Sunday 18 May 2008

Steamboat Willie!!

Hmmm.. given this is a food obsessives blog, read (presumably) by other food obsessives, the title of this post conjures up images of Helen Mirren in The Cook The Thief His Wife & Her Lover.

Sorry 'bout that.

Last night I got to christen my Mother's Day present. My new steamboat (Thanks, Mousie!). These things are available at most Asian grocers and come with little wire baskets for cooking/retrieving the food. Given that I recently talked to Ed from Tomatom about what I had in my kitchen, I have, in one Mother's day, gone from being a bit of a purist and only owning 2 decent pots, a heavy duty dutch oven, a single set of German cook's knives, a Le Crueset-style casserole pot and a Mull-O-Matic, I am now the proud owner of a steamboat (and accessories) and an ice-cream maker!

Alos, make sure you have a hunking great big plank of wood (we had some off-cuts of oregon under the house) to put your Steamboat Willie on. These things conduct heat like Stokowski doing the 1812*.

We sourced some local flake, the last of this season's mussels

Some frozen Aussie (SA) prawns, some local scallops , and Furry got all unnecessary about something called "Lobster Balls" (insert naughty pre-teen boy snicker)

Which turned out to be made from that nasty seafood extender that I eschew. He declared them lovely, tho.

Some fresh fillet steak cut into strips and some La Ionica chicken, done the same. Add a bowl of local mushies and some bok choi from the local greengrocers.

Into your steamboat, whack about a litre of good quality chicken stock. I was going to flavour mine with star anise and lemon grass, but then decided the whole idea of this dish is to let the ingredients flavour the stock. Food is put in the reservoir and hot coals whacked down the spout (we used heat beads, prepared to glowing over the gas ring). The ideas is that people can pick and choose what they want to cook, and for how long, and the morsels are them picked out with wire baskets, transferred to your bowl and a variety of dipping sauces are used to further flavour the goodies. This time I had a selection of Hoi Sin, terryaki, oyster sauce, and Furry's fantastic Nam Jim sauce.

2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large green chillie, chopped
2 coriander roots
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons grated palm sugar
3 shallots (75g), chopped
¼ cup (60ml) lime juice

Combine all above ingredients and set aside

(adapted from the Women's Weekly Low Fat Cook Book)

The idea is that after all the ingredients are eaten, you add mung bean noodles to the soup, let them cook off, and then ladle the noodles and the soup into the bowls, add more sauces if you so desire, and drink the noodly broth. However, by the time we finished this lot, there was no room for slurpy noodly goodness, so we strained the broth, put aside the noodles and will have them tonight.

Every home should have a Steamboat Willie!

Obscure Classic Music Footnote: * Stokowski was the conductor that featured in Disney's "Fantasia" and was the conductor that the famous Bugs Bunny "Long Haired Hare" conductor cartoon was based on.


thanh7580 said...

Mmmmm, mmmmm. Steam boat is perfect for the current cold weather we have. You need to get calamari as well. That's always my favourite. And I don't mind some of the "balls". There's all sorts, such as prawn, beef, chicken, prawn, squid, pork etc. There is so much varying quality so you have to try out different brands. Generally, the more expensive the better they taste. You also have to get some satay (not the peanut type but the hot chilli type) from your local Asian grocery store to dip the food in.

There's a new steam boat place near Glen Waverley station where Dan Murphy's is. I tried to go there last week but it was so busy and I couldn't get a table. I'm going this Wednesday instead. You should give it a try Ella. It's only $20 all you can eat and my friend said it's quite good.

purple goddess said...


Is that the one near Proud Peacock??

I saw there was some new signage when we were up there this weekend.


Must put it on my "to do" list.

I am all good for fish balls and beef balls but these lobster balls?

I might have to give them a go. We got them from the fishmonger at the far end of Kingsway, up near the Council offices.

I'll look forward to your review of the new steamboat place!

thanh7580 said...

Ella, it's around the corner from Proud Peacock. It's next to the Indian restaurant, Tandoori Junction.

The lobster balls are really fake. At least the fish and beef balls contain some part of what they claim to be.

grocer said...

mmmmm, I feel some shabu shabu coming on myself.

It didn't rate a mention in useless gadgets cos I figure it's not a gadget, it was a hand me down, and it has survived the past 30 years since departing Japan!

Jo said...

Thank you so much!! I have an old steamboat that was my mother's, and no idea what to do with it. You have inspired me to get it out and have a go!!! Thanks.

stickyfingers said...

I occasionally borrow one of my parents old brass Steamboats or 'Dar Bin Lo' as they are known in Cantonese and suspend them over my butane camp stove. I secretly covet an electric one. I've given a couple of those as wedding presents over the years.

I like to chuck in some homemade won ton at the end and that's when I plonk in the leafy vegies and sometimes cubes of fresh tofu too. I'm not big on the 'mai-fun' (Bean thread vernicelli) component so just eat the soup with dumplings and vegies.

As an alternative to chicken stock I sometimes like to have beef pho soup or chuck in a couple of Tom Yum stock cubes if I'm being lazy.

stickyfingers said...

That just reminded me, in my childhood 'Cupboard under the stairs period' as Ed has referred to it, I used to spend an afternoon slicing and preparing all the Steamboat ingredients for one of my foster mums when she was having guests. **SIGH** Funny how memories kick in....