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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Chongqing Hot Pot (hūo go má là) - Perfect for icy cold days

Chongqing Hot Pot

We are also serving this at Christmas time this year!

When I lived in Chongqing, I had this special dish quite often with large groups of people.  It is quite a party or communal fare.  It brings back wonderful memories of my time in China and the wonderful people I got to meet.  

2 cups stock (turkey, chicken, beef)
4 cups water
1 cup chopped mushrooms (button, shitake)
1 tbs garlic black bean paste
1 tbs chili paste
1 tbs chili bean paste
1 tbs chili oil
1-5 whole dried red chilies
1 bunch green onions, 1 inch chop
1/2 cup white wine or Mirin (sweetness balance)

Dry Spices: 3 star anise, 1tbsp Sichuan Peppercorn, 1 black cardamom, 4 green cardamom, 2 dried ginger, 1 piece cinnamon stick, 3 slice liquorice, and 1 tbsp fennel seeds 

Simmer all ingredients together for a long time until a rich broth (you may need to add more water during the eating time as it reduces quite a bit).  Serve at the tabletop with the following optional items to enjoy cooking with chopsticks.  Serve with rice. 

Firm tofu
Garlic Greens
Green Onions
Green Cabbage leaves or baby bok choy, baby Shanghai cabbage or Savoy
Red or Green pepper slices
Enoki Mushrooms
Shitake Mushrooms (without stems)
Bean Sprouts
Thinly Sliced Beef or lamb (buy sliced or slice while half frozen)
Blood Tofu (coagulated pig's blood, not for the picky eater but one eats everything)
Skinned and boned eel slices

Hints:  Eat veggies first.  Serve with dipping sauces that will contrast as well as cut fat or enhance it, Sichuan peanut sauce, Hoisin, etc.

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