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Prep1 hr 30 mins
Depending on the country of origin, this recipe is known by a variety of names, including "Steamboat", Chinese Fondue, Shabu-Shabu and Yosenabe. It makes for wonderful communal dining on a cold winter's night. The idea is to have a pot of simmering, seasoned broth at the table, into which fresh ingredients, including meat, seafood, tofu and vegetables, are dipped by each guest. Once cooked, the food is then dipped into a sauce of choice. Provide two sets of chopsticks per guest, one pair for dipping the ingredients into the broth, the other pair for dipping the cooked items into the sauces and for eating. You can, alternatively, provide each guest with a small wire mesh for dipping the food into the broth to cook. Adjust the type and amount of ingredients to suit your taste. Some other ideas include thinly sliced beef, fish balls, scallops, meat balls, chicken livers, squid, and broccoli. Serve with your choice of dipping sauces (see recipe for Imperial Fondue Dipping Sauces), for example, Chinese Mustard, Wasabi , Ginger Soy, Sesame Soy, Miso, Peanut, and Sweet & Sour, or use commercial brands of sauces. For cooking time, allow at least two hours for eating and conversation!
- 3⁄4 lb boneless skinless chicken, cut in bite-size chunks
- 3⁄4 lb white fish fillet, cut in bite-size chunks
- 3⁄4 lb large shrimp, shelled
- 1⁄2 head Chinese cabbage, coarsely cubed into 2 inch pieces
- 1 bunch fresh spinach, stemmed
- 1 large carrot, sliced
- 2 cups fresh mushrooms (button, shiitake, straw)
- 4 -6 scallions, sliced in 2 inch diagonal lengths
- 1 lb firm tofu, cut in bite-sized cubes (optional)
- 6 eggs, 1 per person (optional)
- 1 lb udon noodles or 1 lb soba noodles or 1 lb cellophane noodle
- freshly steamed rice
For the broth
- 8 cups dashi or 8 cups chicken broth
- 1⁄4 cup soy sauce
- 1⁄4 cup sake or 1⁄4 cup dry sherry
- 1 tablespoon gingerroot, minced
- Prepare the chicken, seafood, vegetables, and tofu ahead of time, then refrigerate until needed.
- When ready to eat, arrange all the ingredients attractively on one or more platters and bring to the table.
- Arrange the noodles on a separate platter.
- Place sauce (s) of choice into suitabably sized bowls.
- Combine the dashi or chicken broth, soy sauce, sake or sherry and ginger, in some form of communal cookware that can be placed on the table, for example, an electric wok, stainless steel fondue pot, or Mongolian cooker, and bring to the boil.
- To cook, each person dips an ingredient of choice (except the noodles) into the broth, and when done to liking, dips their portion into a sauce and eats it with rice.
- The broth may need topping up, throughout the meal, to replenish the evaporating'fondue'.
- Traditionalists poach eggs in the broth after all the other ingredients are eaten, placing the cooked eggs over a final bowl of rice.
- Lastly, add the noodles to the remaining broth, cook until tender, then eat as soup.