The weather has been very depressing lately. For the last two weeks, like clockwork, it would pour in the evening much to the chagrin of my husband because it’s rush-hour and the rain just makes the traffic jam worse. My only few complaints with this rain are that my plants are looking a bit overwatered and clothes don’t dry as fast as I’d like them to. But in retrospect, it is nice to be a SAHM when days like these just get on everybody’s nerves.
So, to counter the damp, cold weather…a hotpot dinner is not far away. My husband and I were walking in the shopping mall one day and we passed this hotpot eatery or steamboat, it was filled with people…although that place might not have the best steamboat…I guess it’s just automatic that people are longing for this dish considering the weather predicament.
I know it looks kinda foamy on top, I spent 10 mins trying to skim
off the foam but gave up in the end for the sake of chasing the natural light
to take this photo, the foam does settle after
an hour so you don’t have to go through all the trouble with a skimmer.
Two things are important to me in a hotpot meal….the soup stock (it has to be good and flavourful or else it defeats the purpose) and the dipping sauces. My problem has never been with the stock but I prefer to have some chilli based dipping sauce to eat my meats with. The other stuff that goes into the hotpot is really up to your imagination.
Since it’s just two of us eating, we stuck to the simple basics of chicken, beef, eggs, tofu and vege (above). If you want to make it even more special, you can add seafood. I did some research, raided my fridge and came up with this recipe for a homemade chilli dipping sauce. This is really something I threw together from my pantry hoard. Of course it’s not like I just mixed some tom, dick and harry ingredients and crossed my fingers hoping it’d work but I just happen to have some green bird’s eye chillies in the fridge.
Bird’s eye chillies are really, really hot so I didn’t dare taste it from the blender at first because the minute I opened the lid, the aroma just pierced through my nose to the back of my throat. It is THAT potent! Haha! I think under ideal circumstances, I would use normal green chillies or red chillies but this worked out wonderfully! We had a great simple hotpot meal. My husband was super stoked at the chilli although we had to mix it with some light soy sauce and sesame oil just to offset the roaring heat a bit. Still, what a treat to sit in your own house and have some nice steamboat. It almost distinguished the exasperation of being stuck in the jam…….ALMOST. 😛
GREEN CHILLI HOTPOT DIPPING SAUCE
A rice bowl-full of green bird’s eye chillies (or use normal green chillies)
6 – 7 cloves of garlic, peeled
3 rose shallots
Half a handful of coriander, with stalks
Juice of 3 limes
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
4 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon Shaoxing wine
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
3 tablespoons water
1. Put everything in a liquidiser or blender and whizz till you have a semi-thick mixture. I know it’s dangerous to ask you to taste it but try if you can and adjust anywhere where that’s necessary to your preference.
2. Eat plain or mixed with some light soy sauce and sesame oil for hotpot. You can replace the bird’s eye chilli for normal chillies.
Enjoy! It’s gonna be fiery!