Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Memorable Meals: Hot Pot Comfort Food

Anne: When I say winter comfort food, what do you think of?
Mike: Soup.
Anne: Really? Soup? Isn't soup an all year round thing?
Mike: It's what I think of as comfort food.

Soup is Mike's comfort-go-to-food. All kinds. He's got mad soup making skills too. One of his favorite things to do is look at what's in the fridge and make a soup. Soup, to me is a several hours, mega-pot, steamy window, Sunday morning, all-in-one-meal kind of thing. So when we were invited to a Thai-Style Sate Hot Pot Dinner at my parents' house on a cold winter night, I knew this would be a meal Mike would turn to me and say "why haven't we eaten this yet?" 

Hot Pot is a group/individual build-your-own feast with a variety of proteins and lots of vegetables. The "Hot Pot" is a simmering pot of broth in the middle of the table where everyone just adds what proteins/vegetables they want, then when done to whatever consistency you prefer, scoop up your proteins/veggies into your individual bowl, add egg noodles if you like, more broth if you like and slurp away to your heart's content. Each bite/bowl can be as different or same as you like. It's a casually paced meal where we can chat/laugh/monitor each others' preferences (this time Mike really enjoyed shrimp, which isn't typical for him). There are many versions/broths of hot pot and this Thai-style sate hot pot absolutely hit the spot on this particular cold January night. The rich gravy like spicy broth was terrific with the seafood, beef, bitter frissee greens, bok choy and enoki mushrooms.

As the broth got less and less and became better and better from all the flavors building up with each additional piece of seafood or vegetable, we sat in awe as Mike finished up what seemed to be his 20th bowl. My dad on the other hand ate more greens than I have seen him eat in a long time.  And before we knew it we were slurping up the last of the broth and rubbing our bellies with delight. This was seriously a memorable winter meal. 

Table set for some Hot Pot
Hot Pot Stick
We were each given a fondu pick so we'd know who's addition to the hot pot was whose.

Hot Pot Fixings
Sate Hot Pot
You better believe I took great pains to scoop up that piece of bok choy with the sate broth suspended inside.

Hot Pot Table
Soup Ladle
These ladles were a score for only $1.50! Purchased at awesome Japanese $1.50 store Daiso during a visit to Seattle when my sis was still in college! The base keeps the ladles upright and caught all the drips of broth.

Veggie Platter
Lau Sate

As I look back on these pictures I can literally feel the meal in my mouth, throat and belly. Thanks again ME & BA for another memorable meal.

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