There is nothing I enjoy more for dinner in the winter time than Hot Pot! In case your’e not familiar, Hot Pot is what most people call Huo Guo or 火鍋. However, it’s literal translation is “Fire Pot” (Huo 火 = Fire, and Guo 鍋 = Pot). I think its literal translation actually describes what it is better. What it is in short is a pot on top of fire.
“Big deal… isn’t that how you cook anything!” might be what you’re thinking.
The main diference here is that you cook your food in the Hot Pot while you’re eating it through out the meal (Maybe not AT THE EXACT same time as that might burn your face off, but you know what I mean) Think of it like a fondue, actually.
So, how it’s served is you are sitting in front of a pot (with fire underneath it) and you have probably some nice soup base (in restaurants you get to pick what kind, for example, original or kimchi or seafood or whatever!) in it already with a few ingredients inside. You also get dishes of raw ingredients such as different vegetables, mushrooms, fish and meat balls, and meat slices to throw in the pot. Then you cook it, dip it in whatever dipping sauce concoction (usually involves soy sauce and sacha sauce) and eat it while it’s hot! It can’t get any fresher than this! I also would like to add, that if you avoid the rice like I did, and tofu and so forth, this could be a deliciously filling Paleo meal!
Though Taiwan in April doesn’t really make me yearn for Hot Pot (it’s been a high of high 80’s-low 90’s here!), I still love eating it there! Here’s all the Hot Pot during my trip in Taiwan!
The first picture I posted and this one above is a hot pot that is “Original” flavored. This means it is whatever soup base that the restaurant you are at has. This could be a chicken, beef, base, but basically it is “original” because unlike the other options it doesn’t have some special theme (such as the next one). As you can see some of the ingredients are different types of mushrooms, carrots, meat slices, egg, and clams.
This is the Korean Kimchi Hot Pot. (In case you’re not familiar, Kimchi is like Korean Sauerkraut…that’s spicy!) The soup base for this hot pot is cooked with Kimchi so that you get a little spice. Quite delicious in my opinion!
Now, something a little unusual (at least harder to find in the states..):
To be honest, I didn’t order this as a hot pot dish. This restaurant I was at is famous for their duck blood tofu, and when you order one of the dishes, it comes out in the style of a hot pot. But still, since it kind of fit the genre, I thought I’d share.
This one is a specialty flavored one, and it’s milk themed. There is also an option for soy milk themed. My mom actually ordered this one, and not me, but I’ve had it a few years ago, and it’s pretty delicious if you like something different than the normal hot pots!
More Hot Pots:
If you’ve never had hot pot before, I highly recommend you try it sometime (the best is when it’s freezing in winter!) Also, which one would you most want to try?
In my next post I will be talking about the most delicious hot pot place I’ve ever been to in Taiwan!