Sunday, April 18, 2004

Steaming the night away

© foodies date: 17April2004 (lawrence is back!)

steamboat or hotpot. whatever name you call it. it's definitely one of the best dinner seating you can get. with the hot broth bubbling away in the pot on the table-stove (we used electronic hotplate), the aroma isnt terribly nice especially when we are talking about the post-steamboat condition of whole apartment. but hey, no complain here. the food is fresh and yummy. the best thing is you get to pick what you like to eat from the pot.

katty and basil hosted a steamboat gathering tonight at their place @ the forum, st leonards. applaude (and kisses) goes to katty and basil who did all the shopping. and to katty who cooked the broth. this time we had a kimchee pot. basically what we did was cook the broth like you would normally do or you can use canned chicken broth and add vegies such as chinese cabbage, carrots and tomatoes, and let the broth simmer for a while. i would say half an hour is good enough if you are using canned soup. we then added a whole jar of kimchee (from asian supermarket) to the broth and let it simmer for a while. voila! we had instant kimchee hotpot.

as for the ingredients. you can basically have anything you like. this time we had really basic taiwanese stuff. in the pics, we had
- chinese cabbage, chopped to bite size
- konnyaku, japanese jelly-like health food which is low in calorie and high in fibre. one of my favourite. good for dieters too!
- sliced meat from asian supermarket. we had beef, chicken and pork. good source of protein.
- tofu
- baby corn
- assorted asian-style meatballs. we had squid-balls, fishballs, fishcakes and mushroom chicken balls.
- assorted taiwanese dumplings. in the pics are prawn dumpling (yes the long reddish strips) and squid dumpling. not in the pic is fish dumpling which resembles Italian tortellini in shape.

like i said, you can put into the steamboat anything you fancy. we didnt have seafood this time but prawns, white fish, mussels are very good in steamboat too. mushrooms, any type of mushrooms are good too. my favourite is enoki mushroom *yum* for vegan, there is a whole range of frozen vegan food from the asian supermarkets. dont get put off by the name on the packets that said vegetarian beef or chicken or mutton. they are basically made of soy. some are made of mushroom. they actually taste very nice. my favourite is vegan mutton which in actual are mushroom stems. fresh asian vegies like bok choy, choi sum and kai lan are normal too. usually we would add in vermicelli at the end of the dinner. with its high water absorption rate, vermicelli holds the best of the best from the steamboat (yes and all the fat too!). you can use any type of noodles but vermicelli is still the best.

one other important thing about steamboat is the dipping sauce. a very typical dipping sauce would be an egg yolk mixed together with a little soy sauce and sesame oil. katty was the creative one. the dipping sauce is different every time we had steamboat. she is a real talent in sauce-creating. she uses whatever she could find in the pantry. the sauce this time was sweet with a hint of spiceness. i like it a little more spicy so i added in some more indonesian chili sauce.

green tea and black sesame icecream from leCreme factory ended the dinner in perfection. the only pullback was the leftover. we still had one large pot left untouched. looks like katty and basil will have steamboat for lunch and dinner for another 2-3 days.