for the western new year, buu usually hosts lau at her place. Lau is vietnamese hot pot. i'm so used to eating family style dinners: with multiple dishes in the middle of the table and everyone just picks at it, rather than separate dishes for each individual. Lau definitely embraces that concept. There's a pot of hot broth boiling on a small stove with raw meats, seafood, and veggies surrounding it, ready to be dumped into the soup and cooked right there at the table.
this year, it was hosted by buu's grandparents, poa poa and gum gum. it is always so much fun visiting with them. i arrived early and they tried to teach me how to play mah jong. let's just say that when Tet comes around in a few weeks, there's going to be a lot of smack talk amongst us! :)
so anyway, i wasn't paying any attention to the table set up. i'm not sure if the broth that was used was just regular canned or if buu's mom made it. either way is acceptable. my mom usually makes hers from scratch, also adding in a bottle of beer (but that's a completely different beef hot pot...) there were fishballs already bobbing in the broth.
the first to usually go in are the meats and seafood, they just take a bit longer to cook. we had a selection of shrimp, beef and squid. i tried to convince everyone to do like the japanese and do shabu shabu. i saw it on Iron Chef once, you just swish the beef in the hot broth twice and that was it. it was still too kinda raw tho and no one did it.
next came the veggies, which take no time to cook. we had mushrooms, and various greens: bok choy and watercress and some others that i don't know the western names for. everyone is responsible for themselves and each other. it's just so much fun to eat this style, very homey and familiar.
there was a salty black bean sauce for dipping. i should've asked for the recipe, it was delicious. poa poa made it on the stove, it came out warm and thick.
i heart sundays like that.
today's song: Kristine Sa, Consequence