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chinese hotpot


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Im looking at doing a chinese hotpot at home..Ive never had one before only seen pics of them on the net...Can anyone help with types of Marinated meats and veg used etc. and also what types of oils of broths are used in the pot

Thanks Daza

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My family loves hotpot.

We usually do a ying yang hotpot which means half of it is really spicy numbing sichuan style ma-la and the other side is a very gentle plain. broth.

Here's a pic:


For the broth, you want to use a very light chicken or pork or beef or seafood broth. Or sometimes my family will just use a very well seasoned (salt, pepper, sesame oil, msg(optional)) plain hot water.

As for the ma-la broth, you can buy packages of ma-la seasoning in chinese markets and just use hot water.

Generally speaking you can use anything you like in the hotpot. You don't want to marinate the meats though because the meat is suppose to 1) flavor the broth for drinking and 2) the flavorful broth is suppose to flavor the meats for eating. Plus you will/could have a dipping sauce for the meats as well.

For the meats, you really want really thinly sliced meats that will cook very quickly. And the meats generally used in Chinese hotpot is pork, beef, lamb, and sometimes chicken.

I love seafood in my hotpot! For seafood you must have: fishballs, cuttlefish balls, shrimp balls, beefballs (yeah I know it's not seafood but I'm on a roll over here), lobsterballs, etc. Plus, shrimp, squid, salmon, etc.

And finally the vegetables, you can choose: tofu (various styles), napa cabbage, pea tentrils, spinach, fresh shitake mushrooms, enoki mushrooms, etc.

When you are half way and you have flavored the broth, you would want to start cooking the noodles. By noodles you don't want just any plain noodles. You should use noodles made by mung beans or usually clear noodles. Basically any noodles that have a lower starch so you won't cloud up the broth.

Either way, just put in anything you realy enjoy eating. It's delicious, it's healthy and it's a lot of fun with friends and family!

We eat it year round! :wub:

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Ma La "Hot" pot is awesome in the summer time!! The ass kicking heat from the Szechuan peppercorn, plus 90 degree temp (I would suggest blasting the AC). If that is not hardcore enough then wash it down with some bai-ju such as maotai or kao-liang! Just ask Bourdain...

Leave the gun, take the canoli

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That's what we do but we turn off the AC in the summer time!

It's awesome sweating from the heat in the summer as well as from the ma-la spices!

I usually go for an ice cold light beer with my hotpot but for my grandmother and my uncles they always opt for MaoTai. That's a bit too much heat even for me!

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Is the ma la hotpot similar to Chongqing style hotpot? The picture above doesn't look like what we had in Chongqing. The broth of the hotpot that we had there was bright red, and had lots of what looked to be aromatics and chiles floating about in it. My kids loved it, and are hoping for more. I know of one restaurant here in NYC that does it, specifically calling it Chongqing style, but I don't know if it is any good or not.

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Yup, Chong Qing is a Sichuan province so they should have the same style.

The reason why my hotpot doesn't look like it has a lot of chilis is because there was so many seafood and beef balls in it. My Aunt kinda went over board. But trust me, there was a thick layer of oil that just coated our lips and there was so many chilis and sichuan peppercorns that at the end we couldn't tell what we were eating! LOL.

NYC should have a lot of Sichuan restuarants that will do this. I can't remember the one I use to go to but it's some where in Flushing. My family still lives in NYC but we prefer to make our own so we can have everything and anything we want.

We like a lot of "weird" items such as pig's blood, tripe, intestines, etc. It's so good.

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xiaoling, how can you eat that hotpot in this weather? I'd be sweating bullets and I hope you don't eat any tomorrow, cause it's supposed to be 95 degrees. (:

so those frozen packets of thinly sliced beef, lamb, pork, etc that are found at super 88 and other boston grocery stores are supposed to be used for hotpot?

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xiaoling, how can you eat that hotpot in this weather? I'd be sweating bullets and  I hope you don't eat any tomorrow, cause it's supposed to be 95 degrees.  (:

so those frozen packets of thinly sliced beef, lamb, pork, etc  that are found at super 88 and other boston grocery stores are supposed to be used for hotpot?

I don't think it matters much what the temperature is, I'm always in a full-flow sweat when I eat hot pot.

On the bright side, I don't have to salt the broth as I go!

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yeah the hotpot in sweltering weather sounds like it would be a good "sheena mommy hangover remedy"

if it makes you sweat and it's spicy than according to my mother, your hangover will be gone shortly

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xiaoling, how can you eat that hotpot in this weather? I'd be sweating bullets and  I hope you don't eat any tomorrow, cause it's supposed to be 95 degrees.  (:

so those frozen packets of thinly sliced beef, lamb, pork, etc  that are found at super 88 and other boston grocery stores are supposed to be used for hotpot?

