Lẩu Bò Kim Chi Beef and Kim Chi Hot Pot – 309 of 365

Lẩu Bò Kim Chi

Lẩu bò kim chi is Vietnamese for lawsuit waiting to happen.  Raw meat.  Searing hot cooking apparatus on the table.  Flames shooting out of holes in the cooking pot.  Yes, this is lunch with a side of danger for the clumsy.  Many months ago a seafood hot pot crossed this food journey’s path, and I remember marveling at how this one would be a lawyer’s dream in America.  Once misstep and the clumsy diner could make millions off the aftermath.

Of course by now you are thinking hot pot again?  Isn’t this supposed to be different meals.  Why yes, of course and to be sure this one is about as different as that seafood hot pot can be.  This lunch time delight combined Korean kim chi with beef and vegetables.  The sour and spice of kim chi just tastes so nice.

Even before this flaming, boiling cauldron arrives tableside, the danger is palpable.  The young girl lighting the paraffin block near the kitchen just foreshadows what is to come.  She nervously schlepped the tray to our table and I prayed she wouldn’t trip and send her cargo all over us.  One wrong step and its food court flambé!  Why not just set this thing afire at the table?  I don’t think that extra 30 seconds makes much of a difference in getting that liquid all good and roiling and boiling.

The Flaming Hot Pot

The heap of bloody raw meat was nestled amongst layers of herbs, mushrooms, and of course the kim chi cabbage.  As the liquid came to up to the necessary 212 degrees Fahrenheit (that is boiling, isn’t it?), I pushed the meat down into the broth to give it a good cook.  Oh, and for all you Celsius types out there, I will be all inclusive and sensitive to your needs…100 degrees was the magic number here for the hot pot journey to commence.

Salmonella, trichinosis, mad cow disease or whatever other delights raw beef may hold, controlling the cooking process is a plus in this land where beef is normally served beyond shoe leather toughness.  For sure this was no wagyu beef, but I was able to fish it out of the broth before it became full on inedible.

The soup was slightly sour, slightly sweet and picked up the richness of the kim chi.  I loved every spoonful and as the broth cooked down the spiciness intensified.  The best part was nothing suspect or gruesome bubbled up and yelled boo.  A side of rice vermicelli tasted so good mixed with everything popping out of the pot.

Yes, I will risk this meal wrought with dangers that would bring most people back home running in fear to sample this kim chi beef hot pot again.

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Categories: Vietnamese Food

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