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Taiwanese Hot Pot Recipe

Taiwanese Hot Pot Recipe

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Growing up in an Asian household in the States, we actually didn’t have Turkey or Prime Rib for Thanksgiving and Christmas. What did we have? We got family and friends together and had Hot Pot! This delicious meal is actually had any time in the year, my favorite is enjoying it when it’s cold out. So in this article, I will show you our homemade Taiwanese Hot Pot Recipe.

In this post…

I describe everything I think of that you may need to know to make your own hot pot at home!  Equipment, utensils, how to make the broth/soup base, ingredients for hot pot, and more!

Now, you could make the broth / soup base super complicated – there’s lots of recipes out there, but in this recipe I’m going for simple. I like to take things easy, and not complicated 🙂

Taiwanese hot pot

First things first – Taiwanese people LOVE hot pot. Now, what is the difference between Taiwanese and Chinese hot pot? Different ingredients we like to cook with and also different dipping sauce.

Taiwanese hot pot dipping sauce will use Sacha sauce, for sure.

What is Hot Pot?

Hot Pot in Mandarin is called Huo Guo or 火鍋. 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.

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 and eat it while it’s hot!  It can’t get any fresher than this!  

Is Hot Pot Healthy?

The short answer is yes. Fresh veggies and meat in general is healthy for you.

However, the long answer actually depends on the broth and the ingredients you are eating your hot pot with. Obviously if you put in a lot of processed foods, and less fresh veggies and meat, it won’t be as healthy. Same with the broth.

Hot Pot vs Shabu Shabu

A very common question I get is what is the difference between Shabu Shabu and Hot Pot? Shabu Shabu is actually one type of Hot Pot, it’s the Japanese variation.

Normally when someone refers to this meal as Hot Pot, they mean Chinese Hot Pot. The main differences between Chinese Hot Pot vs. Shabu Shabu is in the broth, and dipping sauce.

I will say though that in Taiwan Shabu Shabu is super popular – as Taiwan was under Japanese control for a while and a lot of Taiwanese cuisine has Japanese influences.

Broth

Shabu shabu broth usually consists of dashi (broth) made with konbu (kelp). Since hot pot is a more generic term, it could really be made with may types of Chinese broth.

Some include bone broth, chicken broth, mushroom broth, just clear water with salt and spices, Sichuan mala spicy broth, Chinese sauerkraut broth, and more!

When I was in Taiwan, there we SO many different types I had kimchi, milk based, soy milk based, and more!

Dipping Sauce

The dipping sauce used in Shabu shabu is usually ponzu or goma (sesame seed) sauce. In Chinese Hot Pot, that again, depends on which province/area of Hot Pot you are eating. The typical dipping sauce contains soy sauce, sesame oil and is mixed with minced garlic and spring onions. In Taiwan, we always also add Sacha sauce in it too.

Hot Pot Equipment

Cooking stove and pots

The most common way to eat Hot Pot at home is to have a portable butane burner. They’re super easy to operate. You load it up and put it on the dining table to hold and cook the hot pot thru out the meal.

Portable butane stoves

These portable butane stoves use small butane ‘fuel’ – they usually sell them in 4 packs. Very easy to use:

Butane Fuel

With a portable butane burner, you can use any kind of pot to hold the hot pot. I recommend metal kinds, because glass ones takes longer to cook. Also, if you want to have two different types of broths going at the same time, you can invest in a dual sided pot, aka yuan yang pot. This is what we usually use.

Dual sided hot pot

There are also other types of hot pot equipment such as a portable induction cooktop. If you choose this route, you’re going to need to have special induction pots for it to work.

Now, this is not recommended but there’s been a few times where we ran out of butane gas, and we literally pulled up stools to our gas stove and ate it off there! It was actually kind of fun – but I wouldn’t try it if you have more than 2 people trying to eat Hot Pot.

Utensils

Chopsticks – Not only chopsticks for each person to eat their food, but actually also have some ‘spare chopsticks’ around that is for ‘public use’. This is a suggestion as I just don’t like everyone dipping their chopsticks that they’re using to eat with in the hot pot that everyone will be eating out of. Call me a germaphobe if you want.

