This is Part III of the Hot Pot Series. Here are the other posts in this series:
Before I start today’s recipe, I’d like to thank everyone for participating in the Chinese New Year Giveaway that just ended a few hours ago. I really appreciate for all your feedback on the recipes and ingredients you are interested to see. I promise that your requests will appear on this blog in the near future.
Now, you can find out the giveaway winner on the bottom of this post
In the recent years, Chinese hot pot has become increasingly popular in the States. I’ve noticed a dozen of new hot pot restaurants mushroomed out around NYC with patrons from all walks of live. How does this ancient Chinese tradition become a hit in the Big Apple? Well, hot pot is delicious, versatile, and easy to serve.
Did I say easy? That’s right, you can actually make hot pot at home easily. All you really need are hot pot equipments, cooking ingredients, and some good broth (or water if you do Cantonese/Fujian style seafood hotpot).
Speaking of broth, I am sharing a non-spicy clear broth today upon popular demand after I shared this Sichuan Spicy Hot Pot recipe last time. Although I personally prefer the Sichuan spicy broth, I always include a non-spicy side when I host a hot pot party (we Asians sure know how to party!!) so some of my friends can still enjoy their hot pot without burning their tongues and stomachs.
This is a very basic broth that calls for small amount goji berry and dried red date which are both typical Chinese soup ingredients. Goji berry is been getting quite some attention in the Western world due to its various health benefits. The dried red dates are also believed to be rich in nutritional value and can improve immunity and lower cholesterol. The combination of Chinese herbs and stock makes the broth not only delicious but also healthy!
Ever wonder why some Chinese soups are so milky white? In the recipe below, I will share an important trick I learned from Chinese restaurant chefs to make your soup extra white. But before I jump into the recipe, please help me out on future hot pot ideas. Please leave a comment below telling me what other kind of hot pot recipe you would like to see on this blog.
Step by Step
To make the stock, first pre-boil the chicken carcass and pork bones until the color of meat turned white. Rinse the pre-boiled bones and carcass to get rid of any scum and blood
In a large stock pot, combine the bones with 4 liters of water and boil over high heat
Once the stock is boiling, use a mesh strainer to remove any scum and impurities floating on the surface of the stock
(Optional) A professional Chinese chef taught me this trick to make the soup extra white and milky. Skip it as you wish. Once the stock is boiled for an hour or reduced by 1/3, add one sliced potatoes to the soup and boil over high heat for another hour or so. The potato not only makes your soup milk white but also adds a nice touch of root vegetable flavor to your stock.
After about two hours of boiling, the stock is done. To assemble for the hot pot soup, just combine the broth with cooking wine, goji berry, dried dates, and shiitake mushroom. Bring the soup to boil and simmer for another 30 minutes. Finally add the scallions, salt, and white pepper to taste. Serve with the hotpot ingredients.