We finally had our belated Valentine’s meal tonight, and for the special occasion, I decided to do a steamboat. Also known as a hot pot, a steamboat consists of a simmering pot of broth placed right at the dining table, to which raw ingredients are continuously added to the broth and cooked on the spot. Now, if you are an OCD like me and would prefer not to have raw meat and fish placed directly on your dining table, feel free to cook them in advance and then just reheat them in the pot…that’s the beauty of doing it yourself…you CAN do whatever you want. :D
As for the ingredients, you can use as little as five or as many as twenty. It’s totally up to you and you can pick whatever ingredient your heart desires (as long as you like it, of course). Typically, ingredients in a steamboat include a variety of meat, seafood, veggies, mushrooms, dumplings, and so on. And generally, ingredients are prepped into bite-size pieces and arranged neatly on a plate. If you are going to cook certain raw ingredients in advance, just bring a pot of water to a boil and simmer the ingredients until they are just cooked (try to avoid mixing different food items together since they would probably cook at a different rate). Then, remove, let cool and plate. Now, after you’re done, do not throw the cooking liquid away. This will be the base for your broth. Add your seasoning (if you are using any) and finally right before eating, transfer your broth to your steamboat appliance, and enjoy the food and experience!