Slotted spoonsSlotted spoons are really helpful with ingredients that aren’t super chopsticks friendly. For example meatballs and tofu.

Slotted sppon

Soup ladleSoup ladle is to help you get soup in your bowl. I recommend drinking the soup at the end, the soup gets super flavorful because of all the ingredients you’ve cooked!

How to make Hot Pot Broth at Home?

There’s two different ways. To make Hot Pot Broth or aka the soup base, you could make it from scratch, or you can buy store bought hot pot base.

Homemade base

So, that highly depends on what hot pot broth you’re going for. I’m going to describe in this post how to make 2 of the most popular Hot Pot Broths – Sichuan Mala Spicy Broth and the Chicken Broth.

We are using a Yuan Yan pot, which means it’s separated in to two sides. This way we can enjoy both types of hot pot broth.

Store-bought base

There’s also another option – buy store bought soup base. This is actually very common. You will be able to find spicy hot pot soup base in your local Asian supermarket. Then just follow the instructions of the package. It’s normally just adding to boiling water and mix well.

How to make Hot Pot at home?

Ingredients

Chicken Broth Ingredients

  • Chicken broth
  • Cooking oil
  • Dried shrimp

Easy Spicy Mala Broth Ingredients

This is if you are making it from scratch, not using the store bought spicy hot pot base:

  • Water
  • Cooking oil
  • Spicy Chili Bean Paste (aka Doubanjiang)
  • Ginger, sliced
  • Dried Red Peppers
  • Sichuan peppercorn (use only if you like numbing part of mala)

Hot Pot Ingredients

There are SO many ingredients to try. In general it breaks down to these categories:

  • Thinly sliced meat – this can be beef, lamb, pork, you name it. You can usually buy this already pre-sliced in an Asian super market.
  • Seafood – This can be fish slices, shrimp, crab legs, octopus, squid, you name it!
  • Veggies – There are so many to choose from! Napa cabbage, cabbage, Chinese watercress, bean sprouts, mushrooms (shiitake, enoki, white button) to name a few!
  • Asian meatballs – there are so many kinds. Pork, beef, squid, fish, shrimp! In case you’ve never had them before, Asian meatballs are very different in texture compared to European and American meatballs. This is because instead of of mincing and forming meats, the meat used for making Asian meatballs is pounded until the meat is pretty much pulverized. So the meatballs have a very soft and ‘al dente’ texture.
  • Noodles – Glass noodles (Cellophane noodles) is our go to, but this could be regular Chinese noodles also.
  • Other – Tofu, kamaboko, crabstick, and more!

One thing I want to note is that there are things that can sit in the hot pot for a long time vs. those things that you don’t’ want it to cook too long.

Dipping Sauce Ingredients

Our Dipping sauce consists of:

  • Scallions, chopped
  • Garlic, minced
  • Sacha sauce
  • Rice wine vinegar
  • Soy Sauce
  • Sesame Oil

Now, that is how we like our dipping sauce, but every household’s kind of got their own faves. So don’t be afraid to mix it up until you find your fave. Some popular condiments for the sauce include sesame butter, hoisin sauce, chili oil, fermented bean curd, and XO sauce.

Instructions

I’m going to break this own in to a couple of different sections. The first is Broth preparation, then the set up of Hot Pot, and then how to cook and eat it!

Hot Pot Ingredients Preparation

This highly depends on what ingredients you’ve chosen. The general rule of thumb is that you want everything ready to be thrown in the hot pot, cooked in a few minutes, and then ready to be eaten. This means:

Napa cabbage – cut in to smaller pieces. White parts should be 1-2 inches. The more leafy soft parts can be bigger.

Tofu – cut in to 1-2 inch cubes.

Tofu

Mushrooms, rinse with water and cut in to smaller pieces also.

Fish – clean and cut in to smaller pieces.

Watercress – clean and cut smaller (but not too small, as it will shrink just a little when cooked).

Watercress

Broth Preparation

Here, I’m going to describe the two broths we most commonly make for Hot Pot – chicken broth and spicy mala broth.

Easy Chicken broth

Heat up chicken stock in a soup pot.

