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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Vietnamese Seafood Hot Pot

 This is in no way meant to be a "traditional" Vietnamese soup, but more of a spin-off of things that I've eaten. My husband's mom was born and raised in Vietnam and she's been teaching me to cook for some time now. That being said, the best Vietnamese dishes that I make are the ones that I follow exactly. This one was sort of trial and error. Learn from my mistakes. :)
I wanted to make a hot pot at home after buying this awesome pot at the Asian market but I wasn't sure how. I decided to wing it. Here goes....Plain old chicken broth for the stock. I tried make soup from pork bones a few days ago but it was way too greasy, even after I continually skimmed and chilled. Down the sink it went!

The pic is of the chicken broth at a rolling boil.
I cut the tomatoes and blanched them in the broth, then I ran some cold water over them and removed the skins. 
 I put in the seafood and the onions. The seafood I had was a medley of mussels, octopus, shrimp, scallops, & calamari.  I added the cabbage, mushrooms, cilantro, nuoc mam, and juice of the limes. I used a slotted spoon to put the food into the hot pot and then ladled in the broth. 

Lighting the charcoals in the pot was hilarious. This particular pot has a hole in the middle where charcoal goes. You light it and it keeps the pot warm. When the charcoal turns to ashes, it falls down through the holes into the bottom and you just dump it out. Sounds easy, right? I think my first mistake was buying Match Light charcoals, my 2nd mistake was adding too many coals, third mistake was forgetting to put the lid before lighting. I put those coals in, lit a match and whoosh! a giant flame came bursting out of the top!! Haha! I wish I had a picture, that flame had to be about 4 foot high! Anyway, here's my finished product. 

What would I do differently? Well, since you asked....I would omit the scallops altogether, they made the overall dish very fishy. I would add crab. I would NOT use the pre-made medley again. The seafood was all so tiny! I would add broccoli or other vegetables and maybe some thin sliced pork or beef. What would you add?

If you like Vietnamese food, stay tuned, I will be adding a tutorial on traditional Cha Gio in the future.

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