Sunday, July 31, 2011

Lau Thai (Thai Style Hot Pot)

Yesterday was my bf's dad's birthday. We thought it would be nice to cook for his parents, so we decided to make hot pot. It was a huge hit... everyone enjoyed our hot pot. We had a great time chatting while eating our hot pot. Preparations were minimal and clean up wasn't too hard. A perfect night and dinner for less than $40. This recipe makes enough for 6-8 people. Good luck!

  • 3 cans chicken broth, 14oz
  • 3 cans water, same can
  • 5-6 Tbsp Tom Yum Soup Paste (see pic)
  • 1-2 Tbsp Tamarind powder base (you can find this in the spice aisle of the Asian supermarket) *amount varies to your taste… use more if you prefer sour, use less if you prefer less sour
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 small onion or ½ large onion, sliced
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced into wedges
  • Sate/chili oil (optional)
  • 2-3 tsp Fish sauce (optional)
*depending on your taste, if you like your broth more salty you may want to add a bit of fish sauce

Other Ingredients:
  • Slices of meat (Eye round or rib eye)
  • 1 small Napa cabbage
  • 1 bunch Spinach
  • 2 pk Enoki Mushroom, they’re white, long, and thin
  • 1 pk Fried fish balls, cuttle fish balls, shrimp balls, use whatever you like
  • Quail eggs (1 can should be enough)
  • 1 pk Clams or mussels
  • ½ - 1 lb Shrimp
  • 2-3 filets of Fish, sliced (I use Swai, but you can omit fish if you don’t like fish)
  • Rice noodles (bun), but if you like egg noodles (mi) then use that
  • Electric hot pot or a pot and a portable gas range

Step 1 - Preparing the Broth
In a large pot bring your water and chicken broth to a slight boil, and then add Tom Yum paste, tamarind powder (if you cannot find this then you can just use limes), and sugar. Make sure you stir well to dissolve the seasonings. Taste and if you need more sour add a little more tamarind powder or lime. If the broth is not salty enough for you, then you may add a teaspoon or 2 of fish sauce. If you like your broth spicy, then add some sate/chili oil. Then add the sliced onions and tomatoes and turn heat to low. When you season your food, remember you can add more to it, but you can’t take away… so just add a little bit at a time until you like the taste.

Step 2 - Preparing the other Ingredients
While your broth is keeping warm, you should prepare the other ingredients. Wash your veggies and dry them. You do not have to cut the spinach, but you do have to cut the napa cabbage into 1 ½ to 2 inch slices. Take your meat out of the package and place on a different plate (don’t mix your meats and veggies). I used to use eye round (thit tai for pho), but now I use thin slices of rib eye. It’s sooo much better, trust me! Place clams and slices fish on the meat plate. Open the can of quail eggs and rinse them in water, dry them, and place in another plate. Wash and dry your shrimp, fish balls or cuttlefish balls and place them on the same plate as your quail eggs.
*If you are serving more than 4 people, I suggest splitting the meats and veggies into 2 plates, one for each side of the table, it’s more convenient.

Step 3 - Finishing up
Cook rice noodles/bun as per instructions on the bag. Prepare your plates on the table and split the rice noodles into 2 portions, one for each side of the table. Ladle your broth into the pot that you are using for the hot pot. If you do not have an electric hot pot, you can use a shallow pot and a portable gas range (see pic). Wait for the broth to slightly boil before adding your meats and veggies… and enjoy!

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