Chinese Hot Pot at Home
This is a guide on how to create Chinese Beef Hot Pot at Home with the correct ingredients, tools, and equipment.
What is Chinese Hot Pot?
Chinese Hot Pot (火锅) meaning “fire pot” is a traditional and popular social-gathering meal. It is also referred to as a Chinese fondue and consists of a stainless steel pot filled with savoury broth centered in the middle of the dinner table. The metal pot is heated with a portable electric or gas burner. Around the pot, there are varieties of toppings including raw sliced beef, vegetables, tofu, and beef balls. The various ingredients are cooked in the boiling broth. Once cooked and floating to the surface of the broth, they are scooped with a slotted metal spoon, transferred to diners’ plates and then dipped in your choice of sauces. Chinese Hot Pot is delicious, easy, and super customizable to fit all dietary preferences. Plus, it’s so much cheaper to prepare and cook hot pot at home versus eating out in a restaurant.
Canada Beef partnered with influencer Christina Chow from Cooking with Christina, and developed this step by step guide to prepare Chinese Hot Pot at Home.
This warm and comforting recipe is perfect to prepare and eat with close family or friends. The best part, all the food gets cooked at the table!
Christina is also part of our MyCanadianBeef campaign, learn more about her and find more recipes here.
Beef Rib Eye
Thinly sliced cuts of these work best for hot pot as they cook quickly. These are typically sold in Asian grocery stores in the frozen section intended for hot pot. If you’re unable to find pre-sliced beef, partially freeze a beef steak and carefully slice thinly using a sharp knife.
Duration depends on the ingredient chosen, from as quick as 5 seconds (for fried bean curd roll for example) to about 10 minutes (for daikon and lotus root). I prefer to add in my root vegetables first as they take the longest to cook. As a rule of thumb, once the broth boils and the ingredient floats to the top of the broth, it is considered cooked. Make sure your meats are completely cooked through. Once you add in raw meat, allow the broth to return to a boil prior to removing items from the pot. Only add ingredients to boiling broth, not simmering.
One of the best parts to hot pot is making your own individual sauce for dipping different cooked foods. My favourite, and go-to recipe, for the sauce is below but I recommend trying out and testing different sauce combinations. Popular options typically include: soy sauce, sesame oil, crushed chili, green onion (scallion), garlic, peanut butter, hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, and so many more!
What equipment is required?
Pot: Chinese stainless steel pots work best for Hot Pot. They are typically sold in Chinese supermarkets. I prefer the a two-sided pot that has a metal divider in the middle – this allows you to have two different broths in one pot. If you don’t have a two-sided pot, see the tip for instructions how to adapt the broth recipes.
Burner: A portable, tabletop gas or electric burner works best for hot pot. It’s best to have a heatproof surface to set under the burner such as a rimmed baking sheet set on top of a kitchen towel.
Slotted metal spoons: These slotted spoons allow you to cook the raw beef easily as the raw beef will nestle in the middle of the spoon. As you lower the spoon into the boiling pot, it allows the beef to not fall out. For all other foods for hot pot cooking, you can release directly into the broth and use the slotted metal spoon to retrieve it.
Chopsticks: Wooden chopsticks are recommended for hot pot as plastic chop sticks will melt and metal ones can burn you easily.