Lucy… I’m home!

Ah, how I miss watching I Love Lucy. Anyway, I am home with my family, and it feels great to sleep in late and have homecooked meals 3 times a day. What a luxury! Tonight we had Chinese hotpot in our house (also known as shabu-shabu in Japanese), and it was great having fresh ingredients. For those that are unaware, hotpot is where you have a pot of boiling water or broth, and you have platters of raw meats, seafood, and vegetables laid out on the table. You pick up what you want to eat, and cook it quickly in the boiling water, before taking it out and eating it with a dipping sauce (usually soy-based). The meat is fresh and tender this way, and the veggies are crisp and warm. The special thing about the meat is that it is sliced super thin, I'm talking about maybe 1-2mm thin. We buy meat that has been cut to that thickness from the local Asian market, where they freeze the meat to be able to slice it so thin. My favorite is sliced lamb, but beef is a close second, with pork being the least exciting of the three. For seafood, we usually have shrimp, scallops, sliced fish filets, Asian fish balls, and occasionally squid. And for veggies we normally do napa, iceberg lettuce, spinach, mung bean sprouts, silken tofu, and sliced mushrooms. We also like to cook softened rice noodles in the broth to eat with all the cooked meats and veggies.

Tonight's dinner consisted of sliced beef and pork, as well as flounder fish filets, cooked shrimp, shrimp balls, fish balls stuffed with ground pork, tofu, bean sprouts, iceberg lettuce, and rice noodles. Yum! My mom whipped up a dipping sauce using soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, fish sauce, oyster sauce, and peanut butter. The flavors came together to make a very savory and delightful sauce to complement all the various types of foods we had. I love hotpot :)

 

And finally for dessert, a most fabulous store-bought strawberry shortcake cake (sounds goofy doesn't it), which is a poundcake round covered with fresh whipped cream and strawberries, and then covered with a layer of toasted coconut crust. It wasn't a dessert I made myself, but it was just the thing to contrast with the hotpot dinner. A slice of that cake went perfectly with a hot cup of Oolong tea that my mom made. Mmmm….

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