Preparation / Directions:
I picked up a nice little Mongolian fire pot at a sale this weekend. That makes two that I have now. The other is a highly polished brass museum piece that I never use for cooking because it's such a hassle to clean up. This one is smaller and, with the exterior parts being made of a matte finish aluminum, much easier to keep clean. This is the kind you'd see in a Chinese or Japanese place and is just the right size for two to four diners. This one also has a neato adjustable grate to control the heat.
I found this recipe stuffed inside the pot. It was hand-typed. The amounts called for in it would be too much for the little pot I found it in, but is sounds quite good and is probably authentic. You generally don't find Nam Yuey (red bean curd cheese) called for in Westernized recipes. The pot is a neat touch, but this can be made just as effectively in a fondue pot or in a sauce pan on a tabletop burner--in anything that gets the broth hot enough to cook the ingredients.
Freeze lamb for 2 or 3 hours for ease in slicing. Cut against the grain into paper thin slices. Then cut slices into 2 x 2 inch pieces. Cover cellophane noodles with 1 cup warm water and soak for 30 minutes. Drain and cut into 6 inch lengths. Wash spinach leaves under cold running water and pat dry with paper towel. Arrange on platter along with noodles. Trim greens and root ends of the cabbage. Separate into stalks and wash thoroughly. Cut each stalk into small pieces and drop into pot of boiling water. Take out in 2 minutes, dry and place with spinach and noodles. Combine soy sauce, sesame-seed oil, sherry, brown sugar, peanut butter pepper and bean curd. Mix thoroughly, then take 1 tablespoon of the sauce and put into each of 4 bowls. Reserve the rest and place in small bowl.
Preheat your broiler to its highest point. Place 8 to 10 charcoal briquettes side by side in baking pan lined with heavy aluminum foil and place under broiler. Heat for 10 to 15 minutes until white ash forms on briquettes. Transfer to funnel of cook pot with tongs. Put fireproof (asbestos) mat on table and place cook pot on it. Bring chicken broth to a boil then pour it into the cook pot. Give each person a plate of lamb and a soup bowl. Drop the scallions, garlic, ginger, and parsley into the boiling stock. Each person cooks own lamb with fondue fork and then dips it into sauce in soup bowl. Extra sauce is also placed on table.
When the lamb has been used, ladle a little of the remaining stock into each bowl. Add the noodles and vegetables in the remaining stock in the cook pot, for a minute or two then ladle with broth into bowls as another cour