Have you ever had Chinese hot pot? Ever heard of it? Probably not. Well, this was our dinner on Wednesday night. And a great dinner it was!!!
Hot pot is similar to fondue in that there is a pot in the center of the table and in it is a hot flavorful broth. Vegetables and meat are put in broth, cooked until done and taken out to be eaten with vinegar or whatever sauce you want. It is a communal eating-type experience. Hot pot broth can be very very very spicy or plain. Sometimes it is put in a “ying-yang” pot, so spicy and plain broths can be put into one pot and eaters can choose what broth the ingredients should be put in.
This is a copper pot that my mom bought years ago to use for Chinese hot pot. The pot was actually never used for hot pot in my growing-up years, but instead it was used as home decor in the family room in the house I grew up in. I had always thought of it as a decorative piece when I was little.
When we moved into the house we’re living in now, my dad shipped over a bunch of stuff from California and in the shipment was this pot.
While Nick was set on trying out this pot for hot pot, I was weary of it, having a hard time seeing it as a functional kitchen appliance because I had seen it as a decorative piece for such a long time. I was also afraid that it would like, burn the house down, or something… Well, with Monica staying at our house, we had a perfect opportunity to “bust it out” and try using it.
We usually make a trip out to Cleveland’s Chinatown once a month and it made the most sense to go while Monica was here. So we went and bought a bunch of vegetables, meat and the soup base for hot pot in hopes of trying it out while Monica was here. Nick also went to Lowe’s to pick up some coal brickettes (to use to heat the hot pot).
We tried it on Wednesday out in the garage (since the coal would produce too much smoke for it to be safe in the house…not to mention the hot pot spicy smell that permeates everything it touches) and it was a hit!!
It was so spicy we had to eat with little tubs of Plain Greek Yogurt to temper the spiciness. Libby took 1 bite and couldn’t eat anymore…she had to eat leftovers from the previous night. It was spicy and numbing!!! But worth it because it was so tasty. Oh, there is also word that there is a hot pot restaurant coming to Cleveland. That’d be fun!