspiration from the Eight Immortals.

Zhongli would be based on Zhongli Quan. Gee, they even have the same name and the same Chinese characters (钟离 and 钟离权 in simplified Chinese. If you head into Wikipedia, 鍾離權 is in traditional Chinese.)

Zhongli Quan is said to be associated with death, and can turn stones into silver or gold. Doesn’t that remind you of a certain Archon associated with the creation of currency who is also working in a funeral parlour?

Best girl in the game, Venti, would be based on Lan Caihe, the immortal whose gender is ambiguous, lived as a homeless street entertainer singing philosophical songs and was often drunk. If that isn’t a description of Venti, I don’t know what is.

Clue 3: There are Eight chapters in the game

This one is simple. The official Teyvat Chapter Storyline Preview shows that there are eight chapters in the game. One for each region, and the final region being Khaerin’ah.

Archon War

2000 years before present (BP), the Archon War ended and the Seven Archons were only then designated divine seats in Celestia. Which is to say, that there could have been Eight Immortals/Archon unofficially in Teyvat before the conclusion of the Archon War. As in, those eight were unofficially recognised as the strongest gods in Teyvat, but there wasn’t a need to officially assign such rankings.

We know that the Archon War lasted at least 600 years, since the Decarabian storyline in Venti’s character story mentioned that the Archon War has yet to end 2600 BP. 600 years is a heck lot of time for really anything to happen. In the manga, Venti is also shown to be visibly uncomfortable at the idea of discussing about Celestia.

There’s a huge lack of information, but let’s say that whatever happened is unspeakable and considered taboo.

So let’s examine what we do know about the Eighth region of the Teyvat.

What do we know about Khaenri’ah?

Honestly, like most of the information in this post, nothing much. Which allows me to basically bullshit whatever I want.

We know that Khaenri’ah practised “The Art of Khemia” from Albedo’s character stories. And this very same Art brought about the destruction of a glorious nation and is very likely to have caused monsters to spawn in Teyvat (read from Bloodstained Chivalry’s lore).

This is also the reason why Albedo has that “destroy everything” scene in the Dragonspine story quest, as he is a practitioner of this destructive Art.

Khaeri’ah is also described by Dainsleif (the narrator of the Genshin videos) as “the hidden corners where the gods’ gaze does not fall”.

What I can bullshit we can theorise from this is that there could have been the Eighth Immortal/Archon unofficially governing Khaenri’ah. But after the Archon War, this unofficial Eighth seat is abolished and Khaenri’ah is left godless (hence, where the god’s gaze does not fall).

Without the supervision of the god (and possibly an accompanying element), the Art of Khemia went beyond the realm of what humanity can handle and resulted in the disaster 500 years ago.

Furthermore, if you look at the We Will Be Reunited teaser, the symbols on the black box things in the destruction scene looks kinda like the number we’re talking about: 8.

Wait, what the heck does all that got to do with Ganyu’s dish?

It is important to note that Ganyu is the oldest servant of Morax. While her actual age is unknown, we know that she is at least old enough to have fought in the Archon War. This means that she had witnessed all the major warring events we were talking about earlier.

Eight in real-life Chinese somewhat sounds like “发”, which is to prosper, and is widely considered an auspicious number. But to the survivors of the wars in Genshin, the number 8 holds a different meaning.

Eight is a forbidden number that represents loss; of the Eighth unofficial Immortal/Archon and the Eighth region. It also serves as a reminder that they were powerless to do anything but watch as the events happen.

Perhaps for Ganyu, who lived through the millenias of warring, there is nothing more to wish for other than peace and for the warring powers of the Qilin to finally go to rest.

An image that can be symbolised by the resting Qilin in a dish with the name of Prosperous Peace. (The resting Qilin which also roughly takes the shape of a globe like in her Elemental Burst, perhaps this was the rough shape which Teyvat used to take millenias ago?)

And that’s the story behind Ganyu’s dish, of why it differed in real life and in-game. (Or at least, what I came up with based on what I read.)

Also, while we’re at it: Paimon is MALE (…or genderless)

You’re most likely convinced that Paimon is female. The Genshin wiki also lists Paimon’s gender as female. For this, I blame the terrible English translation, as I believe this is solely based on the very first scene you meet Paimon.

In that scene, Paimon said that “Paimon will do her best” for the English translation. But… the Japanese dub says “Dakara oira mo annaiyaku ganbary ze!”. “Oira” is typically used by males to refer to themselves. In Chinese, Paimon says “所以我会努力做一个好向导的”. “我” itself doesn’t have any gender connotations.

We know that the names of the Archons are also based on demons in Ars Goetia. In demonological grimoires, Paimon’s is described as having a woman’s face but is referred to using masculine pronouns.

Given that Mihoyo is a Chinese company full of otakus, I assume that Japanese audio with Chinese subs is the intended language to play the game. Just based on Paimon’s line, the Japanese audio is also the only one to preserve the nuance of “female face but masculine pronoun”.

Whew. It’s not many times where in game culinary lore is more interesting than real life’s culinary lore. 

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