Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Twelfth Recipe For Christmas

Steamboat- The Pièce de résistance

Recipe No 12: 
Chinese Food is a great favourite for family celebrations and festivals because although it takes a while to prepare, the result is always a healthy, delicious option that leaves one feeling satisfied and smug at having pulled off another culinary feat. The Steamboat is the best option for special occasions as the ingredientsc can be prepared the day before and the guests have fun choosing their food at the table, cooking it themselves and eating it immediately. The Steamboat is a unique experience and more so when it is for the first time. This tantalising Chinese meal, with an array of ingredients and flavours remains a firm favourite to this day.
2 litre Stock: This is the basic requirement and you can make it any which way you like- from scratch or with soup cubes and other seasoning like I did. Some celery, minced ginger, 2 cloves minced garlic, a few slices tomato, chilli flakes, 2 chicken soup cubes, some sliced carrots and thick stems of any greens. Bring to the boil on the gas stove and then transfer to the Steamboat as you will save a lot of time.
Dipping Sauces:  Soy Sauce :Slice Chillies and soak overnight in a mixture of light soy sauce and vinegar to taste;
Red Chilli Sauce : Blend to a rough consistency 5 red, dried chillies, a small piece of ginger, 2 cloves garlic, 1 tsp sesame seed oil and salt to taste. Personally we don’t feel the need for dipping sauces as the Steamboat on its own is absolutely delicious.
100gms Plain Noodles; 100 gms Glass Noodles; 200gms Sliced Chicken Breast ;200gms Boneless Fish Fillet, cut into four pieces; Beef Fillet (Optional), sliced ; 20 Prawns, deveined, tails intact; 50 gms Corn Kernels; Carrots Sliced; 50gms Cabbage ,Shredded; A Bunch Of Greens, wahed and cut into 1” pieces; Soft Bean Curd, sliced ; 2 Bean Curd Sheets (If Available), broken; Fried Bean Curd Puffs- soak in hot water to remove excess oil and drain before using .
And Of Course the all Important Steam Boat. I used an electric One, but there are other options.
Marinade For Seafood: 1 tsp sesame oil, 1 tbsp cornflour; salt & pepper to taste; 1 tbsp red wine or sherry. If you don’t have red wine use apple cider vinegar. When marinading prawns add 1 tsp brown sugar. Marinade overnight.
Marinade For Meats: 1 tsp sesame oil; 1 tbsp cornflour; 1 tbsp rice wine- optional (can use apple cider vinegar); salt & pepper to taste. Marinade overnight.
Place the Steamboat in the middle of the table and arrange all the other ingredients around it. Keep your spoons, forks, strainers, tongs and ladles at the ready. Switch on the Steamboat and once the stock starts simmering, start adding the ingredients of your choice to the stock, dish it out and start eating your gourmet meal. Keep replenishing the stock as required. (I keep a kettle of water simmering on the gas stove). Dip the food in the sauces if you like. This is a fantastic way to break the ice and by the time the feast is over, everyone is friends for life. I remember the first time I had Steamboat and it made a lasting impression on me.
Wishing everyone a Joyous Christmas and may you be blessed with peace, health and happiness always.

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