KNOW YOUR MEAT CUTS - HOT POT MEAT?
Know Your Meat Cuts - Hot Pot Meat?
Essential Hot-Pot Ingredients for Dipping, Broths, Noodles, and More
The list of foods that can be cooked in a hot pot is a long one. Variety is key, since you want to have a little bit of everything. Beef and seafood are two of the most popular foods to cook in a hot pot, but you'll need to balance those more filling items with light ones, like greens and other vegetables.
Meat and seafood may be the centre pieces of a hot-pot meal, but the feast isn't complete without vegetables. They balance out the heavier offerings and add flavour to the broth. You can add almost any vegetable to a hot pot.
Just about any meat is hot-pot-appropriate meat. Beef, pork, and lamb are best prepped as paper-thin slices. Dip them a few times in the hot-pot broth, and in a few seconds they're done.
Beef, including fatty cuts (brisket, short rib, et cetera); ribeye; and Asian beef-tendon meatballs. Thinly sliced fatty beef is one of the must-haves for a hot-pot feast; it's usually labelled as fatty beef, beef for hot pot, or even pastrami beef in the frozen section of Asian supermarkets. If you're unable to find fatty beef or want a second beef option, try ribeye. Slice it against the grain, about a quarter inch thick (or even thinner). Unlike Western-style meatballs, Asian-style tendon meatballs have a bouncy bite to them.
Lamb, in particular shoulder and leg. Just as popular as beef in China, and more popular in certain regions, lamb is another must-have. It's usually always served as paper-thin slices. Just like fatty beef, it takes seconds to cook and can be found in the frozen section of Asian markets.
Chicken, especially breast and thigh meat. Slice both white and dark meat stir-fry size, about one-eighth to one-quarter inch thick.
Pork loin and belly, Just like beef and lamb, pork loin and belly are best sliced paper-thin.
Vegetables, meat, and seafood are great in a hot pot, but what about the noodles? You can use white rice, but noodles are the more popular choice. There are lots of options, including ho fun (wide white noodles), needle noodles (which are transparent and shaped like thick needles), and rice stick noodles (also known as banh pho or fresh pho noodles). Fresh noodles generally take under a minute to cook. Dried rice noodles, such as vermicelli, on the other hand, are best boiled in water first, then rinsed with cold water, drained, and served in a bowl alongside the other hot-pot ingredients.
With the dipping ingredients chosen, you then have to decide what kind of broth you want to cook them in. You can keep it simple and cook everything in chicken broth (homemade or store-bought), flavoured with chunks of daikon, carrots, or corn and a few slices of ginger.