The boys love a nearby authentic Chinese restaurant, Uncle Liu’s Hot Pot. They’ll eat quail eggs, octopus and anything else that comes our way – simply because they can cook it themselves at our table. After dining and studying the menu, we realized we could recreate it at home. First thing first, use a good stock. I’m not trying to get Barefoot Contessa on you – but the ingredients will be poached in this liquid, so make it good. If you’re a vegetarian, add fish sauce to your vegetable broth; if not, use a flavorful chicken broth made from a leftover carcass. Whatever you do – don’t use bullion!
- 2 lbs frozen seafood (we found a great “bits” bag at our asian food market for super cheap)
- 2 lbs veggies of your choice (frozen or fresh) – broccoli and mushrooms work particularly well
- 1 dozen soft-boiled quail eggs (so fun!)
- 6 C broth
- 2 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 bunch of scallions, sliced
- pepper, to taste
Heat broth in an electric frying pan (or Wok) with red pepper, garlic, scallions and pepper. Bring broth to a rolling boil and keep on high until meal is complete.
Begin to add items into boiling water, use a Spider or tongs to remove items. Most meat and veggies will float when ready, an average of 3 minutes from frozen. The eggs will take only a minute or two to heat through. Let broth return to a boil as you rotate food in “shifts.”
Let the children put in their own items (on the Spider, broth will splash) and retrieve them. You’ll be amazed at how fun this is, and how versatile too. You can cook just about anything by this method, we love thinly sliced frozen beef too! Clean-up is a breeze and it keeps your kitchen cool in the summer.
A salad is a nice addition. Serves 4-6.