Hotpot Is More Thank Just A Meal – It Is An Experience!
There are a few things to keep in mind as you and your friends prepare to eat hot pot. First, cook your ingredients gradually and try to pace it to your eating speed. Remember that the food will be hot when you pull it out, so keep things leisurely, and make sure you wait for the soup to get boiling again between batches. Definitely, use the handheld baskets or designated long cooking chopsticks to retrieve your food so you’re not using the same utensils to eat and cook.
If it’s your first time eating hot pot, you might be inclined to go with a basic broth. That’s completely fine if you load up on sauces, but if you plan on flavoring your meat with only the broth, you should go for something flavorful something that has lemongrass, chili peppers, fish sauce, galangal and lime juice in it. If you’re a spicy food fan, you’ll want something like the Ma-la broth, which is a curry-like broth made with all kinds of spicy ingredients.
If you’ve ordered both seafood and red meat, you’re better off putting them into different broths. Seafood tends to take over other flavors, so give the shrimp and scallops their own pot and let the beef stand alone.
Different foods have different cook times. For example, mushrooms might take 5-8 minutes while thin slices of meat will overcook and become tough if boiled longer than 10 seconds. The good rule of thumb is to let hearty, tough greens ride in the pot to soften up while you dip and eat smaller, quicker ingredients. If you’re not sure about your cooking skills, just invite a knowledgeable friend who can take the lead!
Can you eat it with anything else?
Drink lots of cold beer or báijiǔ as you go. Accordingly, the typical side dishes are the type that are great with drinking alcohol: mixed nuts, spicy smashed cucumber salad, toasty scallion pancakes, spring rolls, or mixed mushroom salads. The salads are an especially great palate cleanser when you’re feeling overwhelmed with your hot pot’s intense spices. And for dessert, consider it your cool down period: people generally finish with fresh sliced fruit or ice cream dishes.
Hot pot is more than just a meal — it is an experience. Expect long periods of silence when everyone is deeply invested in the food in front of them. Whit great food conversation is unnecessary.