Hot Pot at Home: Master the Basics
Huddled around bubbling broth and flavorful steam, hot pot brings everyone together – literally. This communal dish is something worth sharing, and it’s even more of an experience than just a recipe.
Master the basics and discover a bubbling, delicious broth that gets even better the longer you eat!
What is hot pot
Hot pot originated in China, but many distinct flavors and varieties have evolved across Asia. From Sichuan peppercorns to goji berries, ginger, mushroom, and coconut, there’s no wrong way to enjoy hot pot if it’s full of deep, rich flavors. Mix it up and try multiple broths with Aroma’s two-in-one hot pot styles.
You may have heard it called fire pot, soup-food, or steamboat, and it’s known as shabu shabu in Japan. Hot pot is unique because the broth is just a way to cook at the table and infuse flavor; it’s not a soup or stew.
How to hot pot
You’ll find lots of food blogs with detailed tips for cooking hot pot at home, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed, but remember – this is a fun, delicious way to cook and eat together. No stress!
If you want, it’s a good idea to start with the strongest flavors that make your broth even better, like mushrooms, marinated meat, and fish balls. Cooking starchy foods toward the end of your hot pot meal can help keep things boiling at the right temperature. But again, there’s no right or wrong way to do it.
Simply boil your broth and adjust the temperature to keep it at a rolling simmer, drop in fresh ingredients to cook while you chat, and finish with dipping sauces when the food is done.
How long to cook hot pot
The trickiest part is knowing how long to cook your ingredients. Luckily, hot pot recipes always recommend cutting ingredients into bite-sized pieces. If one bite is overcooked, just try again and pull it out a little sooner the next time. Meat color is a good indicator, and it likely won’t take as long as you think.
Root vegetables like yams and potatoes might take up to 15 minutes to fully cook and become tender. Thin slices of meat and seafood, on the other hand, will be fully cooked in 30 to 90 seconds! Meatballs and fish balls are one of the easiest choices because they’ll typically float to the surface when they’re ready to eat.
Cook and eat at the same time as you go. By adding ingredients in small batches, you can keep the broth boiling at the right temperature. Take time to enjoy your experience at the table, and remember: hot pot is a dish worth savoring!
How to remove food from hot pot
The Japanese name ‘shabu shabu’ means ‘swish swish,’ like the sound of stirring a pot to find ingredients. If you have a large hot pot party or your broth is cloudy with aromatics, you might lose food in the bottom of the pot… don’t worry, it’s all part of the experience.
Hot pot strainers are a popular tool to scoop bites out and drain the broth. If you’re using chopsticks to drop food inside to cook, you can also use them to pull it back out. For food safety, we recommend using a separate set of chopsticks for raw meat and seafood. Or make sure to dip your chopsticks in the boiling broth for a few seconds before serving.
Or, try the Aroma Smart Electric Hot Pot Elevator – it is another modern solution. Simply lift and lower the electric basket with the touch of a button. Now you don’t have to swish around in the broth to find your next bite!
Whether you’re completely new to hot pot or you’ve only eaten it at restaurants, our line of electric hot pots makes it easy. Grab chopsticks, set out fresh ingredients, invite your friends, and start cooking Chinese hot pot at home with Aroma.