It seems like for every occasion my family always rely on hotpot. Not only is it delicious and easy to eat, it is also fun and interactive for gathering. We love eating all kinds of hotpot; there is lau mam (fermented fish hotpot), lau nam (mushrom hotpot), lau cua (crab hotpot), lau hai san (seafood hotpot), and lau Thai (Thai style hotpot). Our favorite has to be Thai style hotpot because it's salty, sweet, spicy, and sour; a little bit of everything. If you are a fan of Thai Tom Yum soup, you will love this hotpot! It is eaten with rice vermicelli noodle and a varieties of meats, seafood, and vegetables.
Hotpot is pretty easy to make as well, it's just a lot preparation. The thing I love about eating hotpot is you can eat it all day! We usually eat hotpot for lunch, again for dinner, and then if we have some leftover we'll have it again the next day. For that reason I usually make a huge pot of broth and after every eating session I replace the old broth with new broth. If you are planning to have a hotpot marathon make sure you buy a lot vegetables and meat.
My Thai style hotpot is made very similar to Thai tom yum soup. I actually use a store brought paste that is labeled as seasoning paste for Canh Chua (Vietnamese Sour Fish Soup) but it taste more like Tom Yum to me. There are a lot of these paste at all Asian grocery stores but Golden Boy brand (picture below) is my favorite. I sauteed this paste with lots of minced shallots and lemongrass which helps fragrance the broth. There is one other secret ingredients that nobody every gets after eating my broth but I will happily share it with all of you. I also add mam ruoc (Vietnamese fermented shrimp paste) with the seasoning paste, which give the broth its saltiness. I basically make my broth very similar to Bun Bo Hue but without the beef broth. The broth is made with canned chicken broth, pineapple juice, lemongrass, tamarind pulp, kaffir lime leave, and my seasoning paste. I also add one can of coco rico soda for sweetness and also as a tenderizer for meats. Last but certainly not least, it has to be spicy. I add a special hot chili oil to the broth for spiciness (picture below).
Ingredients: I won't be listing amounts for the vegetables, meats, and seafood because it really depends on how much you want to eat. Make sure you get plenty because it would be a damper if you run out! Prepare the ingredients below for eating.
Rice Vermicelli Noodle
6 cups of canned chicken broth
2 cups of pineapple juice
1 can of coco rico
6 cups of water
1 cup of Golden Boy brand paste (or similar seasoning)
1/4 cup of mam ruoc (fermented shrimp paste)
1/4 cup of sugar
4 lemongrass stalk
2 kaffir lime leave
1/4 cup of minced lemon grass
3 tablespoon of minced shallot
4 tablespoon of cooking oil
1. Combine chicken broth, pineapple juice, water, lemongrass stalk, and kaffir lime leaves in a pot. Let everything cook for about 30 minutes on medium heat.
2. Heat up oil in a sauce pan. Add the minced lemongrass and shallots and let it cook in the oil until fragrance. Then add the Golden Boy paste, mam ruoc, and sugar. Sauteed everything on low heat. I usually make extra of this paste so that I can add more to the broth, because as you eat and put in more ingredients the broth will get diluted. Unless you want to keep replacing the broth.
4. Broth is ready for eating, transfer broth to a hotpot. Add the hot chili oil to your liking.
5. Once the hotpot comes to a boil add the fresh ingredients to cook and enjoy everything with vermicelli noodle.