Chinese Hot Pot
Hot pot is the dish of a thousand names. In fact, you've probably encountered hot pot in some form or another, whether as "shabu shabu" at a Japanese restaurant, or fondue at a Swiss one. Apparently there is just something universally loved about dipping food into hot liquid, whether savory (my personal fave) or sweet. And why not? It's fun, tasty and the self-serve aspect makes it a good solution for a large group of people.
With that in mind, hot pot is something where there really aren't rigid rules. You can follow the recipe below, which is courtesy of my sister's mother in law, as a starting point, but then mix it up with different vegetables and meats.
- Broth Ingredients
- pig bones (can use neck bones, thighs or spare rib)
- large pot of water
- Dipping Ingredients
- thinly sliced beef & pork (could be chicken, lamb)
- deveined raw shrimp
- assorted frozen fish cake of different sizes
- egg dumplings (like regular dumplings except skin is cooked egg)
- various mushroom, cleaned and sliced (enoki, clam shell mushrooms, king oyster mushrooms)
- napa cabbage and chrysanthemum (tong hao 茼蒿)
- tofu, hard, sliced into blocks
- bean thread noodles (also called mung bean noodles, softened in some warm water)
- Dipping Sauce
- 1 raw egg
- sa cha sauce (沙茶)
- First, for the broth, boil the pork bones in a large pot of water for several hours. Add water as necessary. Set this aside for later.
- For the vegetables: clean, wash and slice mushrooms, vegetables and tofu into bite-sized pieces. Arrange the ingredients into sections in a bowl or platter.
- For the meats & seafood: Devein the shrimp, cut the squid into bite-sized pieces and set all of the meats onto platters as well. Chop the fish cake if needed and also set out on platters or bowls. (Hint: If you’re having a big group of people, it’s nice to have plates or bowls of each ingredient on opposite sides of the table)
- To maintain a hot temperature, you’ll need a portable heat source of some sort. Either a tabletop burner + regular large, low pot works, or there are also electric tabletop hotpots.
- Set all of the vegetables and meats on the table, and place the hot pot in the center. Also set out chopsticks to handle the raw meats, sa cha sauce and raw eggs (1 per person). Add the broth to the hot pot and bring to a simmer and start dipping whenever you want. A couple of notes: make sure you cook the raw meats adequately. Also be careful not to pick up the raw meats with your own personal chopsticks.
- For eating, each person should have a pair of chopsticks and a small bowl. It’s also convenient, though not necessary to have a small wire scoop (pictured in the photo) for scooping out food of the hot pot. Each person can add their own sa cha sauce and raw egg into their dipping bowl.
- At the end of the meal, add the bean thread noodles to the rest of the flavorful broth and cook for a few minutes. Serve and enjoy!
Serving Size: varies
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Preparation Time: 1 hours, 30 minutes