Well, I hadn’t actually given much thought to what I’d do for Chinese New Year this year and so defaulted to my family’s usual meal of Chinese hotpot, or steamboat. Only thing was my family’s spread around the world this year and it was just going to be me and Blai. So, what goes into a hotpot for just two?

Ingredients for the Hotpot

Well, pretty much the same as in any hotpot only we stick to our favourites and keep the quantities manageable! Sliced pork (so paper thin!), beef balls, fish cake, enoki mushrooms, fresh shitake mushrooms, choi sum. Again, we cooked it as we always have in my family, in plain water, as the ingredients cooking in there will give flavour to the eventual stock. We’ll try simmering a few aromatics in there next time though.


After all the food was eaten up and the cooking stock was then extra flavourful, we tossed in a small packet of mung bean vermicelli and a couple of eggs. That was some super soup!

Noodles and Eggs at the End

I have written about hotpot before and a general guide can be found at this post. It’s fun, it’s easy, and it’s actually healthy too! I’ll be making it again this winter so long as the weather stays cold.

As an attempt to unstress this past weekend, I even put together this lantern from some red packets (ang pow) that I received free when I bought the sliced pork (strange gift, no?). I remember doing something similar in school in Singapore when I was about seven years old but that ended quite unhappily as I managed to put a staple through my finger. Luckily, there were no mishaps this time.

Red Packet Lantern

Oh, and if you’re curious, the lantern is hanging from an ornamental saw, a traditional Thai instrument I got for Blai when I was in Chiang Mai.