I asked my mom to help buy a new divided hot pot for us. Normally, we purchase all the ingredients for the meal, but this was a really busy week and I had no time to go shopping. She and my step-dad purchased all the greens and most of the meats. I wanted to try a spicy and a mild version of broth last night.
The soup base I made was made with fermented black bean, garlic, ginger, Sichuan peppercorns and dried chilies, galangal, fennel seed, star anise, and cinnamon. The broth base was oxtail, chicken, roasted duck, and spot prawn heads. Fusion at its finest!
My parents took so long with the traffic to Santa Cruz, I ended up making 3-4 dipping sauces: peanut and tamarind sauce, flavored fish sauce with shallots, a green sauce of scallion, garlic and ginger, a spicy tomato sauce, and a blend of chopped Thai chili and garlic for those of us who love it super spicy!
I also made pork meatballs that were tiny and fun to cook. I don’t like eating packaged meat or fishballs due to the preservatives and unknown ingredients. Also, most premade Asian foods seem to have MSG in them.
The spot prawns were my favorite! They were bought live so I used the heads to flavor the stock. I dislike keeping them on because their long antenna just get in the way of cooking.. and it creeps me out.
My second favorite was the lamb meat. I couldn’t seem to cook the squid properly as it kept tasting really tough. My favorite sauce was the peanut with a dollap of tomato. We had pea sprouts, Nappa cabbage, enoki and trumpet mushrooms, too. The end of the meal we threw in a little bean thread noodle, which cooked in seconds and soaked up all the intense rich broth from the night’s cooking.
The saddest part was my realizing we still had a few dozen fresh scallops in the fridge that I forgot to take out for hot pot! Whoops!
Hot pot round 2?