It’s finally cooled down this year! And to start off soup-a-palooza, we are making hot pot at home! We recently spent a day off at a local shabu shabu joint. For those of you that have no idea what hot pot is, it’s basically a big pot of broth that everyone dips meat and veggies in. My husband LOVES it when the weather is cool, and I wanted to give it a try at home.
Because you make it to your own taste, there really isn’t any specific recipe that I used. I made myself two stocks as a base. A shrimp stock from the shells of shrimp that I was using for the meal, and a beef stock. We like the spicy broth, so to save myself some time, I just bought a jar of Tom Yum paste. To compliment that flavor, I made my soup stock with lemongrass, galangal, onion, kefir lime leaf and garlic.
After simmering the stock for quite a few hours (shrimp stock takes waaay less time) I strained it and set it aside. Now it’s time to set up the hot pot!
I washed and cut napa cabbage, watercress, a variety of mushrooms, and some sliced celery. You can use whatever vegetables you like. For meats, I had thinly sliced chicken breast, rib eye steak, shrimp, squid, fish balls, pho style meatballs, and puffed (fried) tofu. We also used clear bean thread noodles.
With the portable cooktop, I set up the broth pot. I poured in some clear strained stock, then stirred in Tom Yum Paste to taste. I also added fresh galangal, lemongrass, and garlic. But be careful. Garlic pods in the hodge podge of items in the soup can look a lot like a little piece of squid…when you are expecting to bite into squid but get garlic its an unpleasant surprise!
Overall it was so yummy, and comforting to do on a cold day. I would do it again and again! My husband loved it. He even makes his own sauce to dip. I personally just eat it like a noodle soup plain.
Bring on the cool weather. Note that I said cool, not cold. I’m not on team snow.