02 January 2012

Chinese Hot Pot

 I bought an electric skillet thing. It's basically a square saucepan powered by electricity, with a lid. Amazing!! My mum decided to break it in by doing Chinese hot pot (火锅, huo[3] guo[1]) tonight for dinner. I haven't had hotpot for at least 5 years!! You start off by boiling a lot of water, and adding some sauces. Then you stick on whatever you want, wait for the water to reach a rolling boil, and then take out your cooked food...and you eat it! One of the spices in the soup was the Chinese five spice, which I don't like.
 First, we had noodles, tofu, and fish balls. Although I don't generally eat animals, the soup base included a lot of minuscule animal pieces, so I guess I ate animal pieces today (fish, cow, lamb). Oh well.

 My sister throwing in fish sticks (made with lard).

 Second batch! Spinach, mushrooms, and blurry chopsticks. After you fish out all the food from the first batch, you can add stuff to the soup base, and wait for the rolling boil (although for thinly sliced items such as  the lamb or the spinach, you only need a really short time). Note that the soup now has more debris.
 Stuff we fished out from the first batch, all cooked!
We cooked some salmon, which isn't traditional, but my sister enjoys it.

 You can also crack eggs directly into the soup, to get poached eggs. My brother tried to cook his in a ladle, which took way longer to cook. His egg also ended up sticking to the ladle. Mmm egg.
 At some point, you should add more hot water to the soup (because a lot of it evaporates or is drunk) so this hot pot meal can go on for hours!
At the end, we had this thick soup filled with lots of animal pieces, small wedges of spinach, and bits of noodle, mushroom, and bean sprout. My mum is using the leftover soup as a base for noodles tomorrow.

So, hopefully in the future, I can make pasta and fondue and grilled cheese sandwiches in my room. No more kitchens! :D

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