Hot pot requires a lot of ingredients and prep, but is easy to make. [Photograph: Shao. Z]
Chinese hot pot is truly communal: Not only do you sit down to eat with all your companions, you cook the food together in the same pot of broth. This recipe will get you started, with one pot of simmering broth, tasty homemade shrimp balls, two flavorful dipping sauces, and lots of ideas for what else to cook in the pot. (For much more information on what else to cook and how to set up a hot-pot meal, read our instructions here).
- For the Shrimp Balls (see note):
- 1 pound (450g) shrimp, shelled and deveined
- 1 egg white, beaten with a fork until frothy
- 1 scallion, white and light-green parts only, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon (5ml) Shaoxing wine
- 1 teaspoon (5ml) vegetable or canola oil
- For the Ginger-Scallion Sauce:
- 1/4 cup (60ml) peanut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup minced ginger
- 2 cups chopped scallions
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) toasted sesame oil
- For the Scallion and Hot Pepper Sauce:
- 2 chili peppers, julienned
- 6 scallions, julienned
- Half a bunch of cilantro, leaves and tender stems only, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 4 thin slices ginger, julienned
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) peanut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon (5ml) hot chili oil
- For the Broth:
- 6 cups (1.4L) water or chicken stock
- 1/2 cup (120ml) BullHead Barbecue Sauce
- 1/4 cup (60ml) Asian fish sauce
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- Kosher salt
- Juice from 1 to 2 limes, to taste
- For Serving:
- Assorted vegetables, thinly sliced meats, fresh seafood, tofu, and noodles, for cooking in the hot pot (see our hot-pot guide for specific ideas)
For the Shrimp Balls: Pat shrimp dry with paper towels and transfer to a food processor. Pulse 20 times, stopping to scrape down the sides every few pulses for even mincing. Transfer minced shrimp to a large bowl.
Add egg white, scallion, white pepper, salt, cornstarch, and Shaoxing wine to the shrimp. With chopsticks or a fork, mix in a circular motion until combined. Using wet hands, form shrimp paste into 2-inch balls and set on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate until ready to cook in hot pot.
For the Ginger-Scallion Sauce: In a small saucepan, heat oil over medium heat for 1 minute. Add ginger and cook for 1 minute, then stir in scallions. Continue stirring and cook until scallions begin to wilt, about 2 minutes. Turn off heat and add salt, white pepper, and sesame oil. Serve right away or at room temperature. Sauce can be refrigerated overnight; let it come up to room temperature before serving.
For the Scallion and Hot Pepper Sauce: Combine chili, scallion, cilantro, and ginger in a bowl. In a small saucepan, heat peanut or olive oil over medium heat for 30 seconds. Drizzle hot oil all over scallions, chili, ginger, and cilantro.
Stir in soy sauce, vinegar, and hot chili oil. Let stand at room temperature until vegetables are slightly wilted, at least 15 minutes. Serve at room temperature.
For the Broth: Bring water or stock to a boil in the hot pot. Stir in BullHead sauce, fish sauce, and sugar. Season with salt. Add lime juice to taste.
For Serving: Keep broth in hot pot at a simmer. Arrange various raw ingredients for dipping (including shrimp balls, if using; thinly sliced meats; fresh seafood; mushrooms and other vegetables; and noodles) on plates. Arrange plates on table around hot pot. Dip ingredients into simmering broth until just cooked, then dip into one of the dipping sauces and enjoy.
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