Birthday Hot Pot

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Hot pot is a style of cooking that originated in Mongolia, China. Due to Japanese influence, we now have the popular sukiyaki and shabu-shabu. It consists of a simmering pot of stock at the center of the dining table; ingredients are gathered round the simmering pot, and thinly sliced beef sirloin or pork belly, noodles, seafoods and leafy vegetables are cooked at the table, and eaten with a dipping sauce during wintertime. Nowadays, people come up with their own home versions of hot pot as this is usually very expensive when served at restaurants. I know of my co-worker who served some delicious hot pot at her house, and I watched a video online on how a young lady showed us the correct way of preparing a Taiwanese hot pot. It is kind of tedious as we need to bake some of the ingredients first as a base for the flavorful broth. I went to a butcher and asked for Australian Wagyu beef but the owner said that it has to be ordered in advance so I ordered some sirloin instead. Check out the numerous ingredients below…

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INGREDIENTS:

2 lbs. meaty beef bone or oxtail

1 lb. meaty pork bone

1 lb. meaty lamb bone

2 inch slices of  ginger

1 long Daikon (sliced into 2 inch cubes)

1 huge carrot (quartered)

2 celery ribs (sliced into 2 inch)

4 bayleaves

1 tsp. black peppercorns (coarsely pounded)

3 tomatoes (quartered)

1 whole head garlic

1 cup  of shitake mushrooms (sliced)

1 huge red onion (quartered)

few pieces of star anise (optional but my preference)

 

ADD-ONS:

frozen fish balls

frozen crab squares

thinly sliced pork belly or thinly sliced beef short ribs

1 lb. of Australian Wagyu beef or thinly sliced beef Sirloin

1 lb. huge shrimps (heads and peels intact)

Vermicelli or any cellophane noodles

taro squares

Napa cabbage or Sweet King Bokchoy

A bunch of watercress

cilantro sprigs

a bundle of scallions

spinach

Enoki mushrooms

fried tofu

A tray of quail eggs (my idea and wash each egg very carefully)

Taiwanese tempura (like a fish cake)

Hot Pot Bean Curd Sheet (gives your hotpot bowl the added crunch)

Bull Head hot and spicy barbecue sauce

 

PROCEDURE:

1. Wash well the 3 kinds of meaty bones, trim off the fat and season with coarse sea salt,  drain on a colander and layer on a huge baking pan and add the onions, daikons, and carrots and crack some pepper from the peppermill then bake  at pre-heated oven at 450º for 3 minutes then roast for 1 hour or until the bones are roasted well and caramelized.

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2. Next, gather everything: roasted bones/meat and vegetables as celery, bay leaves, bottom of Napa cabbage, tomatoes, garlic, shitake mushrooms and peppercorns and star anise  into a pot. Cover the pot with enough water covering the ingredients (make sure that you rinse the baking dish and get the caramelized tidbits and add to the pot).  Leave top on but keep ajar and simmer for 6-24 hours. I did mine for only 6 hours. After an hour of simmering, pick up the flavorful, tender meat, set aside then return all the bones back to the pot.

3. Drain everything in a colander. Taste the broth first before seasoning generously with handful of salt. Drain the soggy vegetables  and put the drained soup in a crockpot in the middle of the dining table and set on high for 5-6 hours. Start assembling all the added ingredients for the hot pot like the following: fresh spinach, thin sliced of raw sirloin beef, sliced mushrooms, hot pot bean curd sheet, vermicelli, cellophane or rice noodles, fish balls, crab balls, Napa cabbage or sweet king bokchoy, thinly sliced pork belly, watercress, quail eggs, cilantro, scallions, Australian Wagyu beef, Enoki mushrooms, fried tofu, shrimps with heads, any type of seafood and taro squares. The add-ons are endless as long as the soup is continuously boiling; it is a good idea to continue boiling the soup in a crock-pot instead of a burning flame in the middle of the dining table as we know about some people’s mishaps before.

