I bought a 50g sachet of Transglutaminase that I bought a couple of months ago from the Melbourne food ingredient depot out of curiosity. Transglutaminase or meat glue bonds protein together and is used industrially to make meat and fish balls. Prior to this, I have tried binding fatty bacon with kangaroo. Just to note, it does not bind fats! The meats still held together and it was quite a challenging taste. Imagine smelling bacon but tasting kangaroo. I was a little thrown off but the overall flavour was really interesting and actually, good!
Steamboat-ing are especially welcomed during winter. It is a very interactive sort of eating activity. For those that like to be served, then this is probably something not for you. You are provided with a little metal net and that is used for cooking your own food. The stock can vary but chicken stock is the most popular choice.
Some of the more common ingredients used in our steamboat are fish and meat balls. I thought it will be a great idea to make our own by using transglutaminase as the bonding agent and it will be interesting to taste the difference in texture (if there was any).
I started with fish balls. The whole fish was purchased from Footscray market. It was a 2.6kg trevally with head and tail still intacted. My first challenge was to fillet the fish. The fish looked like it was butchered after I was done with it. I have no problems when it comes to handling fish. Gutting, scaling but filleting is a skill that is yet mastered.
Fish Ball ingredients:
- coriander stalks
- white pepper, salt
- chillies (3)
- 11/2 tsp of meat glue
I love making fish cakes. I used the similar method for fish balls. This video was made a while ago. The finely minced fish (using a chopper) is slapped against the side of the bowl. This is how one gets the “spring” in fish balls. It is quite a traditional method used.
I used glad wrap and rolled fish into a loin. It was chilled in the fridge until the steamboat was ready to be served. If I did it again, I will make sure that the loin is rolled tightly. Tiny bits came apart when I cut it into slices . But overall, the fish held really well. It did look more like mini fish cakes than balls but at least I knew I was eating the meaty parts of the fish!
Beef balls ingredients:
- 1kg of rump steak
- 500g of minced fatty pork
- whole punch of coriander
- 2tsp of meat glue
- Salt and pepper
I chuck everything into my food processor and blend till smooth. Remove thebeef mixture onto a big bowl and sprinkle the meat glue all over. Combine thoroughly and use the same fish method. Slap the meat for a couple of minutes to create the same “springness” texture.
The fish balls didn’t have the texture of that we are used to. Will have to work on it. The beef balls were a definite triumph for me. It had a very nice and firm texture. It didn’t cut through as the usual home made meatballs would and held the shape really well. I was very please with it.
By the way, make sure you use gloves when handling the meat glue. You wouldn’t want to have animal meat stuck onto your hands! Feel free to feel some suggestions on this blog. I have a packet to go through!
And next are the steamboat dipping sauces. I need to make mental note to make more next time! There was also a bottle of chilli bean sauce and the all important fermented beancurd.
Dipping sauce one
- 20g of ginger
- 40g of garlic
- 2tbsp of light soy
- 1tsp of oil
- 1/2tbsp of sesame oil
- 2 green chillies
- 3 red chillies
Dipping sauce two
- 3 green chillies
- 5cm of lemongrass
- 20g of shallots
- 4tbsp of light soy
- 2tbsp of oil
Many of you may think that this is crazy. But I did manage to add all these sauces into my dipping bowl along with one raw egg. That was my concoction of sauce for the night. It is absolutely delicious. Even writing about it now is making me salivate.I can imagine that some of you may be horrified right now.
What else did we have on the table? We had prawns, scallops, potatoes, wombok, chrysanthenum leaves, fried and soft bean curd, mushrooms and lamb and beef slices. There was a lot of food and we definitely had a feast that night. Steamboat is such a communal way to enjoy food and company. And how I love the broth at the end of it. It was so sweet!
There was a point where all of us had to stop. We needed room for dessert. This is a lovely chocolate tart made by Celeste.
And Anna brought along a baked Japanese cheesecake.
I must have these recipes. So good! Yes, we finished every crumb. And drank tea to make ourselves feel better. Many thanks again to all my guests that brought goodies to the winter steamboat extravaganza. We must do another before the warmer season kicks in again
I need suggestions for my meat glue please.