Huo Guo Hot Pot


Sunday is family day and most of the time we have dinner together…somewhere. Last Sunday we gathered around a shabu-shabu pot at Choi Garden Restaurant. Also known as chinese fondue, steamboat, sukiyaki or “huo guo” (fire pot), depending on which part of the world you are, it involves cooking raw thinly sliced meat, fresh seafood, cut-up vegetables and choice noodles in boiling soup. Then you dipped the cooked food in your prepared sauce and enjoy.

My dipping sauce concoction includes one beaten raw egg (which according to traditional chinese herbalist lessens the “heat” therefore you won’t get sore throat after eating huo guo), lots of minced garlic, minced shallots, tons of sate paste, a couple of chopped chili and a dollop of chili sauce. I like my sauce hot and spicy.

Inside our shabu-shabu pot were sliced lamb, fresh shrimp, male crab, hand-made fish balls, shrimp balls, stuffed meat balls, fresh meat balls, lobster balls, squid paste, lettuce, polonchay, tanghochay, watercrest, baguio pechay, condol, sweet corn and plain rice, for those who can’t eat without it.

After 2 hours of cooking, bickering and gossiping, the soup stock was rich and flavorful ready for the noodles, but we decided to forgo noodles because we wanted dessert. We had mango pudding topped with fresh milk and a cherry, taho in a bucket good for 4 with mini sago and brown sugar syrup, and Dad had ground almond puree. Everyone had a little of everything and yet we were so full.

We look forward to next Sunday’s food trip and share another wonderful meal together.

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