Homemade do-it-yourself Hot Pot for Dinner!

Soup Name:

Homemade do-it-yourself hot pot for dinner!  Tonight, is a tomato soup base.

Traditional Chinese Name:

番茄火鍋 (fān qié huǒ guō), aka in Cantonese, DA BEEN LO!

Nature:  Warming

Taste: Sweet and savory 

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Here are the key things for a successful HOT POT dinner!

  • You can drop in longer boil ingredients ahead of the “hot potting” such as carrots, white radish, winter melon, or corn to allow more time for them to cook and soften.
  • Slice starchy and heavy vegetables very thin so they cook fast.  This applies to all radishes (white or green), winter melon, carrots, potatoes, lotus roots, pumpkin, squash, most melons.
  • Use an oil scooper for the foam and oil that accumulates as a result of cooking meats.
  • Using meats will change the flavour of the soup, this is especially common for beef and mutton or lamb (meats with heavier flavours), so depending how flavourful you like drinking your soup, try both (beginning and end)!
  • This also applies to the types of vegetables used with some being heavier in flavour.  Great hot pot vegetables include:  lettuce, siu choy or napa cabbage, cabbage, watercress, bok choy, spinach.  Some with stronger flavours such as wolfberry leaves do change the flavour of the soup base!
  • Get creative with the ingredients!  Most anything that you can boil can be used for hot pot!  The ones we love as a family include:  all forms of tofu, konjac noodles (or potato noodles, or all noodles!), all types of seafood (shrimp, fish fillets, crab or lobster, clams), all types of fish or beef or tofu cakes or balls, deep fried fish skin, all sorts of dumplings.
  • I will always keep boiling water ready in case we need to top up our soup.  Be sure to add either hot soup or hot water to maintain the steady temperature of the pot (instead of cold water).
  • And one more, the customized dipping sauce.  THIS IS SO KEY!  I love how we get to individualize whatever you need.  See below as I explore this! 

Making amazing dipping sauces for hot pot!

OK, trying to be as comprehensive as possible for the options you have when it comes to dipping sauces for hot pots.  Mind you, some Regions or Asian cultures don’t use dipping sauces,  but some other Regional versions have a billion options!  Try them all!

Ingredients for dipping sauces:

  • soy sauce
  • sweet soy sauce
  • hoisin sauce
  • satay sauce
  • oyster sauce
  • hot oil
  • hot sauce
  • sesame sauce
  • sesame oil
  • peanut butter
  • black vinegar
  • black garlic
  • fresh diced garlic
  • fresh diced ginger
  • fresh diced green onions
  • fresh diced shallots
  • fresh diced spicy peppers
  • fried diced garlic
  • fried diced shallots
  • raw egg
  • any others I may have missed?  Would love to hear!

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