It's Hot Pot!!
This year we decided to celebrate the New Year with Hot Pot, a Chinese favorite! If you've never had Hot Pot before, you are missing out!! Since it can be a bit expensive, especially with a family of our size, we make it at home--like so many other things :)
All you need is a pot and hotplate. We like the pots that are split in
the middle (specially made for hotpot). That way you can have a spicy and non spicy side. Since our family has grown so, we've gone to 2 hotpots and hotplates. You can use just one on 2-6 or 8 people or more, but is a much slower process.
Then, as you can see, you can add a variety of vegetables, meat, tofu, seafood, whatever your heart desires!! Though you can buy a mix here of Hot Pot soup starter, we just make our own. If you'd like to try it at home, you can start with a pot of water. Add in some chopped ginger, garlic, soy sauce, chicken bouillon, sesame oil, star of anise, a couple of bay leaves, and spicy of some sort if you prefer. After it boils a few minutes on the stove top, it is ready for the hotpot where you can add all your favorite ingredients :)
All the kids LOVE Hot Pot--it's so much fun!! Oh, and at the end, after you're nearly full and the pot really has some great flavor now, add in some quick noodles--whatever kind you like--to top it all off! One other thing, if you have any left overs like we usually do, serve them the next day or so over rice or noodles.
It makes for a great family time, but isn't a quick meal--rather a long enjoyable one. After you add your favorites to the hotpot, you need to let it come to a boil and make sure things are cooked. As you can imagine, it isn't always fast, but not real slow either. We usually empty the pot of goodies in everyone's plate then refill it again. While it is cooking the next batch, we're eating what we just took out.