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Serves 8

Cook and serve family style in a traditional Chinese clay pot or large Dutch oven.

2 quarts low-sodium chicken stock

½ cup each: julienned peeled ginger; smoked ham

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2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 half large skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 uncooked lobster tail, cut into medallions through the shell

8 ounces fish fillet such as bass or cod, cut into 1-inch-thick slices

8 ounces squid, sliced into rings

8 shrimp, deveined, shell and tail on (head on, too, if available)

8 medium scallops

1 English cucumber, quartered lengthwise, cut into 3-inch pieces

1 bunch asparagus, cut into 3-inch pieces

Kosher salt and finely ground white pepper

1. Add the chicken stock, ginger, ham and soy sauce to a clay pot or Dutch oven over a low flame; heat to a simmer. Let simmer, 20 minutes. Transfer to a heatproof container; set aside. Season each of the remaining ingredients separately with salt and white pepper.

2. In the same pot, arrange all the chicken, seafood and vegetables into separate wedge-shaped piles, so the dish will look like a seven-piece pie. Gently pour the seasoned broth with the ginger and ham on top without disturbing the form. (The ham is the eighth element of the title.) Cover; heat to a simmer over a low flame. Let simmer, eight to 10 minutes. Let pot stand, 10 minutes. Serve with rice.

Adapted by the Chicago Tribune from Ming Tsai.

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