Amazing Cuisines | Homemade Hot Pot

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(Edited)

The Wonderful World Of Hot Pot


What better way to break the ice & learn about one another than over some food?

When it comes to the wide world of wonderful cuisines, there are not many boundaries as to what I will not put into my stomach. Being open to different cultures is an interest that is embedded deep into the way that I have always lived my life. Learning about what makes us different is fascinating.

There are few preferred forms of getting to know people better then sharing in laughter over a tremendous meal. Hot Pot nears the top of the list for food pastimes that create the best environment for that.

The process of eating is carried out over multiple hours. Each guest needs to participate in the process one way or another. By the end, you have taken part in a team effort, creating nearly an intimate feeling of satisfaction amongst the peers you ate with.


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Having the fortunate experience of keeping friends with roots from all over the planet, I have had the pleasure of being introduced to some of the best foods from around the world. Over the years, this love for ethnic foods has inspired me to place my amateur chef hat on, practicing the art of combining the many wonderful flavours available to us.

To begin a dish that I know little about, I would seek tips from friends and their families, then attempt to apply my own twist on them. Thankfully, the internet allows us to explore the different ways people make things, where creating something that is just yours is much easier.

Usually after a few trial and error runs, you can pinpoint which part of the dish needs adjustments as well as an area where you can substitute ingredients to make it your own.


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Spices & Proteins


While I am no expert on Hot Pot, it is a cuisine that I put forth a ton of effort in getting right.

For me, the right amount of spice needs to be applied to Hot Pot; high quality proteins are a must. Seafood Hot Pot is my favourite approach using fresh fish, scallops and prawns.

Many cuts of Beef and Pork are popular as well. Lamb & Tofu can be added if that is your flavour. Hot pot can be whatever you want it to be!

There has never been a time where I was not left feeling complete bliss and comfort after finishing up a Hot Pot session. The flavours are abundant, the choices for each bite are endless, and you feel as though you are fed for life.

When possible, buying fresh products over frozen adds to the quality of the flavours. While making everything from scratch is not realistic, it is good to try to do what you can from scratch.


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Homemade Shrimp Balls


This was my first attempt at homemade shrimp balls in this session. Ingredients wise, it is a simple process. The flavours were bountiful but the presentation could use some work. Next time, I will attempt to form a better ball shape for a more appealing appearance.


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The Sauces


Sauces are often an overlooked aspect in many dishes, but when done properly, they can turn a mediocre hot pot into a delicious one.

It is good to create your sauces to satisfy opposite palettes. Often times, others taking part in the hot pot may not consume the same level of spice; they may not relish in certain ingredients over others. Having a choice with sauces can give that spicy kick that one wants without having to load it in the broth deterring others of enjoying the experience.

These sauces are a Ginger Scallion Sauce & a Scallion Hot Pepper Sauce. One has a heavier Ginger flavour with little spice, while the other has a heavy spice flavour.

I notice that these two sauces deliver a strong balance for people that enjoy diverse tastes.


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For this Hot Pot session, we had some fresh Pacific Halibut, Jumbo Prawns and Sea Scallops as our raw seafood ingredients. We also had some Beef Rolls as another option.

For other variations of seafood, more popular additions to the meal include:
Lobster Balls, Cuttlefish Balls, Fish Roe Balls, Octopus Balls..it goes on and on!


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The Vegetables


For the vegetables, you can use anything that you really want to. One item that should never be skipped or substituted are the Enoki Mushrooms. The first time I ever ate these mushrooms was in Hot Pot & I look forward to them each and every time.

Another must have is either Bok Choy or Spinach to toss into the broth when your bowl is already full to give it its final touch. Small chunks of corn on the cob, I tend to leave in the broth for awhile as they taste even better the more time they get having the broth soften and fill them with flavour.


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Luckily in our city we have many markets that have all sorts of Hot Pot Products. We have a large Chinese population that has brought many different styles and methods of cooking Hot Pot.

Tofu tastes amazing in Hot Pot, although stick to a medium to firm tofu to avoid it disintegrating in the pot if left too long.


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The Broth


Ordinarily, we make 2 different broths depending on the people we are dining alongside. If somebody has an allergy with seafood, we prepare to have a seafood free broth present. At times, I will prepare a curry style broth for a completely different taste as well.

The possibilities are endless!


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The Noodles


For the noodles, I have noticed people do this a variety of ways. Some like to use the broth that everything else is cooked in. For me, the noodles are about the least exciting thing about Hot Pot and are more of a filler that takes a back seat to the rest of the ingredients.

I do not care for using the main broth because I feel it takes too much of the broth away from the pot. Each time you need to add more broth or water to the pot, it always takes away from the taste of the original batch, leaving a diluted version of it.

For this reason, I prefer cooking the noodles in a separate pot and serving them first, then people can add the other ingredients on top, saving the most potent parts of the broth for the best ingredients.


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In Closing


For those that have not tried Hot Pot, I am certain that you will find it to be an amazing experience. In reality, you can Hot Pot anything. Change some of the ingredients that work for you.

The absolute BEST part of Hot Pot is visiting with others that are eating it with you. The interaction between each other creates an intimate energy that knocks down barriers and facilitates a setting which makes people who just met, feel as though you have known them for years.

Some food settings can do magical things. This is one of them.

Bon Appetit



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19 comments
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Wow.. So many food.. I suddenly missed eating hot pot. The last time I ate with my friends was before the pandemic. We do make hotpot at home, during winter only

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The process of eating is carried out over multiple hours. Each guest needs to participate in the process one way or another. By the end, you have taken part in a team effort, creating nearly an intimate feeling of satisfaction amongst the peers you ate with.

This makes it a whole different experience, right?
I have never had the opportunity to try it, but today this is the second post I see with hot pot. Must be a sign for me :))

Looks fantastic!

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You just pulled the most important comments of the entire post. It is the very best part of it all. I have to warn you though, once you have it once, you will want it again and again!

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I have to warn you though, once you have it once, you will want it again and again!

I will have it in my mind before I adventure myself into this experience :D

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Wow this is such a lot of food on the table, absolutely perfect for family meal.

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Yes this one was a little bit overboard. It is not the type of thing you can do this big everyday as it would be too expensive. It is the best way to do a family meal!

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I have never tried hot pot, but I hope I'll try it someday, and more after seeing those pics, so yummy :)

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You will be happy that you did! It is such a great experience!

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At the first opportunity I have, I will try it :)

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