Hot Pot

Hot pot (or steamboat) meals are one of my favorites.

Hot pot is basically a simmearing pot of stock placed at the center of dining table. Plates of raw ingredients such as beef slices, shrimps, bacon, tofu, eggs, mushrooms, noodles, etc are prepared in advance.

A hot pot dinner party is really easy to organize. Guests can bring their favorite food to cook. You just have to prepare the stock. It’s hard to mess up. :)

Friends and family come together and sit around the table. Everyone can place their choice of ingredients into the pot, and have fun. The dinner setting is casual and the dinner usually lasts for hours. It’s an awesome way to bond with family and friends.

I especially love to have hot pots in winter. :) Imagine enjoying a big pot of soup, with fresh ingredients, on a cold snowy day; ohhhh… that sounds perfect to me.

An electric hot pot (less than $40) works well for me. I might even get an extra one so that I can have two pots going at the same time (one pot for my vegetarian friends).

In Asia, there are many restaurants offer hot pots in buffet style. You pay a flat fee, and you get your choice of stock in a hot pot, then you can pick whatever raw ingredients you like from the fridge. Isn’t it fun?

Server adding stock of your choice to the pot (Nagomi, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

Server adding stock of your choice to the pot (Nagomi, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)


Cook your own meal!

Cook your own meal!


My sister and my niece (hot pot cooking lesson for kids? :))

My sister and my niece (hot pot cooking lesson for kids? :) )


Happy days

Happy days

Outdoor hot pot with my family (Kuching, Malaysia)

Outdoor hot pot with my family (Kuching, Malaysia)


Hot pot dinner with Sharan

Hot pot dinner with Sharan


Cook it away

Cook it away


A pot of yumminess

A pot of yumminess

Makan-makan anytime

People in Kuching love to makan (eat in Malay) and you could be forgiven for thinking about food all the time. Malaysians enjoy eating out and embrace food from different cultures.

There’s at least one cafe on every block. The cafes here are called kopitiam (coffee shop) in Hokkien. Every kopitiam carries not only drinks, it usually has stalls selling noodles, roti canai, chicken rice, etc. The prices are very reasonable. A bowl of noodle can be as cheap as RM2.50 (USD0.80). I am in noodle heaven!

2pm at Boulevard and it was still full house

2pm at Boulevard and it was still full house

My Sunday breakfast: seafood noodle soup & roti canai. It's totally fine to have noodles and curry in the morning.

My Sunday breakfast: seafood noodle soup & roti canai. It's totally fine to have noodles and curry in the morning.

steamy hot clay pot noodle soup for lunch

steamy hot clay pot noodle soup for lunch

Organic food products are available in Kuching

Organic food products are available in Kuching

Cruising in Kuching

In order to be independent and go places in Kuching on my own, I braved myself to start driving in the city yesterday. My Malaysian driver’s license has expired, so I am using my international driver’s license.

Malaysia drives on the left side of the road. Surprisingly it took me no time to get used to it.

I drive my parents’ 15 year old car. So, I have less pressure on the road among the aggressive Malaysian drivers.

Coming from Fairfield where I consider three cars at the traffic light frustrating, driving in Kuching definitely needs a bit of patience. Try to avoid rush hours is key. My legs almost went kaput working the manual transmission during rush hours…. >*<

Most Chinese people prefer fair skin. This auntie wears long sleeves and long pants, and carry an umbrealla when cycling. It takes guts to bike on the road with heavy traffic though. And of course she has to use a fuchsia umbrella. :)

Most Chinese people prefer fair skin. This auntie wears long sleeves and long pants, and carry an umbrealla when cycling. It takes guts to bike on the road with heavy traffic though. And of course she has to use a fuchsia umbrella. :)

Friday Morning

Jet lag kicked in last night unexpectedly and I passed out at 6pm. T_T

I am home alone with my retired mom and dad who are addicted to the stock market. It’s like their full time “job”.

Mom & dad glue their eyes to the screen at 9am sharp

Mom & dad glue their eyes to the screen at 9am sharp

As long as they are doing it for fun, not too much stress; I think it’s a good way of exercising their brains.

The worst thing is to let old people sit at home, watch tv or sleep whole day. Alzheimer’s might kick in sooner that way!

I am a little out of touch with the scenes in Kuching. So, I rely on Kuching’s FB page to give me some pointers. :) Thank goodness for social media.

To not upset mom, I have been eating at home mostly, but managed to tapao (pack to go) some comfort food home. :) I am in noodle heaven, what do you expect me to do? :P   Tomato kueh teow and kampua noodles are on the top on my list.

Today, I had something that I haven’t had in a long time – otak-otak. YUM! RM1 (USD0.3) for one.

Otak-otak: sticky rice with sambal belachan wrapped in banana leaves. It's spicy!

Otak-otak: sticky rice with sambal belachan wrapped in banana leaves. They are spicy!

Update: Mom just told me these are not the traditional otak-otak (made from fish meat). :( I am not sure what I bought…. but they were yummy. :)

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