Toronto food blogger xiaoEats brings us her exclusive guide to preparing a hotpot at home and we couldn’t be more thankful. Armed with a trusty camp stove and Xiao’s helpful list of ingredients you too can be enjoying this fun and warming meal!
Check out how Xiao does Hotpot at Home:
Generally, I hotpot at home using a gas camping stove. These stoves are often used in Asian restaurants that offer ‘tabletop cooking’. As for the pot, most Chinese grocery stores sell large “steaming pots” that fit perfectly on a camping stove. These pots are shallow and wide, lots of boiling surface area and heat up quickly. Some pots include a partition separating the pot in two, allowing for different soup flavours and perfect if there are ingredients that are not enjoyed by the entire table. With just The Hubby and I, we chose to just go with a regular pot. Ladles are also a must for scooping out ingredients when they’re ready. Typically, small individual ladles are used. For us, we just use a single large round ladle.
We usually buy a pre-packaged soup base from the grocery store. Our favourite is the spicy Little Fat Lamb one. When we use a pot with two sections, I will usually have one side spicy and one not. Chicken and pork bone broths can also be used as a base, even just plain water. I would recommend adding in some aromatics such as green onion, daikon (to help with gaminess of lamb) and cilantro if everyone enjoys it.
As ingredients are cooked, the soup takes on more flavours and grows in richness and taste. Thus, I like to start with cooking lamb or beef first, then moving to milder seafood (shrimp, fish balls), vegetables once the soup is rich and oily, before ending with carbs.
Camping Stove x 1
Pot x 1
Ladles x 1
Soup Base x 1
Hotpot is pretty much just boiled food. Depending on the soup base used, the cooked ingredients may not be the most seasoned. Thus, I think one of the most important aspects of a successful hotpot meal, is the dipping sauce. When eating out, I love restaurants that provide a wide variety of ingredients for me to customize my own sauce. When I hotpot at home, I already have all of these asian sauces handy. If you don’t, many Chinese grocery stores do sell pre-made dipping sauces.
Light soy sauce
Lao Gan Man Hot Sauce
Prickly Pepper Oil
With just two people, we usually just pick up a small package of fish or beef balls and one tray of sliced lamb. In general, I portion out 1 tray of meat per person.
When it comes to vegetables, almost anything goes! The key for leafy greens is to fish them out quickly. Wintermelon takes longer to cook and is perfect once the flesh turns transparent, it will melt into the soup if left for too long.
Source: xiaoEats Hotpot at home Guide