La.Pi.S#7: Hot Pot

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Ever heard of Beijing hot pot? It is similar to the South-east Asian steamboat in concept but with a different flavor. Our local friends say it originates in Mongolia, and yeah, we’ve actually tried Mongolian hot pot (and barbecue) long time ago but just couldn’t really figure out the difference. Anyway, with a selection of thinly sliced meats, seafood and vegetables leisurely cooked in the middle of your dining table, hot pot is very popular in Beijing during the harsh winter season as it warms your body the same way as their Chinese wine. Coming from this part of the world (and summer at that time!) to the chilly temperature of China’s capital last Christmas season, I just couldn’t get enough of this hearty, soupy comfort.

That’s how it looks before it gets heated. Don’t tell me what’s in it as I am as clueless as you are. I know it’s bland at this point and the yummy goodness comes from what goes in afterwards.

Condiment can be anything but I love this one that has peanut flavor in it…

Thin slices of meat such as lamb (as shown above), beef and chicken…

Hope you like tofu as I do…


Mushrooms and veggies galore!

Even rice noodles.

Isn’t it great to be able to chat with your friends while cooking and enjoying your food in the middle of your dining table? Just be sure to use a separate set of chopsticks for raw food and have slotted serving spoons ready for fishing out the goodies.

This is actually something that you can try at home. I was invited for a hot pot lunch at a friend’s home few months ago. Two types of base soup were served – one is Chinese hot pot flavor and the other one is… tada! Sinigang soup! At siya pa ang mas popular sa dalawa!

Para sa Lasang Pinoy, Sundays #7 – Soup.

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I am not a professional cook. My only claim to having a culinary background is a short stint as my dad’s teen ‘sous chef’ in his carinderia ages ago. Dad ran small eateries since I was a young kid - serving standard ‘turo-turo’ food ranging from the likes of menudo, adobo, pritong isda, dinuguan, binagoongan, bopis, munggo, pinakbet and giniling to merienda fares like goto, ginataan, pancit bihon, halu-halo and saging con yelo.

My father, a farmer in his hometown before working his way to becoming an accountant, definitely influenced my cooking in a lot of ways than I thought. My siblings and I were raised in a backyard full of fruit trees and vegetable garden. We spent weekends and the summer breaks running around with ducks, chickens, goats and pigs. I had wonderful memories of gathering eggs, butchering chickens, selling vegetables and the sweet aroma of preserved fruits. But my love for art led me to a degree in Architecture. Just few months after getting my license, I went abroad and lived independently at age 23. Definitely no maid, no cook, and a totally different food culture. Along the way I met lots of friends and spent what seemed a lifetime learning new tricks and recipes.

Now living in Auckland, I am a work-from-home mum who juggles time between work, fun and family - in pursuit of work-life balance. No matter how busy I am, I love the idea of cooking for my family. My blog chronicles home cooking greatly influenced by life outside my home country from Southeast Asia to Beijing and Auckland. And most of the time, being busy also means easy (sometimes quick), affordable meals.

2 thoughts on “La.Pi.S#7: Hot Pot

  1. so Chinese yun friend mo and she had sinigang soup? ayos! i remember our steamboat days! jan ata ako nag-umpisang manaba noon and of course swensens:) tama ba? haha!
    re: mrlinky…onga ano…cge let’s give it a try again next week…syempre pa espesyal ang theme next week:)hehehe

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