The Meal Planner

Thai Sukiyaki is actually a totally deceptive name since it is nothing like Japanese Sukiyaki. We call it Thai Hot Pot. Friends of ours who lived in Thailand for a year ate this at a Thai restaurant chain called MK. They first introduced us to Hot Pot a year ago when we were starting our Secret-Secret Geography Club. I loved it then and waited a whole year to eat it again with them. Thai Hot Pot is more of an experience than just a meal...kinda like fondue. Everyone sits around the table talking while ingredients are dropped into the boiling broth. Once the hot pot has cooked everyone picks out all the good bits that they want while seasoning up their bowl of soup just the way they like it. It's a wonderful communal meal and very fun to do with friends or family.

Please take this "recipe" as more of a method.
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Any combination of veggies you like:

Baby corn
Carrot, sliced thinly
Napa cabbage, sliced thinly
Button mushrooms, chopped
Shitake mushrooms, chopped
Green onions, chopped
Bok choy, chopped

Cut up all veggies and arrange on a tray.

For the meats, again use any combination of meat you like:

Ground pork, seasoned with fish sauce, grated ginger and chopped cilantro
Pork loin, thinly sliced
Beef steak, thinly sliced
Chicken, thinly sliced
Shrimp, peeled and deveined
Fish balls
Squid, cut into 2 inch tubes

It's important to have a variety of seafood/meats as well as a wide variety of vegetables. In the picture you can see we used seasoned ground pork, squid, and fish balls (shrimp and cuttlefish flavor). Arrange the meats on a separate tray from the veggies.

We also like to add egg swirled into the broth, so it cooks into ribbons, and some kind of fresh Asian noodle, like hokkien.

The three other small bowls holding red chili's, garlic and limes is what you need to make the sauce. Prepare and have on the table:

1 bottle of Suki Sauce (if you can't find it at an Asian Supermarket, I've seen recipes for it online)
10 or more key limes, cut in half
1 whole head of garlic, peeled and minced
10 thai red chili's, seeded and minced

Put the key limes, minced garlic, and chili's each in their own bowl on the table along with the Suki sauce.


And last but not least, you need your broth.

For the broth:

6 cups chicken broth
1-2 cups water
2 inches of ginger, peeled and cut into slices
2-3 tbsp of fish sauce

Heat all ingredients together in a large pot on the stove until they come up to a boil.

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To eat Thai Sukiyaki, you will need a hot plate in the middle of the table and place the large pot of boiling broth on top of it. Your hot plate will need to get hot enough to allow the broth to continue to boil. You should have your trays of veggies, meats, and noodles/eggs. There should also be Suki sauce and the condiment bowls. Each person should have their own soup bowl, as well as a small bowl to make their sauce, a pair of chopsticks and a wonton soup spoon.

Once the broth is up to a boil, add about a third of your veggies. Place the lid on and allow to cook for 1-2 minutes. Next add about a third of your meats and about a third of your noodles. If you have used ground pork as one of your meats, use a pair of chopsticks to break up the meat once it is in the broth. Allow to cook until the meats/seafoods are done (this is why it is important to slice your meat thinly). Add one egg and break up with a pair of chopsticks so it cooks into ribbons.

Here we are waiting for the first batch to cook up. While you are waiting, this is a good time to pass around the Suki sauce, garlic, limes and chili's for each person to make their own sauces. In your small bowl, you will want approximately 2-4 tbsp of Suki sauce. I like to add about a tsp of the garlic and squeeze 5-6 lime halves in as well. Be careful when adding the chili's...they can be ridiculously hot! You should be tasting your little bowl of sauce as you are adding ingredients. I tried my sauce without the chili's and it really does need the heat of the chili's to open up on your palate...it makes your tongue sing! I probably only add about 1/8 of a tsp of chili's but it really does make a difference. The fresh garlic is amazing and the lime juice really makes it all pop. But these are just my measurements for how I make it...my husband adds way more chili's and way more lime juice so it's all up to you.

Once the ingredients in the broth have cooked, each person can ladle scoops of soup into their bowls. This really is the time to take all your favorite bits. I really love the fish balls but only the darker orange ones which are shrimp flavored. The white cuttlefish ones I am not crazy about, so I leave those in the pot for others to grab ;)

Once you have a bowl of soup with bits of fish, meat, veggies and noodles in, spoon in some of the sauce you made.

Mmmmm.....soooo good! There's my little bowl of sauce at the top, and a bowl of delicious sukiyaki.


Once everyone has enjoyed their sukiyaki, and most of the veggies/meat are gone you can go for round two by adding in another batch of meat, seafood, veggies and noodles. Continue until everyone has had their fill or their are no ingredients left!

Click here for printable version of Thai Sukiyaki
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THE RESULTS?
I love Thai sukiyaki so much. The flavors of the broth combined with the little bowls of sauce everyone gets are just wonderful. I love that everyone's bowl of sukiyaki will taste slightly different based on the veggies, meat, and seafood they took as well as their own version of the sauce. It is a fun and delicious communal meal that easily takes 1-2 hours from start to finish, so it is a great time spent with friends and family. All the ingredients that go into it are really quite healthy as well.

As you could probably tell, there are a lot of ingredients that go into the Hot Pot. To cut down on costs for yourself if you are preparing this for friends, have each of them bring a few ingredients. It's all part of the communal meal experience ;)

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