Hot Pot

So what is Chinese Hot Pot? It is a dining experience. Best performed in the Winter or when out with a group of friends. It is communal dipping and eating at its finest.

First, you need a hot plate. Then, you need a big metal bowl, divided in the middle so there are two sections to the bowl. One section is filled with a spicy, peppery, hot broth, the other with a mild, stock broth. Once on the hot plate, you allow both broths to get nice and boiling. Then, you take various foods that you have requested, meat slices (usually lamb or beef), mushrooms, potato slices, spinach & other greens, carrots and other vegetables, and you dip them into the boiling broth of your choice. Some things need to cook longer, so you just slide them into the water and pull them out when they are cooked to your liking. The meat doesn’t need much time at all. The foods that go into the spicy broth come out super-spicy and hot! Have some water or beer close by for embarrassing moments of heat-induced choking. (Also for the severe mouth & tongue burns caused by overly-impatient diners attempting to eat boiling hot mushrooms, potatoes and meat..)

Here are some photos to better demonstrate:

Hot Pot Before Hot Pot After

We’ve eaten this quite a few times and it is always a lot of fun. The Chinese we have observed eating hot pot often enjoy things like fish heads in their pot. We watch in wide-eyed wonder as the still moving and twitching head is deposited into the broth. Also highly popular, although not recommended due to bird flu, are squares of congealed duck blood. To think that at one time I thought that eating octopus was weird…

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