In this cold winter, there is nothing better than sharing a spicy Sichuan hot pot with your friends and family.
For the uninitiated, Chinese hot pot, a.k.a. huo guo (火鍋), is a group dining activity where a pot of boiling broth is shared. Friends and families cook the raw ingredients of their liking in this communal pot of broth while chitchatting, laughing, and enjoying each other’s company by the table-side.
This recipe is for a popular regional hot pot from Sichuan (Szechuan). The broth is infused with lots of aromatic spices, fiery chili oil and tongue-numbing Sichuan peppercorn so it is very fragrant and spicy!
This is a make from scratch recipe that I first posted on my blog. If you like to learn visually, I'd recommend you to visit my blog (link in my profile) for the step by step pictorial recipe. Enjoy!
For Master sauce (adjust to your own spiciness)
3 tbsp Sichuan Spicy Bean Paste
5 Dried chili, soaked until soft.
1 tbsp Chinese Black Bean
4 slice Ginger, 4 glove Garlic
½ cup Cooking Wine
1tbsp Rock Sugar
Dry Spices: 3 star anise, 1tbsp Sichuan Peppercorn, 1 black cardamom, 4 green cardamom, 2 sand ginger, 1 piece cinnamon stick, and 1 tbsp fennel seeds
For the stock:
2 lb Beef or Pork or Chicken bones.
3 slice Ginger
3 Bay leaf
1 gallon water
The recipe is for half of a 12 inch special pot. Adjust the amount accordingly.
1. Make the base stock by combining beef or pork bones or chicken skeleton with water, ginger, scallion, bay leaves. Broil and simmer for 3 hours. Can be made in advance.
2. The master sauce is the soul of Sichuan hot pot (and is guarded by restaurant owners as top secret but today you’ll get it for free). I recommend making this in advance. To make the aged-spicy paste: chop the Sichuan Spicy Bean Paste, soaked dry chili, ginger, garlic, and black bean. Combine 4 tbsp of oil and all the chopped ingredients, cook in low heat for 10 minutes. Stir frequently. Add the rest of the dry spices and cooking wine and sugar to the paste. Continue to cook in low heat for another 30 minutes then turn off the heat. This is your aged-spicy taste and can be made in advance.
3. Before serving the hot pot, combine the aged-spicy paste with base stock and bring to boil. Add additional ginger, dried chili, and salt to taste.
4. To make the special peanut butter sesame dipping sauce, combine the peanut butter, sesame paste, and fermented bean curd. Mix into a paste. Add oyster sauce, sugar, chopped chive flower and mix well.