Feb. 7th, 2011

miko2: Ranma disguised as a schoolgirl to fool Ryoga (Default)
Hot Pot

A lot of anime shows have scenes or stories where the characters share a "hot pot" meal. This is apparently a popular and cheap communal dinner, where meat and vegetables are cooked in a boiling pot in the center of the table. Shows such as Ouran High School Club make a big deal of this being something to do in the Winter, especially for the lower or middle class.

On several occasions I've wanted to try something like this, and I ran across it again in the show Princess Jellyfish, where the poor otaku have a once-a-week hot pot meal. Anyway, it put me in the mood to try that again. Since it was a cold day, and Superbowl Sunday (never mind that I wasn't watching the game), I decided to do it.

According to the web, "hot pot" is basically Chinese/Japanese/Asian for "stew". Typically, however, the various veggies and meat are cooked quickly and then removed from the pot and eaten with various dipping sauces. Meat is usually very thinly sliced and kept frozen until cooking, so that it curls up when cooked -- similar to the meat you get at a Mongolian grill, I guess. Noodles are also a popular addition.

For my purposes I picked up a packet of beef strips designed for stir fry, and a wide variety of vegetables -- carrot, turnip, potato, daikon radish, green onion, bell pepper, green beans, a few brussell sprouts, white mushrooms and portabella mushroom. I wasn't able to cook at the table, of course, but I set up a pot on the stove with beef broth and spices, sliced up my vegetables, and once it was boiling I began placing things in it and then removing them when I thought they had cooked long enough. In hindsight I overcooked most of the veggies, but it was still okay. I also left a lot of things too long, so they were unwieldy with chopsticks. I had way too much daikon radish.

I also added some small frozen precooked shrimp. Larger shrimp, not precooked, would have been much better, but this is something I already had in the freezer.

For sauces I had a spicy sesame oil, a spicy Tabasco soy sauce, some Jack Daniels horseradish mustard, some barbeque sauce, and some "peanut sauce" made with peanutbutter, water and oil. I also had some pickled ginger on hand. I made good use of my assorted little sauce dishes that I've collected from Uwajamaya. I think I probably need one or two more. ^_^

The final results made a pretty large and mostly healthy meal and also today's lunch. I think if I do it again I need to be more careful to not cook stuff so long, and to cut things into easier-to-handle-by-chopstick pieces. Also it'd be fun to do it with an actual pot designed to be used at a table -- and do it with other people. I bet you could buy one of those at Uwajamaya, but I don't know if it would be worth the expense given how often I might use it. Maybe I should try to figure out if there's a restaurant in the area that does that kind of thing.

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miko2: Ranma disguised as a schoolgirl to fool Ryoga (Default)
miko2

December 2012

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