Classic One Pot Cookery From China

By Andrew Zimmern

Chengdu-Style Hot Pot


    Ingredients

    Ingredients for Dipping

    • Thinly sliced beef short rib, 6 to 8 ounces per person
    • Sliced pork belly, 6 to 8 ounces per person
    • Sliced chicken thigh, 6 to 8 ounces per person
    • Lamb hearts, 6 to 8 ounces per person
    • Shrimp, 6 to 8 ounces per person
    • Squid (small as you can find), 6 to 8 ounces per person
    • Chinese Sausage, 6 to 8 ounces per person
    • Pork balls, fish balls, shrimp balls (can be purchased), 6 to 8 ounces per person
    • Fried firm tofu squares, 6 to 8 ounces per person
    • Watercress, 4 to 6 ounces per person
    • Pea Shoots, 4 to 6 ounces per person
    • Whole mushrooms, several Asian varietals, 4 to 6 ounces per person
    • Napa cabbage, 4 to 6 ounces per person
    • Chinese broccoli, 4 to 6 ounces per person
    • Bean sprouts, 4 to 6 ounces per person
    • Spinach, 4 to 6 ounces per person
    • Bok Choy, 4 to 6 ounces per person
    • Tofu and tofu skin, 4 to 6 ounces per person
    • Egg noodles thin and thick, 4 to 6 ounces per person
    • Rice vermicelli, 4 to 6 ounces per person
    • Rice cake, 4 to 6 ounces per person
    • Sweet potatoes, 4 to 6 ounces per person

    Cooking Stock

    • 4 pounds pork and chicken bones
    • 1 gallon water
    • 3 slice ginger
    • 6 scallions
    • 1/4 cup dried shrimp
    • 1 small handful cilantro

    Aged-Spicy Paste

    • 50 dried Chinese chilies, soaked in warm water until soft
    • 10 larges slices fresh ginger, plus
    • 4 cloves garlic
    • 4 tablespoons salted Chinese black bean
    • 7 tablespoons peanut oil
    • 1 cup rice cooking wine
    • 2 tablespoons rock sugar
    • 6 star anise
    • 6 tablespoons Sichuan Peppercorns
    • 6 black cardamom pods
    • 4 green cardamom pods
    • 2 tablespoons cumin seed
    • 2 tablespoons minced ginger
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • 3 pieces liquorice root
    • 1 tablespoons fennel seeds
    • 5 tablespoons Sichuan Spicy fermented bean paste (toban djan)
    • Salt, to taste

    Instructions

    For the Base Stock

    Make the base stock by combining bones with water, ginger, scallion, shrimp and cilantro. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for 3 hours. Cool and strain. Reserve.

    Make the Aged Spicy Paste

    Set aside 40 of the chiles; mince the remaining soaked dry chiles, 4 slices of ginger, garlic, and black beans. Saute the minced chiles, ginger, garlic and black beans in 7 tablespoons of peanut oil over low heat for 10 minutes. Stir frequently. Add the rest of the dry spices, cooking wine, sugar and fermented bean paste to the paste. Continue to cook over low heat for another 30 minutes, then turn off the heat. Note: The paste can be made in advance. 

    To Serve

    Before serving the hot pot, combine the aged-spicy paste with base stock and bring to boil. Add additional ginger, dried chili, and salt to taste.

    Dip ingredients in boiling stock mixture until cooked through.

    Notes: I use a two-sided pot so I can make two levels of heat for dipping.

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