On Sunday we went on a glorious hike to two beautiful waterfalls in the Hamilton area.  Webster Falls (above) and Tew Falls (below) can both be seen on a nice loop just outside of Dundas.  Webster is the more majestic of the two, but Tews is awfully pretty and is almost as high the Horseshoe Falls in Niagara.

While the weather was beautiful, it was certainly chilly (note the ice).  When we got home we wanted a nice warm dinner and we decided to give chinese hot pot a try.  My parents had given me a fondue pot, which we used as the “hot pot”.  It may sound like a challenging meal, but it is actually super easy and really fun to eat.

Basically you make a flavorful broth and then keep it hot in the pot on your table.  Everyone takes thin pieces of meat and veggies and cooks them in the broth.  Once all the meat and veggies are eaten up, noodles are added to the broth to make a soup to finish off the meal.

On the table, we put out sesame oil, soy sauce, sambal oelek and ginger sauce for us to mix up individually into a dipping sauce for the meat and veggies.

Chinese Hot Pot

Broth

  • 2 litres of good quality beef broth
  • fennel seed
  • clove seeds
  • 3 crushed garlic cloves
  • 4 chopped green onions
  • 2 Tbsp grated ginger
  • glug of red wine
  • fresh herbs if you have them (we put in cilantro)

Veggies & Meat

  • mix of chopped vegetables: bok choy, snap peas, mushrooms, carrots
  • very thinly sliced flank steak (marinated if you wish)
  • very thin noodles for the soup at the end

Dipping Sauce

  • Some mixture of soy sauce, sesame oil, green onions, sambal oelek, ginger sauce etc., to mix up how you like in a dipping sauce

Start with a large pot on your stove.  The pot is probably bigger than your “hot pot” or fondue pot.  Put the broth and all the ingredients in the pot and let simmer.  If you are using whole cloves and fennel seed, make sure to grind or crush them first.

Meanwhile, chop up your veggies and thinly slice your meat.  It is important that they are small and thin enough so that they don’t take too long to cook in the broth.

Set your table up with a small bowl for each person to make their dipping sauce.  Set out the veggies and meat for people to grab if they like.  If you have fondue forks you can use them, otherwise just use ordinary forks.

After lighting the “hot pot”, fill it two thirds of the way up with broth.

Proceed dunking the meat and veggies and eating them up with your own tasty dipping sauce.  Once you are done, toss some thin noodles in the pot and make yourself a little noodle soup.

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