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Hot Pot

July 10, 2010

If you’re ever looking for a fun and Adventurous meal to have with a group of friends, Hot Pot is a great social meal. You get a bunch of ingredients, share a pot of broth, and cook up your ingredients, and scoop out whatever you can find. It’s a fondue – but so much more healthier than a cheese, oil or chocolate fondue. The ingredients are totally up to you, and are never the same from house to house, but, always equally fun and delicious. Again – this recipe has been adapted by me, but originally from my mother-in-law. It’s relatively easy to put together. I serve it with some fried rice on the side.

Hot Pot with Broth and Platters of ingredients for cooking

Tools you’ll need:

Hot Pot (or just use a small pot)

Butane Burner (or you can use an electric wok)

Food nets (see above) and chopsticks

Dipping bowls

Ingredients:

Broth:

I use a mix of chicken and pork bones. I find the broth has a nice flavour that way. But, you could use just chicken, pork or beef, or even just a pre-made broth or powdered bouillion. I like to make my own – for one, to control the amount of salt that is in it. Two, that I can make a huge stock pot of it to have some of the soup leftover for any remaining ingredients to enjoy as a soup the next day. And, I just think homemade soup is generally tastier and healthier than any store bought pre-made stuff.

Broth ingredients

Sometimes I add a few stalks of lemon grass just for added flavour.

Lemon grass

Boil a stock pot of water about half-full of water and add about 1 Tbsp of salt. Once the water is boiling, add the meat and lemon grass. Allow the broth to bubble and boil for about 1/2 hour while constantly skimming off the foam that rises to the top. This part is important to end up with a nice clear broth. Lower the heat and allow to boil just enough to see bubbles surface and put the lid on. Cook at low heat for about 1 hour, then turn off heat until ready to serve.

Skimming off the scum/foam.

Hot Pot ingredeints:

As mentioned, the ingredients are really a personal preference. Here is what I have used:

some hot pot ingredients

Beef/Pork balls

I also use pre-packaged pork/beef balls – only because my kids love them. I will usually add them to my broth in the hot pot as they take a little longer to cook and they enhance the flavour of the broth.

Arrange them on platters as I have done below:

Meat Platter

Here I have used pre-sliced lamb and raw shrimp. Beef, pork and chicken work well too. Just make sure they are sliced thinly so it doesn’t take too long to cook. I would normally have the seafood on one platter, and other meats on another platter, but, I ran out of space.

Other fun ingredients to try

Here I have used: mushroom fish (looked interesting, so I thought I’d give them a try), calamari, assorted fish balls and quail eggs.

Vegetables

Taro

Here, I have used sliced taro, enoki mushrooms and yu-choy.

About a half hour before dinner, heat up the broth again. Once it’s boiling, carefully ladle the broth into your hot pot pan. I have a pan with two sides. On one side, you can add a satay type sauce to make a spicy soup, or tom-yum style broth, the other, you can leave as is to make a plainer broth. Serve everyone a bowl of plain or fried rice, crank up the heat on the burner and get your guests to start cooking!!

I like to serve with a few choices of dipping sauces: sesame dressing, hoisin sauce, hot sauce, soya sauce or peanut chili sauce. Use whatever you like. I make my own by mixing a couple of these ingredients together.

The key here is : BE ADVENTUROUS! Try things you haven’t tried before. There are alot of interesting things at Asian grocery stores. A hot pot is the perfect time to give them try!!

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