Jim Jum (Thai hot pot)

Jim jum is  an earthenware pot on a brazier at table top. The pot is filled with broth and to this you add various supplied vegetables and herbs. This is one reason why the flavour changes. The herbs are often pulled from trees the selection criteria being as broad as bitterness to health aspects. Some dishes place a flower in the pot which is a unique bitterness.

The pot is brought to boiling after the addition of the vegetables and to this diners add things like mushroom (dry & fresh), shaved slices of meat which are selected on ordering, sometimes various organ cuts and chicken giblets. Fish and other seafood. Vermicelli is a fairly standard addition to the pot. The meat and the noodles will cook within a minute and fished out with chopsticks from the pot. Various sauces of varying spiciness and mixed bitter herbs with chillie plus plain sauces such as ketchup maybe available. The meat is seasoned with a sauce or two and enjoyed then and there. Then it's time for another round. This continues until people have had their fill of meat/fish/noodles. All the while topping up the broth as required. At the end of a session and in fact during, the broth acquires all the best flavours of the cooked and cooking ingredients. To enjoy the broth is an important highlight of this special meal and people really relish the soup.

The recipe is vague as I mentioned because of the variability of ingredients. It is however worthwhile trying with familiar ingredients at home and seeing what works.

Meat slices are very thin and maybe prepared by your local butcher or shashimi maker. Sauces are availble in Asian groceries or blend standard chillie sauces with a thick soy, ketchup and fermented thick yellw soy sauce. Mixed plum sauce and chillie sauce work well.

The starting broth maybe a simple cube broth of mushroom, chicken fish or pork. Add some thinly sliced garlic, some lime juice, thin sliced chillies and a touch of fine minced ginger.