In more recent years, it can be argued that hotpot has seen a huge increase in popularity amongst Malaysians, and with good reason! Not many Chinese dishes can rival the sheer amount of variety in terms of offerings, what with meat choices such as chicken, lamb, pork, and beef. Combine that with a plethora of choices when it comes to vegetables and often more than not, it can be difficult with regards to choosing your serving.
Undoubtedly, the choice of soup base adds another layer to the complexity and variety of preparing hotpot. If you fancy your broth to err on the lighter side (and also simpler in terms of preparation), then chicken stock-based broth is an option to consider!
If you’re more adventurous and prefer your hotpot to be brimming with spiciness and excitement, a Mala broth-based hotpot may be up your alley! The Mala broth-based hotpot is usually comprised of an abundance of Sichuan peppers – a definite way to spice up (no pun intended) the hotpot experience!
Due to the varied nature of hotpot, suggesting a recipe would be close to impossible, but there are a few things to keep in mind to create the best hotpot experience, especially if this is your first homemade hot pot meal!
For homemade hotpot, it’s recommended that you use an induction stove as it’s often much easier to set up and clean up than a conventional gas canister to cook. Once the induction stove has been plugged in, all you have to do is just place the pot over the stove, and it’s as simple as that.
Using an induction stove also means that cleaning up is always a breeze. Once the meal is over, the pot is usually left on the induction stove and no one wants to clean it. However, all you have to do is thoroughly wipe with a wet cloth and you’ll be good for the next hotpot session!
With hotpot, almost any and all types of meat will go well in the broth. This means that you’ll never go wrong with choices such as chicken, lamb, pork, and beef. However, you should keep in mind to always look for slices of the respective meats as they are the easiest to cook (usually no more than 30 seconds – 1 minute of dipping the meat in the broth).
Additionally, you may also consider seafood as an option during your hotpot session! Seafood can be cooked in hotpot as a supplement to the red meat, as well as serving to introduce more variety into the ingredients used. Seafood such as fish slices, prawns, scallops, and clams are all usual suspects you would see in a hotpot meal when seafood is involved.
Depending on who you ask, some may argue that vegetables are the more important components in a hotpot as compared to the meat. When it comes to vegetables, there’s a number of options for you to choose from and you really can’t go wrong with any of them.
For example, nappa cabbages, enoki mushrooms, brussels sprouts and baby corn are a great selection of vegetables to cook in the broth as the flavour from the vegetables will seep into the broth.
Of course, no hotpot is complete without a selection of noodles! Sure, you can eat the meat and vegetables on its own, but what really makes a compete hotpot session would be the inclusion of noodles.
With noodles, you can select from thick rice noodles, udon, or instant noodles as they’re all suitable for the hotpot palate.