Steamboat

Steamboat

By
From
Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery
Serves
6-8

A spectacular Chinese meal of meats and seafood cooked at the table by the diners themselves. The name refers to the traditional cooking vessel, a Mongolian fire pot whose base holds hot coals (available from Chinese grocery stores). A fondue set may be substituted. The pot of simmering stock is set in the centre of the table with the foods and sauces arranged round it. Guests use small strainers to lift their choice of food into the stock, and when cooked, it is plucked out of the strainer with chopsticks, dipped into sauce and eaten. After the meat and seafood are eaten, noodles and vegetables are cooked in the remaining stock and served in soup bowls as a last course.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

Stock

Quantity Ingredient
1kg chicken soup bones
2.5 litres water
4 slices fresh ginger
5 spring onions, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, bruised
1 teaspoon salt
4 black peppercorns

Meats and seafood

Quantity Ingredient
4 chicken fillets
250g pork fillet
250g beef or scotch fillet
250g chicken, lamb or calf liver
250g firm-fleshed white fish fillets, skinned and any bones removed

Noodles and vegetables

Quantity Ingredient
500g chinese cabbage, cut into 8 cm strips
250g transparent noodles, soaked in boiling water for 30 minutes and drained
500g fresh, crisp english spinach or silverbeet, shredded
handful snow peas
125g bean curd, thickly sliced
assorted sauces, (see note)

Method

  1. To make stock, simmer all ingredients together in a saucepan for 2–3 hours. Strain, cool, then chill. Skim fat from surface.
  2. To prepare meats and seafood, remove any fat from chicken breasts and pull out white tendon which runs down underside of each breast. Remove gristle and fat from pork and beef. Remove sinews and membrane from livers. Wrap all meats and fish separately in plastic wrap and place in freezer to become firm before slicing. Slice meats and fish as thinly as possible into pieces about 8 × 2 cm, keeping slices in order as they are cut. Arrange on plates and cover.
  3. Drop cabbage into boiling water for 1 minute, then drain and refresh under cold water.
  4. If you are using a fire pot, light about 20 heat beads in a fireplace or barbecue and burn for about 15 minutes until a white ash forms on the surface. Transfer with tongs to grate of fire pot, pushing them well in.
  5. Meanwhile, bring prepared stock to the boil. If using a fondue set, light burner and set pot over it. Pour stock into pot and place on a thick board in centre of table. Arrange meats, fish and sauces around it, garnishing plates with a little green spinach or cabbage.
  6. Provide a plate, a strainer, chopsticks, a soup bowl and a spoon for each guest. Guests now cook and eat meats and fish. When they have done so, drop prepared noodles, vegetables and bean curd into pot, adding a little more stock or water if necessary. Cook for 1 minute, then ladle into soup bowls.

Note

  • For dipping sauces, choose from soy sauce, Chinese chilli sauce, hoisin sauce, Chinese barbecue sauce, Chinese lemon sauce (all available at Chinese grocery stores) or one of the following: soy sauce mixed with a little chilli sauce; soy sauce with a little chilli sauce and sesame oil.
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