How to steamboat {Part 1 of 2}

Sorry if I have disappointed you but this is not a post on how to turn your date sexy and sweaty. I do try to keep my blog PG-13 rated you know. ;)

But for me I call it the Chinese fondue. For most people, chocolate fondue is the first thing that came to mind. But instead of the luscious decadent melted chocolate, you’ll get chicken broth; instead of the vibrant strawberries, banana bread and pillowy marshmallows, you’ll get the vibrant green of chinese vegetables, fish and meatballs and the pillowy tofu. Japanese called it shabu shabu, some Chinese call it a hot pot and for Malaysian Chinese, we call it steamboat.

FYI – despite its name, no boat is involved in this culinary experience (so there is no eating on the boat, under a boat or with a boat).

{The Setup – the table settings for steamboat. I like to section my vegetarian ingredients on one side and the meat stuff on the other. And the soup on top of a portable gas burner/electric burner in the middle.}

{Portions are for 4 people}

Process #1 – Make the broth because it requires time to allow the flavour from the chicken to infuse the broth.

What you’ll need for the broth are:-

  • 1 kg of chicken drumsticks (see Note 1)
  • A thumb sized fresh ginger, peeled and cut into 2 to 3 pieces
  • 2 kettle full of hot boiling water (see Note 2)
  • 2 dashes of ground white pepper

Note 1: Some people may prefer to use chicken carcasses. But I find chicken drumsticks will result in less scum in the soup plus there’s not much price difference between chicken carcasses and drumsticks where I shopped.

Note 2: Only if you want to speed up the cooking process. Otherwise, tap water is fine.

Instead of going through the process of making clear chicken broth, you can buy pre-made soup base in a packet (which is meant for steamboat/hot pot) from the Asian supermarket. I have never use it before so I can’t tell you if it’s going to be good or not but I know some of my friends use them and it saves them the hassle of making soup from scratch.

 {The Broth}

Let’s get started:-

(1) Use the largest pot you have, wash the chicken drumsticks under running tap water and drained. Add recently boiled water and cook over high until it boils, uncovered. (2) Use a ladle to skim the foamy scum. You will have to let it boil fairly vigorously as it makes the scum-skimming process a lot easier (i.e. the scum will stick together) at the same time, be careful it doesn’t overboil. You have the skim the scum a couple of times until the soup is pretty clear. (3) Add ginger into the soup and let it simmer over low heat for 1 to 2 hours. Keep topping up with water to get a full pot of soup. Season with salt and 2 tbsps crispy garlic and its infused oil (see below) after the cooking time.

Note – I allow the soup to simmer uncover while preparing other things for the steamboat. I reckon I simmered the soup for a good two hours.

Process # 2 – Make crispy garlic infused oil {my favourite way to add flavour to a clear chicken broth}

What you’ll need:-

  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled & finely chopped
  • 3 tbsps cooking oil

 {My secret ingredient to make a flavourful clear chicken broth.}

Let’s get started:-

(1) In a small saucepan, add oil and garlic. (2) Over medium heat, fry the garlic until it begins to sizzle. Reduce the heat to low and let it fry until crispy and golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside.

TO BE CONTINUED… (with the side dishes and how to make you own dipping sauce) – Part 2 is now up! :)

 
7 Responses to How to steamboat {Part 1 of 2}
  1. abby @ thingsforboys
    June 17, 2012 | 3:46 am

    Can’t wait for part 2! My Aunty makes steamboat and it’s amazing! I’ve never attempted it myself

    • Emily
      June 17, 2012 | 1:49 pm

      Hi Abby,

      It’s a bit of hard work in my mind….I could have over-engineered it because I want everything to be homemade…but it totally worth the trouble. Hehe! Hope this will motivate you to try it.

  2. Jane Salves
    June 17, 2012 | 12:41 pm

    Hi Emily! I’ve been following all your yum recipes for a while and love your site. However this steamboat receipe is kind of unappetizing and maybe it’s just me but I do t like mixing all sorts of raw food together! Anyway hope to see more normal stuff soon!

    • Emily
      June 17, 2012 | 1:46 pm

      Hi Jane,
      I totally understand how you feel as my beloved is not used to it either. It’s something I grow up with, which I happen to enjoy. The good news is normal stuff will be back tomorrow. ;)
      Thanks for your feedback.

  3. Kim
    June 18, 2012 | 5:57 am

    Thanks so much for this series. We do steamboat at home but my mother does it differently from my grandmother and etc. so it’s always a bit confusing.

    We usually just add some stock cubes to stock that’s made from chicken bones to flavour it, I’ll definitely be trying your way next time as I’m not such a big fan of stock cubes.

  4. Gina
    February 16, 2014 | 6:05 am

    So I just went out to have shabu shabu, and the weekend before I had Vietnamese lau – now I want to try this hot pot! The broth looks delicious.

  5. […] Manis, I’ve never bought it again and I can’t wait to find an excuse to try out her Steamboat. It’s definitely not a blog to look at when you’re hungry. If only there was a such […]

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