I will admit it. When it comes to this particular dish I’m a total Junior Higher. I can’t really explain it as I don’t have this highly evolved sense of humor when it comes to just plain meatballs. Or even Cheeze Balls. (You know Cheeze Balls right? Toxic orange. Filled with air. Zero health value. Cheeze Balls.) But fish balls? Oh my. My inner Junior Higher comes out. Same with chicken balls. I’m just being honest.

Recently I had a particular birthday. A certain birthday. Ladies over 30 usually refer to their birthdays using all manner of smoke and mirrors and vague language, right? So for this particular birthday my Chinese “son” wanted to make hot pot with his friends for me. We decided to do it out in the covered patio (even though it was pretty cold) because… well… fish balls have a strong smell that I have sort of banned within the confines of our four walls. That and there were a lot of us and we have a very small kitchen. It was fun. We put the candles and lanterns out and ate our dinner at the big Ronald Reagan table. (We call it that because he once supped at it in the 1970’s.)


Fish balls were on the menu, to be sure, but I veered more toward the land animals and the bean animals (aka. tofu). This was my first time having Chinese hot pot. I’ve had Korean hot pot once before and it was so much fun and so delicious. My birthday hot pot was very yummy and I thought it was so sweet of the kids to go to all the work involved in making this food fest for me.


I really loved the Tofu even though it contained a good bit of a spicy sauce that, while I like the taste a lot, inevitably causes me a lot of heartburn later on in the evening. Some foods are apparently worth heartburn and stomach upset because I ate that tofu with gusto anyways, throwing caution to the wind.

One time I made a recipe that many friends had raved about repeatedly. I decided I had no choice but to make this succulent Frank’s Hot Sauce Chicken Dip. Oh my stars. It was delicious, featuring chicken of course, cream cheese and a generous portion of Frank’s Hot Sauce. I had never had Frank’s Hot Sauce before. That night I spent the evening moaning and gripping the love handles of Jon. It wasn’t pretty. I decided I either happened to get a short tummy bug or I was allergic to Frank’s Hot Sauce. The next night we had leftovers of the delectable devilish dish. Since I apparently had a death wish, and because I LOVE the scientific method (repeated observations of the seemingly obvious) more than life itself, I decided to just make sure that I had indeed not just had a random passing intestinal ailment. And thus I partook again of that fateful meal. And I spent another evening with Jon. So now I know, I can’t eat Frank’s Hot Sauce.

Spicy Chinese hot sauce might be a distant cousin of Frank.


Really, it was lovely and fun.


You never thought you’d appreciate spam? Hot pot might make you question everything you once knew.


One of our gracious cooks.


This guy loves, and I mean LOVES fish balls.


He’s downright passionate about fish balls.


My darling husband built a nice fire to keep us warm.


Great fun was had by all. And we ate until we were full.


And a fish ball has never touched my lips. And that is how it shall stay.

3 thoughts on “Fishballs… among other things

  1. I hate to sound ignorant, but what does hot pot involve? And what are in fish balls? I don’t believe they will ever touch my lips, either!

  2. Basically it’s a pot (electric in this case) that is kept hot enough to cook things fairly quickly. You drop veggies and meats and let them cook up and then eat them. It’s generally done at the table where you are eating. It’s a lot of food. We were amazed at how much those students were able to put away! My favorite is the thin beef. You buy it at an asian market. It’s sliced extremely thin and basically cooks in about 30 seconds or so in the broth of the hot pot. They mix a few oils (black sesame and soy bean oil, garlic and a tiny bit of hot sauce… and probably a few other things too) in a little bowl and then put your food in there so it keeps mixing with the sauce whenever you add stuff. It was quite yummy (though the meatballs even were too fishy since they’d been cooked with the fish balls and we all know how I feel about that.) The oils make the meal feel more filling than you would imagine. Those mushrooms were so yummy.

    Fishballs? Fish. Formed into balls. ((shudder)) I think of them like the round fish version of Mc Donald’s McNuggets.

  3. Yep, fishballs would not be for me. 🙂 It does look like a wonderful time though, and Happy Birthday (sorry to be late) (I really ought to put your birthday on my calendar, as it is one I would like NOT to miss!) :)!! (Yes, that is a smiley followed by exclamation points.)

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