How to make a Chinese Hot Pot

Last week, I went to the chinese store to buy some Asian basic ingredients, I accidentally saw the Chinese hot pot spicy soup base in the counter. It was so tempting only by looking at the picture, I ended up asking the lady at the store to give me some advice which one is best.

Chinese hot pot or chinese fondue, is typically prepared with a simmering pot of soup stock at the dining table. It contains various Asian food and ingredients such as sliced meat, fish meatballs, beef meatballs, seafood, mushroom, vegetables, dumplings, and tofu.

If you don’t have portable burner and a large pot, you can use any big pan or wok and cook it in a normal stove.

Ingredients

The Broths

Half of red onion
2 garlics
2 lime leaves
Galangal (not necessary)
Soup base for Chinese hot pot (you can easily find it in Asian store spicy or not spicy)
1 table spoon of Palm sugar (for spicy broths)
Salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
2 liters of water (depends on the size of the pot)

Meats and seafoods

Thinly sliced beef
Beef meatballs
Seafood meatballs

** you can find frozen meatballs in the Asian store, defrost for 1 hour or let it at the room temperature before cooking**

Vegetables

Enoki mushrooms
Pak Choi
Mung Bean sprouts
Tofu

Served and Dressing

Rice vermicelli
Spring onions
Cilantro or coriander (if you like)
1 lime
Kimchee (to get that Sour taste)
Sweet soy sauce and Chinese Chili sauce oil for dipping

Method

First, prepare and chop the pak choi. Drain the tofu and chop into eight chunks. Wipe the mushroom clean and trim the stalks. Then, set them in a large plate.

Second, place the meats and seafood meatballs in a separate large plate. Then you can start preparing the broths.

Slice the garlic and red onion, meanwhile heat sesame oil in large wok. Add the garlic, red onion, lime leaves and galanga in a wok. Stir for 3 minutes, then add the soup base for hot pot. Let it simmers for 5 minutes before adding the water.

You don’t have to add the garlic, onion, lime leaves, galangal , if you already have soup base hot pot. I add them only to get more flavors. 

Bring to the boil. Then you can start adding the ingredients in order by puting the one that take longer to cook. For example, I add the meatballs until cooked. I add tofu, mushroom and sliced beef afterwards. Then, I add the pak choi. Stir and simmer until pak choi soften. Reduce the heat.

While the soup is simmering, put the vermicelli in a boiling water according to the packet instructions, then drain. Toss with the sesame oil  and divide between your bowls. Add on top of it the mung bean sprouts, chopped cilantro and spring onions.

Taste the broth, season to perfection, then squeeze in lime juice to add contrast. Divide between your hot noodle bowls, and enjoy with dipping sauce and kimchee.

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