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 Steamboat Recipe


  • 8 Chinese dried mushrooms, soaked in warm water

  • 1.5 litres6 1/4 cups well-flavored chicken stock

  • 10ml/2 tsp rice wine

  • 10ml/2 tsp sesame oil

  • 225g/8oz each lean pork and rump (round) steak, thinly sliced

  • 1 skinless boneless chicken breast portion, thickly sliced

  • 2 chicken livers, trimmed and sliced

  • 225g/8oz raw prawns (shrimp), peeled

  • 450g/1lb white fish fillets, skinned and cubed

  • 200g/7oz fish balls (from Asian food stores)

  • 115g/4oz fried tofu, each piece halved

  • leafy green vegetables, such as lettuce, Chinese leaves, spinach leaves and watercress, cut into 15cm/6in lengths

  • 225g/8oz Chinese rice vermicelli

  • 8 eggs

  • 1/2 bunch spring onions (scallions), chopped

  • salt and ground white pepper

  • soy sauce, chili sauce, plum sauce and hot mustard, to serve

Serves 8


  1. Drain the mushrooms, reserving the soaking liquid in a large pan. Cut off and discard the stems; slice the caps finely.

  2. Add the stock to the pan, with the rice wine and sesame oil. Bring to the boil, season, then reduce to a simmer.

  3. Put the meat, seafood, fish balls, tofu, green vegetables and mushrooms in bowls on the table with the sauces.

  4. Soak the vermicelli in hot water for 5 minutes, drain and place in eight soup bowls. Crack an egg for each diner in a small bowl; place on a side table.

  5. Add the spring onions to the stock, bring to the boil and fuel the steamboat. Pour the stock into the moat.

  6. Each guest cooks the foods of his choice in the hot stock, using chopsticks or fondue forks. When all the ingredients have been cooked, pour the stock into the bowls of noodles.

  7. Slide an egg into each bowl and stir so that the egg cooks and forms threads, then serve.

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