Friday, 14 March 2014 | MYT 12:00 AM

Steamboat: The perfect dinner

Chinese Steamboat, Malaysia's version of fondue or hot pot, is a quick dinner idea as most of the cooking is done at the table. - MCT

Chinese Steamboat, Malaysia's version of fondue or hot pot, is a quick dinner idea as most of the cooking is done at the table. - MCT

Dip into broth, like fondue, but Chinese.

ON a trip to Malaysia, I was introduced to a dish called Chinese Steamboat. It is very much like a fondue or hot pot, with a large pot on a burner in the centre of the table in which everyone cooks their own food.

I found that it’s also a perfect dinner when you’re in a hurry because most of the cooking is done at the table. The vegetables and meat are dipped into chicken stock to cook and then dipped into a savoury sauce. To finish the meal, the hearty broth is poured into soup bowls with the dipping sauce and eaten like soup.

To serve this dish in the Chinese manner, you will need a fondue pot with a burner or a sauce pan placed on a portable electric or gas burner. An electric frying pan or wok would also work.

Failing that, you can still enjoy this meal using the alternate directions below.

Chinese Steamboat

2 servings

1 litre fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth

1 cup sliced carrots

1 cup sliced onion

225g boneless, skinless chicken breast

1½ tsp sesame oil

4 medium peeled shrimp

110g Chinese or Napa cabbage

110g button mushrooms

110g Chinese noodles

Dipping Sauce

6 tbsp low-salt soya sauce

2 tsp brown sugar

3 scallions (spring onions), sliced

2.5cm piece fresh ginger, chopped (about 2 tsp)

Place broth in saucepan with carrots and onions. Bring to a boil and cook 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, remove fat from chicken and cut into strips about 5cm by 2.5cm. Place in bowl and mix with sesame oil. Place the bowl on platter large enough to hold all ingredients to be cooked. Slice shrimp almost in half lengthwise and spread open. Wash cabbage and slice on the diagonal in 2.5cm pieces. Wash and quarter mushrooms; cut into sixths if large. Place shrimp, cabbage, mushrooms and Chinese noodles on platter and set on the table. Mix sauce ingredients in a soup bowl and pour half into a second soup bowl. Place in front of each diner.

To cook: Place heating unit on heat-proof mat on table. Pour boiling broth into fondue pot or electric pan and place on table; the broth should continue to gently simmer. Using chopsticks or fork, each diner adds chicken, shrimp, cabbage and mushrooms to the pot, removing them when they are cooked (about one minute). (Note: use separate forks for raw chicken to eliminate any chance of salmonella contamination.) Remove pieces as they are cooked, dip them in sauce and eat them. When the platter is nearly empty, add noodles and remaining vegetables to pot and cook about five minutes, until noodles are cooked through. Ladle into bowls with remaining dipping sauce and eat as soup. Makes

Alternate directions: In a saucepan, bring the broth to a boil and add the carrots and onions. Simmer 10 minutes. Prepare all other ingredients. Add noodles and remaining vegetables to broth. Cook three to four minutes. Add chicken and cook about three minutes. Add the shrimp and cook one minute. Divide the dipping sauce into two large soup bowls and pour the soup over it. – McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Tags / Keywords: Lifestyle , steamboat , recipe


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