How to Hot Pot? [moved from Pacific NW board]
Wondering if any of you hounds could offer some guidance for novice hot-potters. We’re excited about going to Szechuan Chef and ordering the hot pot, but not sure of all the hows (aside from saying “we’d like the hot pot”). Is there anything we need to know to not botch anything? And to make this a great experience?
re: Melanie Wong
Thanks for that link, Melanie. I remembered that topic and couldn't find it.
As you know, I might go for my first hot pot experience this weekend. The restaurant might have two types ... Beijing and Taiwanese. I know I've heard about Korean hot pot. So I was wondering about the differences.
Here's a link to articles types of hot pot mentioned in these links ...
Cantonese - shacha
Japanese - Nabemono
Korean - Jjigae
Szechwan - maotu (hairy stomach
)Thai - sukiyaki ... Coca hot pot a Thai chain
Yunnan - Xishuangbanna
Swiss "Hot Pot" aka fondue
The last is funny to me since the articles mention sometimes hot pot is called Chinese fondue in the West. Perspective. Also it seems different in Asia with garlic flakes in the cheese and different dipping sauce for the meat/seafood versions.
I'm surprise some smart chain hasn't introduced this in the US to a more mainstream population. It has all the earmarks of success ... unique fun outing ... some have ingrediants set out like a buffet and all you can eat ... some have shave ice bars ... family fun all around. I mean people get into ths stuff ... fondue, Mongolian bbq, benihana, Brazilian churriscos (sp).
Interesting that those shave ice bars are there to cool off after the spicy hot pot.
To add to your list-
Vietnam - lau (sounds like "low")
Which is in adition to the vietnamese dish of raw beef dipped into a hotpot of vinegary broth.
There is a street (more like alley) in Hanoi that has like 20 lau restaurants in a 1km stretch:
Having served hot Korean stews and soups for thirteen years, this is the first time that I have heard the term "Hot Pot".
There were a variety of soups that were served boiling in a stone bowl, Soon dubo Jjiggae (a soft creamy tofu), Kimchi Jjigae (Kimchi soup), Haemul jeoptang (mixed seafood soup).
Also a non-soup dish called Dol Sot Bibimbap - a stone bowl with steamed rice topped with veggies like seasoned fresh spinach, soy bean sprouts, shredded Daikon, sweet potato stems, fiddle head sprouts, mung bean sprouts, with some shredded beef and an egg cracked on top of everything. Cooked until the rice at the bottom crisped and served steaming to the table.
You'll have your choice of broths. One is a chicken/vegetable, aka: regular and the other is spicy.
At Szechuan Chef (I get my hot pots confused), I believe you have a couple of choices as far as meats go. They affect the price. However, it'll be on the menu in plain English.
You'll have a number of plates/platters with all of your hot pot items that will fill the table. Depending on your crowd, you'll likely want quite a few extra sets of chopsticks. Chopsticks for raw food, chopsticks for cooked. We usually hot pot with close friends or family, so we don't worry about sharing germs.
At many hot pot places, the platters are bottomless, so just ask for more of whatever you want. Otherwise, enjoy!