Updated: Apr 13, 2019
A great way to escape the cold New England winters is to duck into the warm inviting delicious smelling environments that are hot pot restaurants. Now, if you don't know, hot pot involves preparing a broth and keeping it simmering while you place ingredients into the broth to be cooked at the table. Typically, hot pot dishes include thinly sliced meat (yum), leafy green vegetables and mushrooms (great source of vitamins and fiber), and things filled with carbs like wontons, dumplings, and noodles.
Making hot pot at home is the perfect way to curb the carbs involved. Read on to find out how.
What you'll need:
a portable burner (we have this induction one)
things to cook in the broth
wire ladles (or slotted spoons would work)
First, and arguably most importantly, let's talk about the broth. What you'll be cooking all the delicious food in. For us, we're really into spicy broths, although you could use something as simple as homemade bone broth with some aromatics like green onion or ginger. Our favorite type of spice is sichuan. We found the recipe for this broth in the book land of plenty. If you like sichuan, you should definitely get that book.
It's important to note that while some people drink the broth after, you don't have to. This may affect any substitutions you decide to make. The broth recipe says it serves 4-6 and is roughly 4 net carbs per serving. To give you an idea of how much broth this makes, it filled our 3 quart dutch oven (seen in the picture below), supplied us with enough broth to stuff our bellies with hot pot two nights in a row, and we still have leftover broth.
So, how do you make this broth?
1/4 cup fermented black beans (you can omit these if you wish, they add 2.5 ish total carbs per serving)
1/3 cup Shaoxing rice wine
fresh ginger, about 3 inches long
1/4 cup dried Sichuanese chiles
1/2 cup peanut or vegetable oil
2/3 cup beef drippings or lard
1/2 cup Sichuanese chile bean paste (you can sub this for chili oil if you want to cut back on the carbs more)
3 quarts beef stock
1 teaspoon whole Sichuan peppercorns
There are ingredients we don't include when we make our hot pot, so I removed them from the list above. Those ingredients are: 1 tablespoon sugar and 1/3 cup fermented glutinous rice wine.
Things to cook in the broth:
What you cook in the broth ultimately comes down to personal preference. However, if you plan on cooking meat, make sure it's thinly sliced so the meat cooks quickly and can be picked up with chopsticks. Below is what Josh and I normally put in our hot pot.
thinly sliced beef
thinly sliced pork
mushrooms (enoki, shiitake, and king oyster)
shirataki noodles (if you're into dishes that require noodles, these are life changing, 1 net carb per 113 grams)
lotus root (these are 12 net carbs per 100 grams and something Josh considers an indulgence)
bamboo shoots (these are 4.7 net carbs per 151 grams, so keep that in mind)
Once you have your broth and all the ingredients you want to cook you're ready to begin. Have a seat and bring the broth to a boil. As you add the ingredients to the broth it will lower the temperature. Cook the meat for 1-3 minutes depending on the thickness of the meat, and the vegetables until the desired tenderness.
That's it! Good luck, and I hope your home hot pot experience is a delicious and fun one! My last piece of advice is to be sure and measure out how much you want to eat before hand. Having all the ingredients on the table can lead to over eating, and it won't matter how many carbs you cut, if you eat until your stomach bursts—which is quite easy with food as delicious as this.