Chinese hot pot is truly communal: Not only do you sit down to eat with all your companions, but you cook the food together in the same pot of simmering broth. This recipe will get you started, with one pot of simmering, flavorful broth, tasty homemade shrimp balls, two flavorful dipping sauces, and lots of ideas for what else to cook in the pot (for much more information on what else to cook and how to set up a hot-pot meal, read our instructions here).
Note: The shrimp balls are a delicious homemade choice, but entirely optional: you can cook all sorts of things in a hot pot, from meats to vegetables and seafood. Feel free to omit the shrimp balls, supplementing with other dipping ingredients, if desired.
- Yield:Makes enough for 1 hot pot (4-6 servings)
- Active time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Total time:1 hour 30 minutes
- For the Shrimp Balls (see note):
- 1 pound shrimp, shelled and deveined
- 1 egg white, beaten with a fork until frothy
- 1 scallion, white and light-green parts only, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine
- 1 teaspoon vegetable or canola oil
- For the Ginger-Scallion Sauce:
- 1/4 cup peanut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup minced ginger
- 2 cups chopped scallion
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- For the Scallion and Hot Pepper Sauce:
- 2 chili peppers, julienned
- 6 scallions, julienned
- Half a bunch of cilantro, leaves and tender dtems only, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 4 thin slices ginger, julienned
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon hot chili oil
- For the Broth:
- 6 cups water or chicken stock
- 1/2 cup BullHead Barbecue Sauce
- 1/4 cup Asian fish sauce
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- Kosher salt
- Juice from 1 to 2 limes, to taste
- For Serving:
- Assorted vegetables, thinly sliced meats, fresh seafood, tofu, and noodles, for cooking in the hot pot (see our hot pot guide for specific ideas)
For the Shrimp Balls: Pat shrimp dry with paper towels and transfer to a food processor. Pulse 20 times, stopping to scrape down the sides every few pulses for even mincing. Transfer minced shrimp to a large bowl.
Add egg white, scallion, white pepper, salt, cornstarch, and Shaoxing wine to the shrimp. With chopsticks or a fork, mix in a circular motion, until combined. Using wet hands, form shrimp paste into 2-inch balls and set on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate until ready to cook in hot pot.
For the Ginger-Scallion Sauce: In a small saucepan, heat oil over medium heat for 1 minute. Add ginger and cook for 1 minute, then stir in scallions. Continue stirring and cook until the scallions begin to wilt, about 2 minutes. Turn off heat and add salt, white pepper, and sesame oil. Serve right away or at room temperature. Sauce can be refrigerated overnight; let it come up to room temperature before serving.
For the Scallion and Hot Pepper Sauce: Combine chili, scallion, ginger, and cilantro in a bowl. In a small saucepan, heat peanut or olive oil over medium heat for 30 seconds. Drizzle hot oil all over the scallions, chili, ginger, and cilantro.
Stir in soy sauce, vinegar, and hot chili oil. Let stand at room temperature until vegetables are slightly wilted, at least 15 minutes. Serve at room temperature.
For the Broth: Bring water or stock to a boil in the hot pot. Stir in BullHead sauce, fish sauce, and sugar. Season with salt. Add lime juice to taste.
For Serving: Keep broth in hot pot at a simmer. Arrange plates with various raw ingredients for dipping on table around hot pot (including shrimp balls, if using, thinly sliced meats, fresh seafood, mushrooms and other vegetables, and noodles). Dip ingredients into simmering broth until just cooked, then dip into one of the dipping sauces and enjoy.