Chinese Fire Pot 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! You can add other seafood, meats and vegetables. This is what the Tsai family ate.
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  • Total: 45 min
  • Prep: 45 min
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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


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

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)


Special equipment:
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
  1. 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.