Have you ever had hot pot? Me neither.
I didn't even know what it was until I wandered into Spoon and saw the back of their menu advertising hot pot. From what I gathered, it looked similar to fondue, but with a lot more ingredients. Turns out, it has existed in China for over one thousand years unlike fondue which only dates back to the 1950's.
This past weekend I got to experience hot pot for myself and it was fantastic!
First, you need a pot (a hot pot, duh):
It has a divider in it and sits on a hot plate. One side is a mushroom herb broth and the other side was a spicy broth. As the night went on, we added various greens and additional liquid as the levels got low.
My friend and his wife prepared 30 different dishes to cook in the hot pot that included things like oyster mushrooms, cuttlefish, short ribs, and tofu. I tried a little of everything (except for the pigs blood, gizzards and tripe), and loved the shrimp and clams, which took such little time to cook.
It was a fun group event that brightened up an otherwise cold and gloomy day. We spent the evening chatting, drinking wine, and convincing ourselves that despite our bulging bellies, we could eat just one more bite (which led to several more bites, of course).