Chinese New Year is approaching, which means the wave of reunion dinners, lo hei (tossing Chinese salads for good luck), and family gatherings are coming! It’s time to prepare some standard responses to the annual round of incessant questions from random Aunties and Uncles asking if you have a boy/girlfriend yet, when are you going to get married or when are you going to have kids. We understand your pain.
On a more pleasant note, one thing that most people look forward to (other than receiving red packets), could possibly be the endless rounds of steamboat enjoyed over hearty conversations with family and friends. The experience begins with everyone gathering around the dinner table where a huge pot of soup is simmering. Once the go ahead is given, it’s basically a free-for-all where everyone dunks their raw ingredients – meats, vegetables, seafood and noodles in the soup. It all becomes a blur as hands are all over the place, and food consumed as fast as they can be neatly arranged on the dinner table.
Everyone has their own interpretations of what the perfect steamboat is, but the team at Gryphon Tea Co. have come up with some secrets that we think make a perfect steamboat!
Here they are:
• Get a pot with a wide base that is not too deep. This ensures that everyone can dip their raw ingredients comfortably without overcrowding the pot
• Ensure there’s sufficient ladles and mesh ladles around so everyone can scoop out their cooked ingredients and soup when it’s ready!
• If you want to season your soup without the hassle of boiling chicken bones, you can cheat by getting Hai Di Lao’s soup base. Mix the paste into some hot water, and when it boils, everyone can start cooking
• Make sure to get fresh ingredients! Although your soup base may be delicious, having poor quality ingredients will not make your steamboat experience as enjoyable
• If you want to drink the soup without the fear of consuming the “unhealthy fats”, you can use a wire mesh ladle (specifically for skimming out oil and fats) to skim out the foamy parts which contains mostly fat and coagulated protein
• You can add noodles into the soup nearing the end of the meal after the soup has been infused with all the goodness from the various raw ingredients. Everyone can then end their steamboat experience with a delicious bowl of noodle soup! Yummy!
These are some secrets the team has gathered through personal experience and online research on creating the perfect steamboat. Last, don’t forget to pair your steamboat experience with an ice cold bottle of Botanically cold brewed sparkling tea! It’s always a crowd pleaser 😉
Here’s wishing everyone a prosperous Chinese New Year!!