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Posted: 4/8/2006 2:42:59 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/8/2006 4:41:07 AM EDT by corwin1968]
The GF and I are doing a hotpot lunch today and I'm looking for suggestions on a simple and easy soup/stock base. Last time we tried a mix that was vegetable and mushroom but this time we want to try something different.

Some ideas we've played with:

Chicken stock
Lobster/Shrimp boil seasoning
Rhamen noodle spice packets
A different variety of pre-made stock base from the same company we got the vegetable-mushroom from.

The ingredients we plan on having:

shrimp
thinly sliced beef
Processed fish "balls" (like meatballs but made of fish....something she requested but I'll try anthing)
fried tofu (something she introduced me to and I fell in love with)
snow peas
Chinese cabbage
baby corn (for me!)
spinach (for her!)

There are several large Asian food marts close-by so we have access to a large variety of options.

She is from China and the hotpot was always reserved for special family occasions so she has no experience in choosing or making the base herself. I'm the first American she's found who enjoys the hotpot meals as much as she does so we are going to start experimenting until we find what we like.

Thanks for any help.

Link Posted: 4/8/2006 3:37:29 AM EDT
seach google for what us westerners call a "crock pot"
Link Posted: 4/8/2006 4:12:06 AM EDT
I have never had this, but I am curious. My friend who is teaching in China eats this often has told me how good it is. From what he said, you pick your meat and veggies and then add them to a boiling kettle of spicy water to cook. Kind of like a Mongolian BBQ.

He also said that there is no General Tso's chicken in China .
Link Posted: 4/8/2006 4:38:43 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 9mm4me:
I have never had this, but I am curious. My friend who is teaching in China eats this often has told me how good it is. From what he said, you pick your meat and veggies and then add them to a boiling kettle of spicy water to cook. Kind of like a Mongolian BBQ.

He also said that there is no General Tso's chicken in China .



I was told there are no egg rolls in China!!!

The GF also kept talking about how good Chinese bread is so we finally went to the Asian mart and bought some. It was basically a very heavy and very sweet pineapple bread. Very delicious!!

The hotpot is very good. From my internet research it's basically a meat stock (chicken seems most common) with a selction of 3-4 meats and 3-4 vegetables. Each person chooses what they want and dips it in the stock until it's cooked. Then there are several dipping sauces you use while eating. I think the Western version would be Fondue.

At our first hotpot we had the following ingredients:

Soup base: Vegetable Mushroom soup
beef meat balls
pork meat balls
shrimp
tofu
fried tofu
Chinese celery
green beans
snow peas
mushrooms
water chestnuts
Bok Choy cabbage
bamboo shoots
baby corn
rice noodles
wheat noodles.


We both ate so much that we were miserable for hours afterward. Today we are limiting our selection to a few choice items.
Link Posted: 4/8/2006 4:46:54 AM EDT
Do you skim your meat and veggies out of the stock and put it on a plate or do you ladle it out like soup and eat the broth too?
Link Posted: 4/8/2006 4:50:16 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/8/2006 4:58:05 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 9mm4me:
Do you skim your meat and veggies out of the stock and put it on a plate or do you ladle it out like soup and eat the broth too?



I skim, she ladles.
Link Posted: 4/8/2006 5:01:44 AM EDT
Sounds really fun.
Link Posted: 4/8/2006 5:02:09 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Waldo:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Szechuan_hotpot



Interesting article. The idea of spicy chili oil, instead of meat stock, appeals to me but unfortunately she can't tolerate overly spicy foods.

This link from that article gives more information on the history and significance of the hotpot.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huoguo
Link Posted: 4/8/2006 5:24:54 AM EDT

I was watching Anthony Bourdain eating out of one in China. IIRC it was boiling palm oil full of chili peppers.

Sounds way too hot to me too.
Link Posted: 4/8/2006 5:38:40 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Waldo:
I was watching Anthony Bourdain eating out of one in China. IIRC it was boiling palm oil full of chili peppers.

Sounds way too hot to me too.



I was thinking "pleasing to the palate spicy" rather than "burn a hole through the roof of your mouth spicy".
Link Posted: 4/8/2006 5:52:25 AM EDT
Years ago before our children, I did this hot pot stuff with my gf/wife. It is really pretty simple. You pretty much get any type of vegetable like bok-choi(chinese chard?), beef, pork, chicken, lamb(I've never tried this one, available in some ethnic supermarkets), you can also do some type of big fishes like salmon, seabass(ie fish that is big enough to slice). To slice meats thin, I've partially frooze it so that it is not so springy. You can also marinate the meats in a solution of soy sauce and finely chopped ginger, I usually do it the day before after slicing, but I think 20 minutes or so is suffice.

I personally enjoy my food cooked in this style in combination with uncooked green onions. I don't use oil because that stuff is just too fattening. Water is just fine. From what I understand, the french use oil, and they cook things like cheese etc.

This is done traditionally in the winter time to help keep you warm, but you can do it anytime you want.

The hard part about this is in the prepartion because you have to cut up the veggies and slice the meats thin ahead of time.

And in the end, you also drink the soup. I personally don't use a soup base because after awhile all of that food you cooked in the water, makes a very tasty soup.
Link Posted: 4/8/2006 8:24:43 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/8/2006 8:25:29 AM EDT by DienBienPhu54]
no need to add seasoning to the boiling water, just some chicken broth mixed in is good enough

some other foods to cook in the hot pot

raw oysters
raw fish slices
scallops
sliced chinese sausage
squid
Link Posted: 4/8/2006 9:28:23 AM EDT
I've always just used water...no flavored stock....The foods will flavor the stock perfectly. We always have thinly sliced deer and elk meats in our hot pots...

In a small rice bowl we crack a raw egg and mix in some soy sauce, green onions, hot sauce, and an asian chili sauce (not spicy). After mixing everything up, this becomes your personal dipping dish. Once it gets low...you throw in some of the broth and it's a satisfying after dinner soup.

This is the best home cooked meal during the winter.

Link Posted: 4/8/2006 9:38:15 AM EDT
I have had this at a friend's house (his wife is Chinese). She used a seafood broth that was made out of powder. Good stuff, it's essentially Chinese fondue.
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