In this installment, I'm going to show you the basic ingredients for hot pot, or at least some of the more "exotic" items that you'll have to get at your local Asian supermarket. Please feel free to download the pictures to use as a shopping list if you like.
First, the ingredients that go to make your sauce in your bowl:
Asian Barbecue Sauce. This is a fish-based mild BBQ sauce.
Black Bean Garlic Sauce. Another very mild sauce.
Ground Chili Paste. Be warned: this one is HOT!!
Soy Sauce. We got this brand because of the handy dispenser bottle, but there are better ones on the market.
Here are some of the sauce fixin's with some ingredients that go into the broth. Eggs - the yolk goes into the sauce, the white can be cooked in the broth. Scallions (green onions), chopped up can go either in the sauce or into the broth. Napa cabbage (on the right) gets popped into the broth.
The next items are cooked in the broth:
Fish Cake. There are several kinds available.
Noodles. Almost any type of noodle can be used - we like to use these yam noodles, which come in little bundles, and are very easy to pick up with chopsticks.
Shabu-shabu beef. This is very thinly-sliced tender beef that cooks in under a minute. Shabu-shabu (しゃぶしゃぶ) is the name given to a Japanese version of hotpot, it translates as "swish swish", replicating the sound made by the broth in the pot.
Shrimps. The larger the better, and the more the merrier!
These are just a few of the huge range of goodies that can go into hot pot. Regional and seasonal variations, and personal preferences can all decide what makes up this wonderful dish.