4. You may add different condiments as sweet chilli sauce, shrimp paste or fish sauce, but if you want the recipe for the sesame peanut sauce, I have it also for you but you need this Bull Head, hot and spicy barbecue sauce that you can buy from any Chinese supermarket……temporary

 

RECIPE/INGREDIENTS for SESAME PEANUT SAUCE:

quarter of  a cup of sesame seeds

2 Tbsp. soy sauce

1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar

1 Tbsp. sesame oil

1 Tbsp. honey

2 cloves garlic

2 tbsp. fresh ginger

juice of 1 lime or lemon

1 Tbsp. Chile flakes or less

peanut butter

cilantro sprigs

 

PROCEDURE:

Add all the ingredients in a food processor but lastly add the peanut butter gradually and the cilantro sprigs.

 

RECIPE/ INGREDIENTS for the ALTERNATE SIMPLE SAUCE:

2 raw eggs

scallions

some chopped yellow onions

quarter of a cup of Bullhead barbecue sauce

 

PROCEDURE:

Crack and beat 2 raw eggs, add chopped yellow onions, sliced scallions and quarter of a cup of Bullhead barbecue sauce. Mix them well together. Afraid of eating raw egg, we just mix a tablespoon of this Bull Head Barbecue Sauce with sliced scallions and a tablespoon of  finely chopped red onion and still amazingly spicy good. If you want a vegetarian version, you can make it by eliminating all the meat and use substitution then use a variety of vegetables and the Bull Head Barbecue sauce has a vegetarian option too, so easy to find in any Chinese supermarket.

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Some really great hot pot on my birthday, and thanks to all my co-workers, families, relatives, classmates  and friends who greeted me on my birthday. You can follow me now on Twitter and Instagram! Hooray!

-Peaches, Masarap!

Beef Wonton Mami

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Mami is a very popular soup containing noodles and chicken, or beef, or pork dumplings. It was originally prepared by Ma Mon Luk, a school teacher from Guangzhou, China who imigrated to the Philippines in 1918 and built his restaurant, named after himself in Quiapo, Metro Manila; it became an iconic Chinese restaurant in our country. Over the years, many people came up with different ways of preparing mami and had numerous choices of noodles. Let’s start preparing this famous soup!

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This is the well known wonton wrapper for the dumplings we are going to make. It is stretchable to a certain degree and we also need to learn how to correctly fold it so our fillings are secured inside the dumplings.

INGREDIENTS:

5 pieces stars anise

1 packet of 16 oz. Wonton wrapper

1 lb. beef (cut in squares)

yellow mami noodles (used Costco’s Organic millet and brown rice ramen instead)

10 cups filtered water

3 Tbsp. Better Than Bouillion beef base

a bunch of Bokchoy (soaked in water/drained)

a bunch of snap peas (trimmed)

bunch of scallions for garnish

Dumplings  Filling:

2 lbs. ground beef or pork

1/2 cup sliced scallions

1 tsp.each soy sauce and salt

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

3 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped finely

1 medium red onion (finely chopped)

thumb-sized ginger (crushed with garlic crusher, cut finely)

1/2 lb chopped shrimp

PROCEDURE:

1. Whisk beef base with 10 cups of filtered water until fully mixed, boil, and simmer and add star anise, skim off the scum on top and simmer for 30-45 minutes until beef is tender. Fish out the beef cubes into a bowl and set aside.

2. Mix in a moderate sized mixing bowl all of the ingredients for the dumplings filling then mix well with your washed, clean hands to distribute the flavor well.

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3. Lay on a plate a single Wonton wrapper and dip your index finger into a small bowl of water and wet all four sides of the wrapper and drop the filling in the middle of the wrapper.

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4. Gather the sides up into a triangle, pressing the top ends well, and add more water for a tighter seal. Also press the edges of all four sides to secure the filling inside.

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5. Then gather one end side into the middle, apply more water to seal, and pinch each side into the top until it resembles a full pouch, being careful not to break the wrapper as you do so. Pinch the top for a final seal.

6. After successfully using up all of the filling, turn the stove up, warm up the broth and when it starts to boil, drop the dumplings one by one very gently. Approximately within 2-3 minutes, the dumplings will float on top of the broth when already cooked, fish them very gently avoiding to break them. Put all the dry ingredients into individual bowls.

7. Boil water and add the Ramen Cakes when already boiling. In about a minute, separate gently the noodles with a fork,reduce heat to low.Continue cooking for 3 minutes or until the noodles are soft. Strain through a colander and rinse with cold water then drain again.

