Early spring is here, but of course the cold hasn’t totally gone away. How do you chase off the lingering chill of winter? With a hot pot! Wind and rain persist even after the last of the “cold season” is gone. In this blog we’ll help you through how to have hot pot at home.
Soup’s On! Here’s How to Hot Pot
Asia is widely known for its delicious cuisine. Across Asia, meals similar to hot pot exist. Japan has shabu-shabu, and Thailand has Thai suki. Mongolian hot pot is renowned for its wonderfully rich broth filled with goji berries and jujubes and various herbs. And even within China there are multiple types of hot pot. Think of fondue – cooking food in a communal pot – that is how hot pot is supposed to work. Here are some pointers about what you need to know about hot pot equipment, ingredients, dipping sauces, and most importantly, etiquette.
Hot Pot Equipment:
- Pots and burners: For best results, you’ll want a pot with a divider. Nicknamed yin-yang bowls, you can have two different broths and ingredients on each side: say you want a spicy broth on one side full of meat and a non-spicy broth full of vegetables on the other. Butane burners are harder to maintain, but they cook faster are produce more flavorful results.
- Chopsticks: Have separate sets ready for dipping into the pot itself and for eating.
- Mini tongs: Tongs are far more useful for adding raw or uncooked ingredients to the broth; the broth and the heat from the burners are what are supposed to cook what you add into the pot.
- Strainers: Strainers come in handy too, especially for fishing smaller pieces out or a specific type of filling that you’re after.
- Spoons: Ceramic spoons are best for the purposes of hot pot, as they can capture more broth.
- Shallow bowls for eating, and
- Small bowls for dipping sauces: You’ll want to ladle your food into these bowls while keeping dipping sauces nearby. That way everyone can enjoy their own tastes in flavor.
Hot Pot Ingredients: Popular ingredients include large platters of meats, seafood, veggies, and noodles. You’ll want to have a little bit of everything, as balance is key.
Hot Pot Dipping Sauces: Egg yolk, ginger-scallion sauce and scallion-and-hot-pepper sauces are popular, but minced garlic, mixed green onion and scallion, leek sauce, and peanut sauce are fantastic as well.
Hot Pot Etiquette: Some basic rules include washing chopsticks, no poaching, and no double-brothing. You may sometimes have to stand in order to reach what you’re after, especially in hot pot restaurant settings. (Yes, those do exist!)
Get All Your Asian Groceries at Lotte Plaza Market
Lotte Plaza Market is your one-stop shop for all of your Korean and Asian grocery needs. With more than 10 locations in Maryland and Virginia, this growing market is always expanding and opening new markets to better serve our customers. Opened since 1976, our goal has always been to provide the best customer service and groceries to our customers. For answers to all of your questions, email us at LottePlaza.com.