How to Make Hot Pot at Home
How to make hot pot at home! For me, hot pot is more of an experience rather than just a dish. It’s fun and interactive to cook as you eat and hot pot at home can be cheaper and more satisfying than at restaurants!
What is Hot Pot?
For me, hot pot is more of an experience rather than just a dish. The centerpiece is a pot of broth at the dining table that is constantly simmering. Surrounding the pot are various uncooked ingredients that each person can add into the broth and cook as they eat. There are many different variations such as Chinese Sichuan hot pot, Japanese shabu-shabu, and Vietnamese lẩu to name a few. The differences are in the flavors of the broth and the accompanying ingredients but they all have the same spirit. This is my favorite thing to do when hosting friends or family. It’s fun, interactive, and everyone can cook and eat exactly what they like.
Hot Pot at Home vs. Restaurants
My favorite way to hot pot is at all you can eat hot pot restaurants. If the price is $35/person or less, I 100% think it is worth it! To do hot pot at home, there is a lot of prep work and clean up. However it can be cheaper and more satisfying than a la carte hot pot restaurants. You can get all your favorite items and more food for the amount you’re paying. My grocery bill for hot pot at home for about 4-6 people is usually around $100 for all the ingredients. Everyone is usually stuffed by the end, and we have a bit leftover too.
At a la carte restaurants, a basic cut of meat alone (not wagyu or premium cuts) can cost $15-$30/plate and you would need to have at least 1 plate per person to be satisfied. However the benefit of going out for hot pot is that you don’t have to grocery shop, prep the ingredients/broth, or cleanup. There are definitely pros and cons for each experience!
At Home Hot Pot Set Up
The two most important items you need to do hot pot at home is a pot and portable stove. For the pot, I like to have multiple flavors of broth so I invested in a split pot. If you just want one flavor, you can use a regular pot. I recommend a larger pot, about 4 quarts or more so you have room to add ingredients. For the portable stove, I like to use a gas stove. A pot and portable stove can also be substituted for an Instant Pot. If you use an Instant Pot, you may also need an extension cord if there is not an outlet within reach of your dining table.
Hot Pot Soup Bases
There are many different broths that you can create for hot pot. You can opt to make it from scratch, use a hot pot soup base packet from an Asian grocery store, or even purchase broth from your favorite restaurant. My favorite to use for hot pot nights is the Little Sheep Hot Pot Soup Base – Hot packet. You can find it at H Mart, 99 Ranch Market, your local Asian grocery store, or Amazon. Little Sheep is a popular Chinese hot pot restaurant and I really enjoy their broth. The “hot” flavor is savory, umami, and has the perfect amount of spice. For a non-spicy option, I recommend the Haidilao Broth Flavor Hot Pot Seasoning packet. Both of these options are for Chinese style hot pot broths. Another broth flavor I’ve done at home is Thai tom yum. The options are endless, get creative, and make whatever you enjoy!
Regardless of the flavor, I like to start with the same base. I add chicken broth for more depth, water, yellow onion, green onions, garlic, and ginger. Then I add in the flavor packets or seasonings. I also like to have extra plain chicken broth or water on hand to add throughout the meal because as you cook, the water evaporates. The broth becomes more flavorful and concentrated, however it can get too salty. The extra water or plain chicken broth helps to dilute it and add more liquid so you can continue cooking!
How to Eat Hot Pot
Part of the hot pot experience is cooking everything yourself. Ingredients are served and presented on the dining table uncooked. The pot of broth stays simmering throughout the meal. What you choose to add to the pot and how long you cook it, is personal preference. The meats are thinly sliced so it only takes a few seconds to cook. You can judge the doneness by the color. It is brown when fully cooked. My personal favorite is when it is a little pink because the texture is nice and tender.
I also think there is an art to the order in which you add your ingredients. I like to start with veggies and seafood first to flavor the broth. Then cook the meats which adds more fat and flavor. Lastly, I add the starchy items like noodles because it thickens up the broth. If you’re still feeling hungry, at the very end, add rice to the broth to create congee. One of my favorite things about hot pot is that the flavor of the soup just gets better as you eat! If the water evaporates and becomes overly concentrated or salty, simply add in more water or plain chicken broth to dilute.
Hot Pot Sauces
Hot pot to me is also all about the sauces! It’s fun to experiment with different combinations. I love dipping everything in the sauce including meats, veggies, tofu, and fish balls. When hosting, I like to create a little sauce bar with bottles of soy sauce, ponzu, fish sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, goma or sesame sauce, chili oil, sriracha, chili peppers, vinegar, salt, pepper, cilantro, freshly minced garlic, and sliced green onions. Here are some of my favorite combinations for inspiration: ponzu based, sesame based, and one with a raw yolk!
- Ponzu based sauce: ponzu, soy sauce, cilantro, garlic, green onions, Thai chili, chili oil, sesame oil
- Sesame based sauce: sesame sauce, cilantro, garlic, Thai chili, green onions, chili oil
- Raw yolk sauce: garlic, chili oil, green onions, ponzu sauce, soy sauce, egg yolk
Did you make this recipe? I would love to see! Tag me on Instagram @feedmi_ or TikTok @feedmi
Hot Pot at Home
- 1 lb thinly sliced beef ribeye
- 1 lb thinly sliced beef brisket
- 1 lb thinly sliced lamb shoulder
- 1 bag frozen dumplings or wontons
- 1 lb assorted fish balls
- 1 packet Little Sheep Hot Pot Soup Base – Hot
- 1 packet Haidilao Broth Flavor Hot Pot Seasoning
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 4 cups water
- 4 green onions
- 1 yellow onion
- 6 garlic cloves
- 1 ginger
- 6 servings handmade noodles, udon, and/or cooked rice
- 1 kabocha squash
- 1 napa cabbage
- enoki mushrooms
- bok choy
- fried tofu puffs
- Wash and cut vegetables. Arrange all proteins, carbs, and veggies onto different plates.
- In a split pot on medium heat, combine 4 cups of chicken broth and 2 cups of water to each side.
- To each side of the split pot, add ½ yellow onion, 1 inch piece of ginger, white portions of 2 green onions, and 3 garlic cloves.
- Add the different flavored soup bases to each side of the split pot. Bring to a boil.
- Serve with the uncooked proteins, carbs, and veggies. Add items to the split pot as you eat, cook, and enjoy!