"China, I’ve learned, is considered the home of hotpot, with a history of more than 1,000 years. Hotpots are now common in many East and Southeast Asian countries in various styles. In Japan, there’s shabu shabu; in Vietnam you’ll find steamboats, Korean hotpot is jeongol, and within China there are more than 30 kinds, depending on the region, including Sichuan hotpot, Guangdong seafood hotpot and Beijing mutton hotpot.
The hotpot sits in the middle of the table, consisting of one or two seasoned broths. Accompaniments – proteins, vegetables, noodles, dumplings and dipping sauces – are laid on the table surrounding the pot. Participants dip their chosen bits into the hotpot to cook. Typically, meats and seafood will be dunked into the hotpot first, flavouring the broth as they cook, then secondly, noodles will be cooked in the broth and absorb all the delicious flavours imparted throughout the meal."
To replicate this at home, you’ll need a portable heat source, such as a small camping stove and either a Dutch oven, cast-iron casserole dish or a table-top hotpot. And, use any combination of the components listed below to make it your own."
This recipe is from Bowls & Broths by Pippa Middlehurst (Quadrille, £16.99) Photography: India Hobson
Ingredients for the hotpot broth
Ingredients for the accompaniments. (Use some or all).
- 400g (14oz) fresh ramen noodles or 200g (7oz) dried ramen noodles
- 400g (14oz) thinly shaved beef (find in the freezer section of East and Southeast Asian supermarkets)
- 200g (7oz) Chinese fish balls, prawn balls, beef balls
- 200g (7oz) raw tiger or king prawns (jumbo shrimp), peeled and deveined
- 200g (7oz) squid rings
- 200g (7oz) fried tofu puffs
- 200g (7oz) enoki and shimeji mushrooms
- 250g (9oz) pak choi (bok choy), leaves separated
- 1 small Chinese leaf (napa cabbage), chopped into 2½cm (1in) pieces
- 6–12 dumplings or wontons
Ingredients for the hotpot dips. (Use some or all).
A good all rounder
Zingy & Fresh
- ½ a small bunch coriander (cilantro), roughly chopped
- 4 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 red bird’s eye chilli, finely chopped
- juice of 1 lime
Simple & Classic
Sweet & Spicy
How to prepare Hotpot
- To prepare the málà broth, heat the oil in your chosen hotpot vessel over a medium heat and fry the málà paste until fragrant. Add the chicken or onion broth and stir to combine. Add the rest of the dried ingredients for the málà soup and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to low and maintain a gentle simmer until you’re ready to serve.
- To prepare the mild broth, add the goji berries, shiitake mushrooms, spring onions (scallions) and ginger to the hotpot with the chicken or onion broth and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to low and maintain a gentle simmer until you’re ready to serve.
- To prepare the dips, combine the ingredients listed in small dipping bowls. For the ‘great for meat’ dip, the yolk should be cracked into the dipping bowl and left whole (not mixed).
- To serve, set the hotpot over the heat source in the middle of the table. Arrange the chosen accompaniments on plates surrounding the pot, along with your chosen dips. Each person will need their own bowl and chopsticks or serving utensils