You probably didn't realize that I came from one of the three furnances of China! This is nothing! LOL. Just kinding...this weather is killing me. Thank goodness for Central Air!! All hail to the creator of Air Conditioning!! *bow* :biggrin:

What? 95 tomorrow?? I thought it was suppose to cool down tomorrow?? It's been a humid 96 for the past 2 days!

Yeah, hotpot can and will be eaten in this weather as well. What can we say? We love spicy foods. And believe it or not, it has a weird "high" or cooling affect afterwards. :laugh:

Yup, the thinly sliced beef, lamb, pork, etc at Super 88 or Ming's (my preference) is supposed to be used for hotpot. Meats are suppose to be cut as thin as a slice of deli meat.

All this talk about hotpots is really making me crave for one. I also heard that Ginseng in Framingham has just opened a Chinese shabu shabu (aka hotpot but they figured if they put it in Japanese it would attract more customers)! And they have ying yang hotpot as well as ma-la! I'm looking forward to trying it soon!

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It's perfect for San Francisco today. It's only about 60F here, at the foggy part of town where I am.

At home, we usually start with chicken broth and water as a base, put in a slice of ginger, some napa cabbage, a few beef/fish/meatballs and any odd/fatty pieces of meat. We usually cook that on the stove for about 15-20 minutes and then put the pot on the hotpot stove.

We have the half and half pot as well. Instead of doing spicy one side, we use the same broth. The only thing is that we would separate what we cook on which side. The organ meats (if we're cooking it) can leave a taste in the broth that not everyone likes, as are some of the vegetables. So, we keep one side for the strong flavor stuff.

We use a pretty standard marinate for the meat - soy sauce, sugar, oil, cornstarch and maybe a some Chinese cooking wine. When it comes to sliced rib-eye, we actually won't marinate it, that goes for the seafood (shrimp, calamari, etc.) as well.

The possibility of hotpot is almost endless. You can cook almost anything in there, from meat to vegetables to noodle to dumplings. The broth can also vary to your taste. You can make a red wine/mushroom broth for a Western flavor. Make a coconut/lemongrass broth for Thai. Add miso for Japanese.

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Thanks for ya help XiaoLing ... your hotpot looks awesome..will its frezzzing over here :blink: So a nice hotpot will go down well....

Thanks for your help and ideas

Dale :smile:

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Does anyone know if there is a place in the general Maryland/D.C./Northern Virginia region that serves authentic hotpot?

My friend living in China raves about hotpot places there, says that on Saturdays they're full of working men drinking vast quantities of beer.

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Hotpots are very popular in Beijing. And there are different varieties, such as mala, shuang yang (or mutton), Taiwanese etc.

One of the very popular chains in Beijing, Hai Di Lao, even offer manicures and free snacks to patrons who have to wait in line for a table. This chain is pretty good - inexpensive, very cheerful service and a guy who spins and stretches fresh noodles before your table on request!

One of my favorites is a porridge hotpot served in a restaurant in an alley opposite the Yuyang Hotel. The base is thin gruel that gets thicker and more flavorsome as the ingredients get cooked in it.

Interesting that no one has mentioned the dips so far. Hotpot restaurants here in Beijing, especially the Taiwanese ones, have a lot of choices. The best have a whole array of condiments for you to create your own dips - sesame paste, chili oil, sesame oil, chopped cilantro, chopped spring onions, minced garlic, soya sauce etc, sa cha sauce, etc.

It's not my favorite thing to eat, but it is really fun to eat hotpot with a big group of family members/friends.

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  • 1 month later...

Interesting that no one has mentioned the dips so far.  Hotpot restaurants here in Beijing, especially the Taiwanese ones, have a lot of choices.  The best have a whole array of condiments for you to create your own dips - sesame paste, chili oil, sesame oil, chopped cilantro, chopped spring onions, minced garlic, soya sauce etc, sa cha sauce, etc.

Oh man, I live in Guilin, and while our local hotpot isn't the same, there is one place, near the train station called "Old Beijing Hotpot" (老北京火锅 for anyone who might traveling here). They have a huge table in the center of the restaurant with about 40 large bowls, each containing different condiments. Some of them are: dried chilies, vinegar, fermented tofu sauce (not the blocks), a kind of hot mustard oil, chopped cilantro, a chinese version of tahini, crushed peanuts, lots of oils, etc, etc.

They'll bring you as much cold mutton (rolls) as you can eat, plus dumplings, veggies for boiling and assorted cold dishes. The place is fabulous and its only RMB 30 per person, not including beer or baijiu. If you can't speak Chinese, don't worry. The boss is a great guy who is happy for the business, and being that the menu setup is so simple there's not a lot of chance for confusion. Just go in, show with your hands how many in your party, go make your sauce (also unlimited), sit down and wait for the food to come.

If you're really going to Guilin, message me. Hell, I'll take you.

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