Last week, my friends and I had a great hot pot dinner (yes, we ate everything in the picture)! Wondering what a hot pot is? Well, it’s like a Chinese fondue or Chinese Shabu Shabu. Hot pot in China has a history over 1000 years, and until now, it is still the most popular dinner for social or family gathering.
There are different kinds of hot pot in China. Beijing/ Mongolian style features the traditional bronze pot, and Mongolian thinly sliced lamb; Szechuan style features the sudoku pot, and tastes hot and spicy. To meet a big family/ group’s need, Yuanyang pot, which has both spicy and non spicy soup base) is the most seen hot pot in China. Well, no matter how many kinds there are, you will less likely to find any of these hot pots here, so I’m going to introduce you how to make a home-made hot pot! (And it may also be a good idea for the upcoming Valentine’s day too!)
1. Get a pot! A gas powdered or electric hot pot, or a fondue! Any of these would do the job! If you don’t have any, go to Amazon.com and you will find all kinds! We were using electric hot pots for our dinner party. This pot is good for 4-5 people.
2. Get the soup base!As I said, if you like it spicy, make it spicy; if you like it mild, make it mild! 1) Mild soup base: chicken broth is a good choice if you don’t want it to be too plain. Add some tomato, corn cob, and green onions can make it taste better! 2) Spicy soup base: I would recommend to buy one in an Asian grocery store (about $2.99-4.99). Amazon is selling for over $20! You can always add more red peppers if you want it real spicy! You can also add chicken broth in the spicy pot.
3. Main ingredients Main ingredients are… basically anything you want to eat! Meat: thinly sliced beef/ lamb, meat balls, sausage, chicken, etc. Seafood: shrimps, squid, tilapia, etc. Vegetables: green vegetables, tofu, mushrooms, potatoes, and more! All you need to do is wash them, cut them into small pieces, and bring them to the table. 4. Dipping sauce (optional) Dipping sauce can be seafood sauce, spicy sauce, sesame sauce, bbq sauce, and garlic sauce! You can find most of them available in the Asian grocery stores. My favorite sauce is a mixture of ground garlic and sesame oil! Taste so good! 5. Enjoy your home-made hot pot! After all the preparation, put the soup base in your pot and bring it to boiling, and now it’s time for you and your loved ones to sit around the table and start the meal. Don’t put everything in the pot at one time! Eat what you can eat! Hope you enjoy it! Then there are three essential parts for hot pot: soup bases, main ingredients and the dips.