Phan Thiet family seafood steamboat

Phan Thiet family seafood steamboat

The Food of Vietnam
Alan Benson

Steamboats are a great dish to cook when entertaining guests. They are interactive, communal, and guests pretty much cook their own meal. All you need to do is buy the fresh seafood and make the simple broth; the rest is up to them. I always serve this dish at my family Christmas dinner — it’s stress free! You can also be creative with your stocks — you can make vegetable, pork, fish, mushroom or even tom yum spicy stocks.


Quantity Ingredient
3 litres chicken stock
1 tablespoon sea salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1/2 chinese cabbage, washed and sliced into 4 cm pieces
1 bunch mustard greens, washed and sliced into 4 cm pieces
1 bunch chrysanthemum leaves, washed and torn into 10 cm pieces, (optional)
500g raw tiger prawns, peeled and deveined
500g boneless barramundi fillets, sliced into 5 mm thick pieces
500g mussels, scrubbed well, hairy beards removed
500g cleaned squid tubes, cut into 1 cm rings
12 scallops, on the half-shell
225g rice vermicelli noodles, cooked according to packet instructions
125ml light soy sauce, for dipping
4 bird’s eye chillies, thinly sliced


  1. You’ll need a portable gas stove for cooking at the table, and a steamboat hotpot.
  2. In a large saucepan, combine the stock, salt, sugar and fish sauce. Mix well and bring to the boil.
  3. Meanwhile, on separate platters, arrange the greens, seafood and noodles. Pour the soy sauce into small dipping bowls and add some sliced chilli.
  4. Place the gas stove and steamboat hotpot in the middle of the dinner table. Transfer 2 litres of the hot stock mixture to the steamboat. Turn on the gas, light the pilot, and turn it on.
  5. When the stock starts to simmer, each person dips some greens and seafood into the stock until cooked. They then retrieve their cooked ingredients with their chopsticks and ladle some of the hot broth into their bowls.
  6. As the greens and seafood cook, the broth becomes increasingly flavoursome. When the broth starts to boil down, replenish the pot with more stock.
The Food of Vietnam
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