Centuries ago when Mongol horsemen rode across Asia, those fearless warriors never bothered carrying cooking utensils.
They rigged their shields over campfires to sear meat and nestled upturned helmets in the embers to simmer soup.
The Chinese emperors built the Great Wall of China to keep the invaders, but the allure of the simmering broth had already won them over.
Hot Pot became one of China's signature dishes and Mongolian Hot Pot traveled further than the Mongols themselves ever did.
The earliest Mongolian hot pots simply held water. But as the dish spread to other parts of the country, it picked up local ingredients and embellishments.
In the Southern part of China, seafood and vegetables are the main ingredients for hot pot. In the winter seasons, when chilly temperatures and frigid winds prevail over the land, the people liked to eat food that instantly warms their bodies and lifts their spirits.
For that, the hot pot is a delicious and hearty choice. Families and groups of friends sit around a steaming pot in the middle, cooking and drinking and chatting.
Today, families and friends throughout Asia still gather around steaming hot pots to celebrate, socialize, and escape from the winter chill.
Like a backyard barbecue, hot pot is much a social event as is an excuse to fire up the charcoal. The meal can and should last for hours. A leisurely pace, good company, and lively conversation are as important as the cooking and eating.
Eating hot pot is a cheerful activity. It is cozy, yet formal. It is not a banquet, yet it can last as long as one. Hot pots are easy, healthy, versatile, and as much fun to cook as they are tasty to eat.
What do you need for Chinese style hotpot at home?
Electric hot pot cooker / electric wok / multi purpose cooker /steamboat with BBQ grill.
2 chicken carcasses
3.5 litre water
2 stalks spring onion
1 thumb size ginger - slice thinly
1 tbsp sugar
Salt & pepper to taste
1/ Wash the chicken carcasses and chop into smaller pieces.
2/ Bring some water to boil. Add in the chicken carcasses and let it boil for 5 min. Discard the water and rinse the chicken carcasses.
3/ Bring the 3.5 litre of water with ginger, spring onion and chicken carcasses. Let it boil in low heat for 45 mins. Use a ladle to skim the foamy scum, you have to skim a couple of times to get a clear broth.
4/ Add sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Keep aside.
Ingredients for hot pot
Boil 1/4 pot of water and blanch the cuttle fish, drain off the water and keep aside.
3 red chillies
3 bird eyes chillies
1 small tomato
1/2 inch toasted shrimp paste
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/ Remove the chillies seed and tomato seed. Cut into small pieces.
2/ Pound the chilies until very fine, add the tomato and shrimp paste pound and mixed well.
3/ Add salt and sugar to taste. Chill the balance sambal in the fridge.
Let's enjoy the hot pot dinner.
And for dessert....
Grilled banana split
1/ Peel off the bananas skin, rub with a bit of oil.
2/ Grill the bananas in a nonstick pan for about 5 to 6 minutes or until slightly brown.
3/ Put bananas into the serving plate. Dress up with 2 scoops of ice cream.
4/ Drizzle the melted chocolate on top the ice cream.
5/ Add toasted crush walnuts, peanuts butter chips and green tea kit kat chocolate.
6/ Serve immediately and continue to chat or gossip.
Malaysian outdoor restaurant that serve hot pot dinner, 'eat all you can' concept with 100 over varieties.
Have a fun week ahead. Cheers!