Saturday, May 21, 2011

Steamboat/Hot Pot

Why hotpot/steamboat is an ideal meal for social gatherings:
  • It is so easy to prepare! It involves more of logistics (gathering ingredients) rather than any expertise in cooking. Hence anyone can host a fail-proof, yummy meal.
  • You get to sit around the table for a long time as you cook your own food, hence promoting interaction and bonding
  • You can choose almost any ingredients for your hotpot based on your preference and budget. It can be really lavish (with lobster, abalone etc) or really simple. Either way is totally delicious.
Ingredients for a Sumptuous Hot Pot (Steamboat) Feast

1) Equipment

A) Hot Pot

A gas powered hot pot

The basic equipment is of course a hot pot. I use one with a gas canister and my hotpot actually has a divider in case I want to have two different soup bases- one plain and one spicy.

B) Cutlery

Each person should have his/her own soup ladles as well as a slotted ladle to cook foods. Do provide an extra pair of chopsticks specifically for cooking raw meats. The other usual utensils include chopsticks, plates, bowls and soup spoons.

2) Soup base

I personally like to use instant chicken stock liquid with some finely chopped shallots to make a fuss free soup base. I don't think that it is necessary to brew a special soup base since the soup will become really sweet by the end of the meal due to all the ingredients that are cooked in it. If you cook sweet corn and carrots as part of your hotpot meal, at the end of the meal, the soup will be really sweet and you can also eat the sweet corn which will become very juicy.

Main Ingredients

A) Sliced Meats

Thinly sliced lamb and beef

Thinly Sliced Pork and Chicken

Due to the extremely thin slices (which are cut by machines), the meat will be cooked within seconds of dipping in hot broth. Because they are usually sold frozen (and vacuum sealed), you can buy them in advance and store in the freezer.

B) Seafood

Mussels (cleaned, scrubbed and debearded)

Fresh Prawns

Popular seafood for hot pot includes firm white fish fillets (e.g. Ling, Ocean Perch), prawns (either with shells on or heads, tails and veins removed, leaving only a bit of shell and a part of the tail intact), mussels, oysters, scallops, abalone (thinly sliced), squid, octopus and fish maw. 

C) Vegetables

"Tong Oh"

One of the most popular vegetables for hotpot is "tong oh". Other vegetables you can also add include Chinese cabbage, baby bok choy, baby choy sum and moon bok.

Chinese Cabbage

D) Mushrooms

You can use an assortment of mushrooms such as shiitake mushrooms, button mushrooms, oyster mushrooms and enoki mushrooms in your hotpot. 

E) Non Meats

Non meat choices include tofu (buy firm tofu which is recommended for steamboat/soup, cut to cubes), corn, carrots and daikon (cut to large chunks), tomato (cut to large wedges), and eggs. If you are adding eggs to your hotpot, add them at the very end because it will cause the soup to be murky. Eggs are also good to add into your bowl and to coat your other cooked ingredients.

F) Carbohydrates

Besides rice, you can also prepare long strand noodles which is a symbol of longevity (hence do not cut them to shorter strands). Popular hotpot noodles include udon and cellophane noodles. To prepare, soak the noodles in hot water for a few minutes than drain.

Wontons and dumplings are also common additions to steamboat/hotpot.

G) Meatballs

Lobster Balls

Beef Balls & Fish Balls

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Widget by LinkWithin