If you think the only kind of hot pot is a meat stew topped with sliced potato… think again. A Chinese Hot Pot is a warming soup-based dish which stays simmering through the whole meal - perfect for the family to gather around on a cold winter evening. Amazingly versatile, it starts with soup in a whole variety of flavours, can be packed with any ingredients you like, and is finished off with your choice of delicious dipping sauce. We might be biased, but we think it’s much tastier than a casserole! Read on to discover how to make hot pot yourself. With a little help from LKK, it couldn’t be easier.
This unique method of cooking stretches all the way back to the Zhou Dynasty, when the richest diners all had their own personal bronze pot to use over burning charcoals. It really took off in the Qing Dynasty – particularly among Emperors (the Jiaqing Emperor had 550 hot pots at his coronation banquet) And today, it continues to be a hugely popular dish for Chinese families to cook at home, and enjoy in restaurants.
There are just three simple steps to creating a tasty hot pot:
1: The Soup
It all starts with a delicious, flavour-packed broth. Bring this to the table in a big metal pot and it’ll stay simmering throughout the meal.
Top Tip: A small stove or table-top induction cooker is perfect to keep your pot bubbling.
2: The Filling
Now for the best bit – adding your ingredients! Bring the raw selection to the table then let everyone choose what they want and cook it themselves in the broth. It’s an interactive way of eating that brings everyone together.
Any of these foods work brilliantly in a hot pot:
Top Tip: Thinly slice your meat, fish and veg to make sure they cook quickly and consistently.
Step 3: The Dip
This is an essential element of a hot pot to really add flavour to the dish. (Remember, you’re adding unseasoned ingredients to the pot.) Mix up your dips before dinnertime then bring them all to the table – everyone can enjoy mixing and matching their favourite combinations!
Try some of these delicious dips made with authentic LKK sauces – there’s something for every tastebud.
Ching He Huang’s ultimate hot pot dip - click here for the recipe.
Top Tip: Finish off the meal by dishing out that steaming broth – it’ll have taken on all the extra flavours of the ingredients during dinner time.
You don’t need lots of time, effort or ingredients to get your hot pot started. Our new soup sachets make the perfect hot pot base, and are available in five delicious flavours:
You can use these sachets to cook ingredients in just like you would with a traditional Chinese hot pot – just like in this recipe for fresh fish fillets in the hot and spicy soup. Or even easier, pop your pouch in a bowl, mix with water, then add in any cooked ingredients you like – veggies, meat, fish, even noodles! This creates more of a ramen-inspired bowl, a little bit like these spicy noodles with pork mince and a soft-boiled egg. It’s a great way to create a hot-pot style dish for just one or two diners.
Top Tip: use a deep Chinese soup spoon to get a more generous mouthful!
We know you still love the traditional British hot pot too… so here’s a way to combine both delicious dishes. There’s one secret ingredient in this Chicken Hot Pot recipe… LKK Oyster Sauce! Use it to marinade your meat before it goes in the stew, and take your chicken hot pot to the next level.
Whether it’s a traditional bubbling pot for all the family, a tasty bowl for one, or a new fusion favourite, we hope you’ve been inspired to make your own hot pot.
Visit our online shop to order your essential Chinese ingredients.