Chinese hot pots

If there’s something you should know about me, it’s that I rarely say no to free food.

Especially if it comes in the form of one of my Auntie Agnes’s hot pots.

This refers to a simmering metal pot of stock at the centre of the dining table. My auntie tends to use carrots and corn on the cob as the stock base.

Sometimes metal dividers are used in the pot to separate between spicy and non-spicy broths or vegetables and meat.

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Hot pots are popular for big events such as birthdays or Mother’s Day as it’s less effort than cooking lots of individual dishes.

Furthermore it’s great for big groups of families and friends to sit around the table and chat!

While the pot is kept simmering on a portable gas/electric stove, ingredients are placed into the pot to cook at the table, eating and refilling throughout the night.

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In many areas, hot pot meals are eaten in the Winter.

This was the case for my family when I lived in the UK, as we tended to do them on Christmas Day instead of the traditional British Christmas dinner.

Typical hot pot ingredients include: thinly slice meat, meatballs, fish balls, leaf vegetables, mushrooms, wontons, dumplings, seafood and many more. 

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A personal favourite of mine is the preserved duck eggs, but Ryan’s not a fan!

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Also if it’s a special occasion, my auntie brings out the big guns, such as massive, juicy lobsters and abalone!

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Abalone (the shellfish pictured at the bottom of this image) is one of my favourite foods.

However it’s quite pricey! It is considered a luxury item that has been traditionally reserved for special occasions.

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Here are a couple of examples of the dishes throughout the night.

Noodles and vegetables are usually cooked towards the end of the night to soak up all the flavours from the meat and seafood.

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The food is usually eaten with a dipping sauce.

This is based on personal preference, but I usually go for either soy sauce with either fresh chilis and coriander (when available) or chili oil.

I’m a big fan of these:

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Ry and I have had a couple of hot pots at home when we couldn’t think of what else to do for dinner…

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Be warned – noodles are the most difficult things to get out of a hotpot without burning yourself in the process! :p

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If you’ve got any snaps from your hotpots, feel free to share them in the comments section! 😀

xxx

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