This fondue has nothing to do with Swiss fondues. This one necessitates cooking the ingredients in a steamboat – an Asian fondue set. Steamboats are round with a chimney or funnel in the centre surrounded by a deep ‘moat’. The pan is heated over a charcoal burner or gas fire. The heat rises up the chimney, the sides of which heat the moat containing the liquid or stock for cooking. The ingredients are dipped into the hot stock, using chopsticks or wire mesh baskets, until they are cooked. You can buy steamboats from large Chinese stores (the kind that sell equipment too) in most cities.
To make the stock, put all the ingredients into a pan, half cover with a lid and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Transfer the stock to a steamboat or a flameproof pan set over a hot plate (the burner on a fondue set does not bring the stock to boiling point).
Next, make the sauce: mix together all the ingredients in a bowl.
To open the oysters, stick a strong knife into the back of each one near where the muscle holds the shells together, slice the muscle and prise open the shell.
Arrange the opened oysters on a dish. At table dip the oysters into the hot stock to cook quickly. Then dip into the sauce. The stock is then eaten as a soup later.
© 1994 Keith Floyd estate. All rights reserved.