Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Happy Family Hot Pot

I am in love with this soup. It is so refreshing, so pretty and so tasty! I don’t claim that this recipe is an authentic Thai hot pot, as I have never even been to Thailand. But I used many of the same ingredients as are found in that country’s classic recipes.
All of the work is in the preparation-- cooking time is short, so it’s great to make (mostly) ahead for company. There are a lot of ingredients, but they can all easily be found in a good grocery store and truly, this soup is worth it.

1 tin diced tomatoes (with juice)
4 cups chicken broth (bullion and water are okay)
3 shallots, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
Zest of two limes, minced
2-3 Thai hot red peppers (this will result with a mild flavor, add more for spicier), trimmed, seeds removed and minced
2-3 stalks lemon grass, trimmed and minced
500 ml (or a 14 ounce tin) coconut milk
Juice of 1 and ½ limes
2 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup Nuoc Man (fish sauce) If you are not familiar with fish sauce, try it, don’t be put off by the fact that it smells like rotten fish heads-- it makes this dish and tastes excellent. Find it in the Asian food aisle
4 ounces rice noodles (for low carb, this can be omitted)
1 small, lean sirloin steak, sliced thin
1 chicken breast, sliced thin
6 ounces thick, mild white fish fillet, cut into chunks
6 large shrimp, sliced in half lengthwise
Small bunch fresh cilantro/koriander, roughly chopped
Small bunch fresh basil, roughly chopped

1) Put everything, up to the rice noodles into a large pot, cover and bring to a simmer (not a boil) for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally

2) In a separate pot, bring water to a boil. When it boils, remove from the heat and place the dry rice noodles into the water. Allow them to steep for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain, douse with a bit of vegetable oil and hold until ready to serve. If you want to avoid the oil, just don’t make the noodles until you are ready to put the hot pot together, drain them and put them directly into bowls.

3) 10 minutes before serving, bring the soup up to a strong simmer (but not a boil). Put the steak and chicken in and stir. Cover and cook at a simmer for 5 minutes, then add the fish and shrimp, cover and cook again for 5 minutes. At the very end, stir in the cilantro and basil. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.

4) To serve, place a small mound of drain rice noodles in a bowl and ladle soup on top.

Serves 4-6

1 comment:

Dyanne said...

You write very well.