Winter Hot Pot with Beef & Seafood (Lau Ta Pin Lu)

This is one of my favorites to serve during the winter months, or week if you're from Houston, for a small gathering of friends and family. The cooking is done by each person so as the host, you just have to set some time out to prep. It's also so much fun to pick and choose which protein or veggies you want to dunk into the hot pot. Just call it your Asian fondue. Also remember that at the beginning, the broth is not as flavorful but as you go on with the "fondue-ing" it will get more and more intense. This recipe of mine is super simple as well and perfect for this weekend's gathering. You can have as many or as few seafood, meats and veggies as you see fit. That's the beauty of this dish, you can add anything you like. Enjoy!

Winter Hot Pot with Beef and Seafood
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Hot Pot seafood and meats

RECIPE for 6-8 servings

Fresh veggies, select a few variety of your favorites:
1 lb spinach leaves
1 lb of bok choy, ung choy, kale and/or other leafy greens
1 lb of napa/kimchi cabbage 

Fresh tofu & mushrooms:
2 pkgs of fresh tofu, cut into 2-inch cubes
2 handfuls of button, enoki, and/or shitake

Noodles:
1 pkg of fresh egg noodle - cook them according to package. Drizzle with 1 tbs of sesame oil and 1 tbs of oyster sauce and mix well. Top with diced green onion and crispy shallot. Use scissors to precut the noodles for easy serving.

3-4 servings of clear/mung bean noodle - soak them in warm water for 10 mins and then drain them before serving 

Fresh Beef and Seafood:
2 lbs of slice beef round, ask your butcher to slice them thin for "table side cooking"
1/2 of each of these "balls", available in the freezer section: lobster, shrimp, fish, cuttlefish, 
fish tofu squares, and even beef meat balls. 
1 lb of fresh large shrimp, shelled and deveined with tail on

The Broth:
3-4 qts of chicken stock, and have 1 qt on the side to add to the pot as it cooks down 
2 tbs of oyster sauce for each qt of broth used
1 knob of ginger, about 3-fingers large, peeled and sliced thick 
1/2 small white onion, sliced thin
2 tbs of crispy shallot, store-bought
1 bunch of green onion, cut into 3-inch portion

Combine broth and all ingredients in the "hot pot" using the table side gas stove. Bring it to a boil first then lower the heat to a simmer for continuous cooking by your party.

Individual Dipping Sauce:
3 tbs of soy sauce
1 egg yolk, optional
Siracha or satay chili sauce, whichever you prefer as your "hot sauce"


How to set the table:
Include 3-4 small scoops and strainers (at your Asian knives/chopsticks aisle) for fishing out the cooked items. Assemble all the above items on plates and platters. If you have a long table, then provide the ingredients for both ends of the table, so everyone can have easy access to all the ingredients, including having two "hot pots".  Heat up the broth and start your meal with cooking the proteins first then the veggies. Keep an eye on your cooked items or they will be fished out by your neighbor! :)