Secrets to Delicious Hot Pot

Winter is the season for hot pot, which is a highly popular dish. However, to prepare a delicious and flavorful broth for your family without feeling overwhelmed, you need to have some special tips and tricks.

1. Choose ingredients, seasonings, and prepare broth

The first condition for a flavorful and delicious broth is to choose fresh and tasty ingredients, and then use appropriate cooking techniques. For example, for chicken and pork broth, you should not use the head bones because they have a strong odor. The thigh bones and tail bones would be more suitable as they are both sweet and aromatic.

A pure chicken broth should be made from pork and chicken bones only, without adding any sour or sweet taste because it won’t taste good when dipped with cilantro.

Each type of broth requires specific seasonings, so depending on the ingredients, you need to use the appropriate seasonings.

A beef broth requires ginger, shallots, star anise, cinnamon, and dry coriander. Grilled shallots and ginger until cooked but not burnt (the red skin of dry shallots helps to make the broth clear and beautiful), break star anise into petals, cut cinnamon into small pieces, remove the golden dried coriander seeds and use a clean cloth to rub and crush them, then wrap them in a clean cloth and add to the broth. There is often a layer of fat on top of the beef broth to retain heat and preserve the aromatic essential oils.

For chicken broth, you should grill the dry shallots and ginger, then crush them, season with spices, broth mix to taste, add 1-2 stalks of lemongrass, pineapple, and tomatoes. When putting into the hot pot, add traditional Chinese medicine package and soaked dried mushrooms, sa te, and serve with cilantro, water spinach, and shepherd’s purse.

For mixed hot pot, you don’t need to add traditional Chinese medicine, just serve with water spinach and various leafy vegetables. Both types of hot pot can be served with fresh mushrooms.

Seafood hot pot should include pineapple, ginger, lemongrass, celery, and sa te… the taste depends on the preference of each family. Seafood hot pot is usually slightly spicy, sour, and sweet. For fish hot pot, in addition to pork bones, you can also add boneless fish into it.

For this broth, you shouldn’t add grilled ginger and shallots, but increase the sour taste compared to other types. After filtering and slicing the fish, you should marinate it with spices, broth mix, ginger, and crushed shallots. When adding to the hot pot, add cabbage, watercress, and lettuce…

2. Cooking time

Put the pre-roasted bones into cold water, boil on high heat to quickly bring to a boil, then reduce to low heat and let it simmer for a few minutes until the foam hardens, then skim it off. The remaining cooking process should be simmered gently.

The cooking time for each type of broth depends on the ingredients. For example, chicken and pork broth typically takes 4-6 hours to cook (because they are mainly free-range, firm meat, sweet taste, and sustainable nutritional composition), but now the cooking time is shorter.

Beef broth, on the other hand, needs to simmer longer, from 8-10 hours. Seafood broth should not be boiled for more than 45 minutes, otherwise it will become cloudy and sour.

For beef bones, especially leg bones, they should be roasted at high temperatures before simmering to make the broth more fragrant, clear, and tasty.

3. How to clarify cloudy broth

– Beat the egg whites until well blended, then add them to the broth (when it is cool), place it on low heat and stir continuously to collect all the impurities stuck to the egg whites and remove them.

– Chop the meat (chop the same meat as the broth), mix with beaten egg whites, and dried mushrooms, then add to the cool broth to make it clear and delicious.

– If the chicken broth is cloudy, add more chicken bones and simmer again to make the broth clearer and tastier.

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