This last weekend Sam and I traveled to New York City. From Washington D.C. it’s just a couple of hours on the Amtrak. We spent the weekend visiting friends and exploring the city. It addition it was Veteran’s Day- so we enjoyed the longer weekend.
The weather was great- a perfect fall weekend. With so many leaves on the streets, the air smelled of fall. We enjoyed walking around the city, and even explored a bit of Brooklyn- which I loved!
One of our food adventures was trying out a hot pot place in Chinatown. As far as I know, DC doesn’t have a hot pot place, so I was excited to try this out for the first time. Since I wasn’t familiar with this until this past weekend, I though other would also like to know more about it:
What is it? The easiest explanation is that it’s similar to fondue. Rather than using cheese and/or chocolate- there is broth inside the hot pot. The pot is cooked on a portable gas or electric stove, at your table.
Ours looked like this! Sam insisted that we try the spicy version, which is why ours is so red. Yes, there were many chili peppers.
Other options include a plain broth, or a combination of plain and spicy. If you have the combination broth, there is a divider in the middle of the bowl- each half holding the different liquids.
How do you cook in a hot pot? When you go to a hot pot restaurant, you have a list of ingredients that you choose to cook in your pot. Once your table decides which foods you’d like, the raw ingredients are brought out. Add the veggies, noodles or meats into the pot, and wait until each of them cooks. They can be added all at once, or divided and added one by one. Each ingredient is kept in the hot pot until it is done cooking (the time may differ for each).
The cooking time depends on what ingredients you choose. For example, one of our choices were green onions. They cooked quickly, about 2 minutes.
What are some of the ingredients? vegetables (bok choy, green beans, mushrooms); tofu; noodles (soba, rice, udon); meats (beef, pork, chicken); fish (scallops, fish balls, shrimp) and much more.
Our choices were: beef, scallops, green onions, bok choy, dumplings and Chinese mushrooms. The last three were our favorites!
You use the strainer and spoon to scoop out the hot food from the pot.
And then enjoy the cooked ingredients!
If you’re in New York, this is the restaurant we checked out:
Grand Sichuan International
125 Canal Street
New York, NY
It was a fun experience, and now I’m wondering how we could replicate it at home. The restaurant was fairly bare-bones (cash only). Definitely something different than the usually Chinese take-out.