Traditional Chinese New Years involves a big feast shared amongst family on the eve of Chinese New Years. This year, my family changed it up from the usual jai (vegetarian dish), duck and roast pork to hot pot.
Hot pot is pretty much the Asian version of fondue, except instead of the dip being the main event, it’s the ingredients. A pot simmering a broth is placed at the center of a dining table and ingredients such as meat, vegetables, noodles, etc. are placed in the broth to cook.
In this post, I will share how we made our hot pot so you can replicate it at home.
What you will need:
1 butane gas stove
1 dutch oven pot
4lbs of thinly sliced meat (mix of beef, lamb, pork)
2 individual packs of udon noodles (you can use any other kind of noodle)
2 packages of firm tofu
2 packages of enoki mushrooms
1 package of yam noodles
1 small head of napa cabbage
1 bunch of spinach
1 bunch of watercress
3/4 lb of shrimp (peeled and de-veined)
1 jar of Chinese barbeque sauce
2 bouillon cubes
2-3 quarts of water
Many people get the idea that because the guests are cooking, there is little work required by the host. Totally untrue. You have to clean and cut the vegetables, make the broth and assemble the meat. And in our case, we also made the wontons.
First things first, clean and cut all your vegetables. Get all your prep work out of the way before your guests arrive. Boil 2 quarts of water with 2 bouillon cubes. It’s okay if the broth is light, the meat and dipping sauces will flavor the broth. Assemble all of the raw ingredients on serving dishes and place the pot of boiling broth on the burner.
To eat, dump in your ingredients, dip it in some Chinese bbq sauce and eat! I usually only throw in what I’m planning to eat at that moment. If you dump everything at once, you may end up with overcooked meat and vegetables.
Hot pot is really whatever you want it to be. Be inventive with your ingredients and have fun!
*Update: My friend suggested using an electric grill instead of a butane grill. Butane grills can explode! Yikes!!