Saturday, December 20, 2008

Chinese Hot Pot

I had a craving for hot pot a few weeks ago when the weather finally started to feel like Winter. Hot pot is something that can very simple or elaborate, depending on the occasion. Growing up, my family traditionally celebrate Chinese New Year with hot pots with 20 different dishes (for over 30 people) but they really can be, and has become, more than just for celebrations. With restaurants like Little Sheep, hot pot should be enjoyed whenever you like!

My homemade hot pots are pretty standard. A plate of 2-3 different meats. On this day, I bought some shabu shabu sliced prime steak and ribeye as well as Birkshire pork (all on sale at Marukai that week).

I also picked up pea sprouts, various mushrooms, kamaboko, fish balls, and frozen taro.

I also love cellophane noodles with hot pot. One of my favorites next to the kamoboko and fish balls.

The broth I use at home is very simple, store bought low sodium chicken broth. Can't get any easier than that. I had debated about getting one of those yin-yang hot pots like the ones at Little Sheep but decided against it. I really just like it simple when making it at home. I'll leave the fancy half-half for when we got out for hot pot!

I use an electric wok as our hot pot. Works great. I can adjust the temperature as needed and the width of the wok makes it easy to access everything.

I also concoct a very simple dipping sauce: sesame paste, soy sauce, chili garlic paste. The dish with what looks like soy in that last picture was a shabu shabu sauce I picked up on sale at Marukai. It tasted a bit like ponzu sauce but think I'll pass on it the next time.

There really isn't else much to say about hot pot. It's that simple and very fulfilling on a cold (and maybe wet) dreary day. So what are you waiting for? Go and eat well.


KirkK said...

Hi CAB - oh man.... that is just perfect for this weather. The only thing that really stops us from making hot pot is finding really good lamb. so if you come across it please let me know!

Barefoot said...

Hey Kirk! I went to 3 different stores looking for some good lamb but couldn't find any. All I found was lamb chops and shanks. I suppose I could have grounded the chops and made lamb wontons but it didn't have enough fat for my liking. The last shank I got just wasn't very good so that wasn't a good option either. I'll keep looking cuz I can go for some more soon. Well, after Christmas. Maybe for New Year!