Welcome to Battle of Ingredients hosted by myself and Phoebe from Starry Traveler’s Road. As usual, we had our New Year’s Eve shindig. Just like last year, we decided to have a chinese fondue aka Hotpot. There’s not a whole lot of new things to share this time but its procedure to share a little of what we’ve been doing, even if its just sharing with you hotpot which is a really fun time to spend with friends and family, cooking and catching up.
Kicking off the New Year’s Eve, our friends brought us Val Caudalies to try. The first was an ice wine of sorts which was pretty decent. It had lovely sweet notes that pleased everyone’s taste buds. The second was a vermouth which we tried to drink on its own and did taste pretty good but mostly mixed with soda (CocaCola, Ginger Ale) and then ended up trying some simple syrups that I had inherited from one of my friends when she moved (see below).
The Hotpot & Table of Food
Here’s the table spread of all the food (except two things which we opened afterwards).
Phoebe took care of vegetables and such:
- Nappa Cabbage
- Baby Bok Choy
- 3 types of mushrooms: Enoki, Oyster, Shimeji
- Winter Melon
I took care of the meat and other things:
- Udon Noodles
- Marinated Sliced Chicken Thighs (garlic, ginger, salt)
- Store-bought sliced beef
- Homemade pork dumplings (Filling: Minced pork, garlic, ginger, salt, pepper)
- Store-bought fish pancakes, cuttlefish balls, beef balls (not shown above)
With all that, we were ready for a feast! Hotpot is pretty much the concept of fondue so we all through things in gradually. We have a two sided pot. One side started out with boiled hot water and the other was with chicken broth diluted with water. Water is the key element here and needs to always have some extra boiled water on hand to fill it up whenever needed to keep things going. We did it in phases of tossing a ton of stuff we wanted in and then covering it until it boiled, eating all of it and then on to the next round, so on so forth. It was a pretty decent system and gave us time to sit down to chat and mix drinks and whatever in between waiting.
So I’m not going to lie that at this point, I didn’t remember to take pictures as food coma was kind of in the midst of all this. My mom joined our little shindig and brought us a banana cake (which saved me from some baking), which I forgot to take a picture of because for me, its a normal thing.
Aside from bringing alcohol, my friend also brought an apple crumble which I also forgot to take a picture of.
One of the fun little things is that Phoebe found a little Japanese gummy making set for her little one to do under adult supervision and here were the results:
Some of us had a taste of it but I’m not sure it actually tasted that good. It was more of a fun little experience as a group rather than it being really meant to be eaten as I think the main consensus was the texture wasn’t too good and it was really sweet. Phoebe can weigh in on it in the comments as I believe she did taste it.
That’s it for this Battle of Ingredients!
It was a great way to ring in 2020 as we ended the evening as usual with more chatting and video games.