Chicken broth

In a cooking pan, add cooking oil and add dried shrimp.

Dried shrimp

Let it cook for about a minute or until aromatic.

Dump dried shrimp in to chicken broth, and bring to a boil.

Easy Spicy Mala Broth

In a soup pot, fill with water and cook on high heat.

In a cooking pan, add cooking oil and chili bean paste. Once it starts heating up, add sliced ginger and dried red peppers.

Spicy broth prep

Add this hot chili oil mix in to the hot water.

Spicy broth

Add sichuan peppercorn and apples and bring to a boil.

Getting the broth ready for eating!

The broth base is ready at this point. However, this is a good time to get the hot pot started for consumption. I recommend this because otherwise everyone is going to sit around the hot pot cooking everything from scratch.

So, at this point, add some veggies, tofu, kamaboko, meatballs and other items that can stay in the hot pot longer. The things I don’t recommend doing now – meat and seafood.

Bring to a boil. Now if you are using a different pot to eat out of for the actual meal (for example, I’m using the dual sided) pour the broth to the pot.

Dipping Sauce

Mix together ingredients in a small bowl. Serve with spoon in to everyone’s individual bowls. Everyone can add more as needed.

Setup

This is my recommended Setup:

The portable burner with the pot placed on top should be in the middle of the table, so everyone can have access.

Place all the raw ingredients you want in your hot pot around the table.

Have some ‘spare chopsticks‘ around that is for ‘public use’. As mentioned in the equipment section, this is merely a suggestion as I just don’t like everyone dipping their chopsticks that they’re using to eat with in the hot pot that everyone will be eating out of. Call me a germaphobe if you want.

Also lay some ladle spoons and slotted spoons for people to get soup and other ingredients are to grab with chopsticks (ex: meatballs).

Now besides that, I recommend everyone have the following: Personal chopsticks, plate, and a bowl.

The chopsticks is for eating (as opposed to the spare/public chopsticks for grabbing things out of the hot pot), the plate is for holding the food you grabbed and letting it cool before you eat it, and bowl’s got the sauce, so you can dip your hot pot food in before you eat it.

Cooking and Eating

When it’s time to cook and eat, turn on the portable stove and keep the fire burning!

Add ingredients as desired. Here’s tip on the meat:

For thinly sliced meat, it cooks FAST. So what you want to do is pick up the slices of beef and put it in the hot pot with chopsticks. You can leave it there or you can stir it around.

I recommend cooking it on the non spicy side first, and then moving it to the spicy part if you’re doing both. This will make the non spicy sides soup sooooo tasty at the end, while still giving you a spicy mala kick.

For other ingredients just cook until it is cooked thoroughly.

When ingredients are done, place on plate to allow it to cool. Dip in the dipping sauce and eat it!

Don’t forget to drink the soup at the end, the soup gets super flavorful because of all the ingredients you’ve cooked!

Also – when we make hot pot, we eat it for several meals. So feel free to repeat by adding more ingredients for every meal!

Taiwanese Hot Pot Recipe

Taiwanese Hot Pot Recipe

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

In this post, I show you how we make Hot Pot at my home. You could make the broth / soup base super complicated, but in this recipe I'm going for simple. I like to take things easy, and not complicated 🙂

Ingredients

Chicken Broth Ingredients

  • 2 (32 oz) box of Chicken broth
  • 8 cups of water
  • 2 tbsp Cooking oil
  • 2 tbsp Dried shrimp

Spicy Mala Broth Ingredients

  • Water
  • 2 tbsp Cooking oil
  • 4-5 tbsp Spicy Chili Bean Paste (aka Doubanjiang)
  • 2 tbsp Sichuan Peppercorn (use if you like numbing part of 'mala')
  • 3 inches of Ginger, sliced
  • 4 Dried Red Peppers
  • 1 apple, cut in to 1 inch pieces

Hot Pot Ingredients

  • 2 lbs of Thinly sliced meat – this can be beef, lamb, pork, you name it. You can usually buy this already pre-sliced in an Asian super market.
  • 1 lb of Seafood – This can be fish slices, shrimp, crab legs, octopus, squid, you name it!
  • Assortment of Veggies – There are so many to choose from! Napa cabbage, cabbage, Chinese watercress, bean sprouts, mushrooms (shiitake, enoki, white button) to name a few!
  • 16 oz Chinese meat balls – Pork, beef, squid, fish, shrimp, etc.
  • 4 cups of Glass Noodles
  • Other – Tofu, kamaboko, crabstick, and more!