This is the assembly line for prepping your most flavorful Beef Wonton Mami.

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8. Assemble the noodles on the bowl, add pieces of beef, bockhoy, snap peas, dumplings and the very hot broth from the stove and sprinkle some sliced scallions on top. Eat while still piping hot.This soup will immediately warm your body and soul; it’s very filling and is usually served with  baozi or siopao , delicious sweet and savory Chinese steamed buns. Everybody visiting New York always has to pass by Mei Lei Wah to take home boxes of these steamed buns as giveaways to their friends and family. They are located at 64 Bayard St. Chinatown, NY. Ask for Roast Pork Bun, they are to die for, the other buns are too sweet for my taste.

As always, I am here to satisfy your tastebuds.

-Peaches, Masarap!

Sotanghon Vermicelli

 

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Since the coming days have started to become bitter cold, I decided to share this heart warming soup recipe from back home. Let’s get to it, but here’s a reminder that you can pick up the vermicelli noodles with these pretty chopsticks and slurp the soup with this white porcelain small soup ladle.

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 breast chicken or thigh

3 cloves garlic (smashed then sliced thinly)

1 cup julienned carrots

1 cup sliced celery

1 Tbsp. Olive oil

1 Tbsp. Fish sauce

1 onion, sliced thinly

half packet of Annatto powder (whisked with boiling broth until dissolved)

1/2 pound Vermicelli noodles (pre-soaked with hot water to soften, cut with kitchen shear into bite size)

10 cups of water boiled with 4 Tbsp. Better Than Boillion Seasoned Vegetable Base

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

some scallions, cilantro, and lime wedges

 

PROCEDURE:

1. After boiling water and Better Than Bouillon Base Broth, add in the chicken and cook until done, shred the chicken meat into bite-sized pieces, separate the meat from the broth.

2. Sauté the garlic with the olive oil in a wide pot on medium heat then followed with onions until translucent. Add the shredded chicken meat and add fish sauce, stir well, and sauté for 2-4 minutes.

3. Add the broth and the dissolved Annatto powder, boil until it simmers. Add the carrots, simmer for 3 minutes, then the celery and lastly the Vermicelli noodles stir well and simmer for another 2 minutes.

4. Ladle into a soup bowl, throw in some sliced scallions and cilantro leaves with a sliced lime on top to squeeze later.

So here it is folks, very good soup to serve for everybody coming home from the chilling cold outside. Immediate warmth is guaranteed.

-Peaches, Masarap!

“Sopas na Pabo” or Leftover Turkey/Penne Soup

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In our home country we call it “Sopas” but since we are adding turkey and not chicken we now call it “Sopas na Pabo.”

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INGREDIENTS:

Left-over turkey meat with bones

3 cloves garlic (minced)

1 medium red or yellow onion (sliced)

1 carrot (peeled and julienned)

1 cup celery (diced)

1/2 cup green cabbage (sliced very thinly)

2 pieces yellow and red mini peppers (sliced)

I tbsp. olive oil

filtered water to cover the turkey meat with bones

1/4 box penne

1 tbsp. fish sauce

salt and pepper to taste

A thumb sized amount of ginger (sliced very thinly)

1 small can of Vienna sausage (cut in small rounds)

Carnation Evaporated milk

 

PROCEDURE:

1. Boil leftover meat and bones in a huge stockpot with filtered water to cover for 1-2 hours throwing in 3 garlic cloves, 1 chopped celery, 2 yellow onions (quartered), 1 tablespoon of peppercorn, cubed half carrot. When done, pick huge pieces of meat, set aside for sautéing later, and discard the bones and sieve the stockpot liquid.

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2. Sauté minced garlic in soup pot with olive oil over medium heat, then add sliced onion, ginger, turkey meat, and Vienna sausage until meat is slightly brownish, then add the penne.

3. Add fish sauce and pepper to taste then add the sieved turkey broth.

4. Add carrots, celery, mini peppers, and cook for 2-3 minutes until vegetables are crunchy, season with black pepper. Serve immediately while still piping hot..

This soup will not only warm your body but your soul too.

– Peaches, Masarap!!!