Chinese Fire Pot with Fish Balls

This is the Chinese version of Swiss fondue, Korean BBQ, Japanese shabu-shabu, French raclette, etc. It is communal cooking and eating at[ its best. This recipe will create enough food for eight to 12 people, depending on appetite and cultural origin, i.e., we Chinese eat like there is no tomorrow. We would hate to leave this planet hungry!]

Total Time:
1 hr 5 min
Prep:
1 hr
Cook:
5 min

Yield:
8 to 12 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • You can add other seafood, meats and vegetables. This is what the Tsai family ate:
  • 2 pounds flank steak, sliced thinly against the grain
  • 2 pounds chicken breast, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound large shrimp, U-15's peeled and de-veined (15 shrimp per pound)
  • 20 fish balls
  • 2 pounds bay scallops
  • 3 packages soaked mung bean noodles
  • 4 Shanghai cabbage, whole leaves
  • 4 baby bok choy, whole leaves
  • 1 napa cabbage large chopped
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 1 pound shiitake mushrooms, de-stemmed
  • Boiling water
  • For the table, jars/small bottles of the following to make your own dipping sauce:
  • Samba Oelek
  • Peanut butter
  • Chinese sesame paste
  • Sesame oil
  • Oyster sauce
  • Rice wine vinegar
  • Shaoxing wine
  • Thin soy sauce
  • 2 cups chopped scallions
  • 2 cups chopped cilantro
  • Eggs (optional)
  • Equipment Needed:
  • Electric wok to keep cooking liquid boiling
  • Small Chinese strainers
  • Rice bowls and side plates
  • Chopsticks
  • Chinese spoons
  • Spoons for all of the above condiments
  • Huge appetite
  • Fish Balls:
  • 2 pounds Chilean sea bass or other fatty white fish
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 3 minced Thai bird chilies
  • 1/3 cup sliced scallions
Directions
For the table, jars/small bottles of the following to make your own dipping sauce:

Thread beef, chicken, shrimp, fishballs and scallops on wooden skewers and set aside. Combine water and chicken stock in an electric wok and bring to a boil. Add mung bean noodles, cabbage, bok choy and shiitake mushrooms. Place skewers in pot and cook according to individual taste. Ladle broth into bowls with skewered meats and seafood and serve with condiments.

Fish Balls:

In a food processor, puree fish with egg yolks until smooth. Add pepper, salt, sesame oil, fish sauce, and chilies; pulse processor a few times. Transfer mousse to a large, chilled bowl and fold in the scallions. Using a mixer, lift the egg whites to a stiff peak. Gently fold in the egg whites with the mousse. Cook a very small portion either in boiling water or in a microwave oven to verify seasonings. Using wet hands, make small balls (1-inch in diameter). Quickly blanch in salted boiling water for only 2 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.


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