3 1/2 cups (875 mL) vegetable broth
2-3 sprigs of fresh mint
1 stalk of lemongrass, chopped
1 small piece of fresh ginger, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 red chili pepper, halved
1 teaspoon (5 mL) black peppercorns
2 tablespoons (30 mL) dulse
Cheesecloth and butcher's twine
Salt and pepper
18 raw shrimp, peeled and de-veined
18 large sea scallops
3/4 lb (340 g) halibut fillet, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) thick cubes
3/4 lb (340 g) salmon fillet, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) thick cubes
2 large carrots, cut into 1?4-inch (33 mm) thick oblong ovals
2 zucchini, cut into 1?2-inch (1.25 cm) thick slices
1 pint (475 mL) grape tomatoes
2 yellow peppers, cut into triangles
12 baby potatoes, halved and par cooked
Bring the broth to a simmer in a pot on the stove over medium heat. Lay the cheesecloth on a flat surface and set the mint, lemongrass, ginger, garlic, peppercorns, chili and dulse in the middle. Make a purse with the cheesecloth, holding all ingredients in the centre, and secure with butcher's twine. Add to the simmering broth and allow to infuse for 4-5 minutes like a tea.
Meanwhile, rinse, dry and prepare the seafood as needed. Arrange on a platter, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Prepare the vegetables, arrange them on a separate platter, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. These can be done 3 to 4 hours in advance.
To serve, remove the cheesecloth sachet from the broth and transfer the hot broth to your pre-heated fondue set. Keep the broth hot, but not at a boil. Place platters on either side of the fondue set. Lightly season the seafood with sea salt and pepper. Make sure each of your guests has one fondue fork for seafood and one for vegetables.
The seafood should cook in 5-6 minutes. When ready it should be slightly firm and opaque in colour. The vegetables can be eaten raw with a favourite dip or cooked in the broth until tender-crisp, about 3-4 minutes in the broth.
Wine Tip: The flavours of the Asian-style broth, along with the red chile and seafood, all yearn for the aromatic and perfumed white wine Gewürztraminer. Alsace, France, is the home of this opulent wine, but Ontario and British Columbia make terrific examples.