Dipping Sauce Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Sacha sauce
  • 1/2 cup Soy Sauce
  • 2 tsp Rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp Sesame Oil
  • 3 Scallions, chopped
  • 5 Garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup of cilantro, chopped

Instructions

Broth Preparation

Here, I'm going to describe the two broths we most commonly make for Hot Pot - chicken broth and spicy mala broth.

Chicken broth:

  1. Heat up chicken stock in a soup pot.
  2. In a cooking pan, add cooking oil and add dried shrimp.
  3. Let it cook for about a minute or until aromatic.
  4. Dump dried shrimp in to chicken broth, and bring to a boil.

Spicy Mala Broth (spicy hot pot soup base)

  1. In a soup pot, fill with water and cook on high heat.
  2. In a cooking pan, add cooking oil and chili bean paste. Once it starts heating up, add sliced ginger and dried red peppers.
  3. Add this hot chili oil mix in to the hot water.
  4. Add sichuan pepper corn and apples and bring to a boil.

Getting the broth ready for eating!

The broth base is ready at this point. However, this is a good time to get the hot pot started for consumption. I recommend this because otherwise everyone is going to sit around the hot pot cooking everything from scratch.

  1. Add some veggies, tofu, kamaboko, meatballs and other items that can stay in the hot pot longer. The things I don't recommend doing now - meat and seafood.
  2. Bring to a boil. Now if you are using a different pot to eat out of for the actual meal (for example, I'm using the dual sided) pour the broth to the pot.

Dipping Sauce

  1. Mix together ingredients in a small bowl. Serve with spoon in to everyone's individual bowls. Everyone can add more as needed.

Setup

  1. Set up the portable burner with the pot placed on top should be in the middle of the table, so everyone can have access.
  2. Place all the raw ingredients you want in your hot pot around the table.
  3. Have some 'spare chopsticks' around that is for 'public use'. As mentioned in the equipment section, this is merely a suggestion as I just don't like everyone dipping their chopsticks that they're using to eat with in the hot pot that everyone will be eating out of. Call me a germaphobe if you want.
  4. Also lay some ladle spoons and slotted spoons for people to get soup and other ingredients are to grab with chopsticks (ex: meatballs).
  5. Now besides that, I recommend everyone have the following: Personal chopsticks, plate, and a bowl. The chopsticks is for eating (as opposed to the spare/public chopsticks for grabbing things out of the hot pot), the plate is for holding the food you grabbed and letting it cool before you eat it, and bowl's got the sauce, so you can dip your hot pot food in before you eat it.

Cooking and Eating

  1. When it's time to cook and eat, turn on the portable stove and keep the fire burning!
  2. Add ingredients as desired. Here's tip on the meat: For thinly sliced meat, it cooks FAST. So what you want to do is pick up the slices of beef and put it in the hot pot with chopsticks. You can leave it there or you can stir it around. I recommend cooking it on the non spicy side first, and then moving it to the spicy part if you're doing both. This will make the non spicy sides soup sooooo tasty at the end, while still giving you a spicy mala kick.
  3. For other ingredients just cook until it is cooked thoroughly.
  4. When ingredients are done, place on plate to allow it to cool. Dip in the dipping sauce and eat it!
  5. Don't forget to drink the soup at the end, the soup gets super flavorful because of all the ingredients you've cooked!
  6. Also - when we make hot pot, we eat it for several meals. So feel free to repeat by adding more ingredients for every meal!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 686Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 202mgSodium: 1623mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 5gSugar: 8gProtein: 64g

The nutrition information for this recipe is an approximate total per serving. Please double check the nutrition information for your exact ingredients and brands for more precise nutrition information.

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I tried to go in to lots of details, but let me know if I left anything out or if you have any questions! Hope you enjoy your hot pot 🙂

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