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Hot Pot Ambassador Dinner with Kian Lam Kho

hot pot spread

Big thanks to Kian for a beautiful meal, Jeff for organizing, and Talisa for this recap of the rooftop Hot Pot Ambassador Dinner.  Oh boy, I’m getting hungry again.
– Veronica

When Jeff’s email blast arrived in my inbox announcing the next Ambassador Dinner — an evening of traditional Asian hot pot dining with Kian Lam Kho — it took me about fifteen seconds to send in my RSVP.

I love hot pot. It’s something I grew up doing with my family at home (somewhat infrequently, but with zest — usually in conjunction with a slew of sweet and savory fondue nights, the better to make use of the cooking equipment needed for such endeavors).

The concept of Hot Pot is simple: a pot of hot broth sits in the center of the table on a burner which keeps the broth simmering. Everyone at the table partakes in adding a variety of uncooked items (like veggies, meat, seafood, dumplings, and noodles), and fishing them out as they’re ready to eat. Since most of the ingredients aren’t seasoned, additional flavor is added via the broth during cooking, as well as with dipping sauces after cooking. At the end, everyone slurps up the remaining broth, which has been infused with the flavors of everything that’s been cooked in it throughout the night.

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National Day and Armed Forces Day at the Korean Ambassador’s House

When I was growing up in LA, eating Korean food meant one thing: an all-meat dinner cooked over the grill at the restaurant, Woo Lae Oak. Each visit was pretty much the same experience — billowing clouds of meat-scented smoke, sharp, vinegary kimchi, marinade-drenched bulgogi or kalbi and the  sizzling sounds from the grill complemented with the loud, sucking vacuums above each grill.  Little did I know, I had only skimmed the surface of Korean cuisine.

Earlier this month, I was asked to help in the Korean government’s latest efforts to promote and globalize their cuisine at a celebration of National Day and Armed Forces Day at the Ambassador’s home in D.C.  And this time there was no grilled meat involved… Ok, maybe a tub or two of bulgogi.

Bucket of bulgogi

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