china-mongolian hotpot copy

I can’t say that I am finding London life that exciting except possibly for today when the weather was lovely and lunch at Keu, the new banh mi place next to me, sitting at the window counter was even lovelier. Other days, when the weather is dull and I am trying to work, I cheer myself up by looking at my pictures of China, wondering when I will go back to eat jian bing again and my latest discovery, a Mongolian hotpot.

I had never been to a Mongolian hotpot restaurant before. The principle is very simple. You have a bubbling pot of broth in front of you (a rather beautiful one as you can see from the picture above) with a fire heating a chimney in the middle which keeps the broth boiling. Then the waitress brings a selection of meats (different cuts of pork, veal, chicken or lamb), vegetables (sweet potatoes, cabbage, greens, etc.) and noodles (different types) which you cook by dropping into the broth (the noodles always at the end) and letting them cook until done to your liking at which point you fish them out with your chopsticks to eat, taking care not to burn your tongue.

china-hotpot-lamb soulder copy

We chose lamb, and Steven, our wonderful guide, explained to the waitress which cuts we wanted. Well, we let him decide and he chose beautifully, two different cuts of lamb. I think the cut in the picture above was from the shoulder, which was sliced thicker thanย  the cut in the picture below which I am not sure quite sure which part of the animal it came from. Both were incredibly good and we polished off both plates.

china-hotpot-lamb, another cut copy

I was in China with Jenny, my gorgeous friend and publisher and we had an enormous amount of fun cooking our own food in a restaurant and watching the waitress bring over a huge kettle to top up our, and other people’s broth whenever the levels dipped.

china-jenny & me in delicious hotpot rest copy

I kept my meat on my chopsticks as I dipped it into the broth because I hate overcooked meat and I didn’t want it to be more than just saisi. It worked really well, with the bits between the chopsticks remaining raw. The noodles were a little tricky to fish out but our lovely Steven came to the rescue and fished them out without any problem. An absolute must if you happen to be in Beijing!

There is 4 comments on this post

  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    I was very lucky that, during my childhood (in Luton, of all places), some local friends of ours would do steamboats for Chinese New Year.

    These were hugely social events, lasting half a day, with two huge steamboats full of stock set up on their large farmhouse country kitchen table. The shapes were as the one in your photograph, though decorations were different.

    There were all kinds of goodies to be cooked within the broth, using the long-handled wire spoons.

    And we’d drift in and out of the kitchen during the long afternoon in between racing around farm outbuildings and playing behind the little bar!

    Tonight I’m going to Shaftesbury Avenue to enjoy steamboat at Little Lamb!

    Can’t wait!

  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    is there a hotpot place in shaftesbury avenue? love the sound of the steamboat events ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    Sister, it’s not polite to point. xx

  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    you are hilarious sister. have been missing you. you’ve disappeared, from both worlds, real & virtual. welcome back. xx

Leave a Comment

Warning: Undefined variable $user_ID in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/comments.php on line 38