Foodie Friday: DIY Hot Pot Meal

First Friday of the month: Mom-Cook / Recipe

I cannot count how many times I've written about "instant", "quickfire", and "easy-to-cook" dishes here.  If you are a regular reader of this blog, I'm sure you've noticed my laziness in the kitchen as exhibited in the Mom-Cook recipes I've been sharing here, heehee... but who doesn't want a simple, easy-to-prepare, yet satisfying meal, right?

Please do not be disappointed as I am about to share another one of my go-to meal-in-a-pot recipes - DIY Chinese hot pot (or Japanese shabu-shabu).

Traditional hot pot usually includes thinly sliced meats, wontons, mushrooms, seafood, noodles, assorted vegetables, cooked in simmering broth and eaten with a few choices of dipping sauces.  My DIY hot pot is much simpler, and of course, done in less than 30 minutes.  Music to this home cook's ears!


Assorted frozen seafood balls or rolls (any kind you like, I buy DoDo brand) - fish, squid, prawn, lobster, cuttlefish
Kani (Japanese crab stick)
Firm tofu
Meats - sukiyaki cut beef and/or pork slices
Seafood - Shrimp, fish fillet
Vegetables - Chinese cabbage, watercress, onions
Corn kernels
Noodles - vermicelli (glass rice noodles) or flat rice noodles (pho/Vietnamese noodles)
2 liters broth - chicken base, or sate base (use chicken bullion/cubes if you don't have homemade broth)
seasoning (I used Braggs Liquid Aminos)
sesame oil

Dipping sauce:
Hot chili sauce, hoisin sauce, chili-garlic

To prepare:
Boil at least 2 liters of water / broth in a large pot.
Sort all the food items you wish to include in your pot.  Set dipping sauces on the table.
(It may include some or all of the above list, depending on what you prefer, or even add more, like chicken, mushrooms, taro, corn on the cob -- but this takes a little longer to cook)

To cook:
In boiling water, dissolve the chicken cubes.  Add some liquid seasoning and adjust to your taste.
Start putting in the seafood balls.
After about 5 minutes, add the meats, veggies and the noodles. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
Finally, add corn kernels, tofu, kani, and other fresh seafoods you have, and simmer for 2 minutes.
Pour a drops of sesame oil and mix everything.

Serve with the whole pot on the table.  If you have a portable single burner, you can cook everything on the table as you do in restaurants.

Adjust the amount of broth to the quantity of food you will put in.  
Buy small packs of assorted frozen seafood balls, and slice a small amount of meat.  
Consider the number of people sharing the pot so just cook what you can consume.  
Leftovers can be reheated the following day.

As you can see, these are three different Instagram photos taken on separate occasions.  Those were the only items I had in my freezer and ref at that time.  Don't be forced to buy all the food items - just get what you want for the mix.  Look at my bowl below.  I only had squid balls, prawn balls, kani, tofu, and Chinese cabbage.  The hot sauce is the perfect compliment to this serving of soup!

It's safe to say this is a healthy option for a family meal - no frying, no oil, no rice.  Next time you see another shot of this on my Instagram, you'll know I'm having those lazy days again and I need to put (good) food on the table pronto. =)   Hope you like hot pot meals!

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