In the mood to try out something warm and Asian? Heat up your winter holiday with Chinese hot pot! Surrounded by the steaming temperature of hot pot, or Chinese fondue, you generously place raw ingredients including green leafy vegetables, fresh mushrooms, tofu, silky bean noodles, seafood, thin slices of meat, meat balls, wontons and dumplings into a pot of simmering stock. You then season and savor the cooked food with your favorite dipping sauce prepared with condiments such as hoisin sauce, sacha sauce, satay sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, garlic, pepper and chili. Salads, chutneys, and noodles serve as side dishes. You may also enjoy tea, sake, or beer with hot pot.
To prepare hot pot at home, use a sturdy aluminum or stainless steel pot on a portable range, or an electric hot pot. Meats should be cut thin (less than a quarter inch) to ensure speedy cooking – frozen meats are easier to slice. Marinate as needed before serving. For ease of serving at the table, arrange your ingredients in platters around the pot, and keep skewers and dipping baskets ready to use. Fill the pot with a bland broth (such as chicken broth) to about 2/3 full to prevent spilling, and prepare another hot batch on the stove in case the broth runs out. Put in meats first to flavor the broth.
In NYC, popular Chinese hot pot restaurants are available:
- Shanghai Tide (13520 40th Rd, Flushing, NY 11354)
- IceFire Land (135-11 40th Rd, Flushing, NY 11354)
- Szechuan Gourmet (21 W 39th St, New York, NY 10018)
Reference: Twenty-Five Tips for Cooking Hot Pot