For the last several years, I’ve worked with colleagues and taught young authors who immigrated to Canada from China. As friendships grew, they introduced me to all sorts of Chinese culture, especially cuisine, as they know I am a super foodie.
Hot pot is, by far, my favourite of all of the many foods I have shared with this crew. I first learned of it from two work colleagues who gave me recipes and sent me on a mission for ingredients. It blew my family’s mind and we have loved it ever since.
While I make it at home, I will Skytrain it just about anywhere for a good hot pot. It has also opened me up to all kinds of new ingredients as a result of this deliciousness.
For those of you who are new to hot pot, it is is a Chinese cooking method prepared with a simmering pot of soup stock at the dining table, containing a variety of foodstuffs and ingredients. While the hotpot is kept simmering, ingredients are placed into the pot and are cooked at the table. While I’m a vegetarian, hot pots usually have meat, leafy veg, mushrooms, noodles, dumplings, and seafood.
There is a bit of magic surrounding hot pot lore. Folklore suggests that hot pot has the power to enhance friendship and unite family members or colleagues. Several people sit around a pot, talking and eating. The warm air is also considered to make people comfortable.
I swear the stories are true!
Here are some of my recent loves: