On Saturday, I decided to have a get together with my family for a steamboat lunch. I had seen an episode (actually many episodes of it) of Kylie Kwang’s Cooking with Heart and Soul’s Steamboat Recipe. During the Chinese New Year period, I bought an electric steamboat at Giant, together with the many hundreds of Chinese families who were busy buying their ingredients and carrying the same electric steamboat as me. I even remember the pleasant small talk with the couple right in front of me at the check-out counter. They were so pleased I was buying one, thinking that I too would be celebrating the New Year and proceeded to tell me the merits of eating steamboat. 

Anyway, I searched the internet and found Kylie’s recipe here. I followed her recipe, omitting all those that called for Shaoxing wine, and some Australian concoction called ‘Chinese BBQ sauce’. 

The little steamboat party was a success! The only problem was, I felt sick at the end of the day. I’m not much of a seafood person so by dinner time, eating the same thing again, made me feel rather queasy. I understand now why my Chinese friends only do this elaborate steamboat thing once a year. And this year will be the last year I’ll ask students to write in their journals of their New Year Celebrations. I won’t be salivating at the mention of steaming broth and tons of raw seafood and meat for a long long time. 

Prepare the broth by boiling lemongrass, garlic cloves, spring onions and sliced ginger for an hour before transferring into the electric steamboat when the guests arrive.

 

Some of my many many ingredients for the steamboat.

 

Boiling choice ingredients in the broth

 

Lots and lots of green leafy vegetables

 

I think I overkilled the whole dish. There was an overabundance of food, and my colleagues told me I should never have followed Kylie’s recipe. They would always serve steamboat un-marinated and with plain rice. But no, I made ginger fried rice. And I baked chicken wings Chinese-style. Here’s a list of the food I served that day.

1. Ginger Fried Basmati Rice

2. Chinese-Style Baked Chicken Wings

3. Steamboat

a) boiled quail eggs

b) tofu

c) taupok

d) Shitake mushrooms

e) A huge plate of green leafy vegetables (Bai Cai)

f) Squid (marinated in de-seeded red chilli, oil and sugar and salt)

g) Cod Fish Slices (marinated in chopped coriander stems, oil, sugar, fish sauce)

h) Shabu-Shabu Beef (marinated in szechuan peppercorns and salt)

i) prawns

j) mussels

k) baby corn

l) fried ngoh hiang and some other tofu-like with filling thing (from NTUC)

m) fishballs

n) roasted sliced duck breast (frozen, from NTUC)

It was fun nonetheless and I wish Last Aunt and her brood could be here with us. Next time then. (But not steamboat)