Quick and Easy Dinner Party Idea: Hot Pot!

By grace.g.yang ยท October 13, 2009
Under: Cheap Eats,Dinner,My Life,Recipes

Now that the weather is getting a little colder, it’s the perfect time for hot pot. Hot pot is great for so many reasons: it involves very little time in the kitchen, it’s a fun dinner to eat, and it’s a great way to bring lots of people together. Last year, I had a hot pot party for Chinese New Year. This year, since our apartment is larger, I see lots of hot pot parties in our future. To prep for a hot pot party, you just need to head to the Chinese grocery store and pick up some basic ingredients. Hot pots are great because you can be really flexible with ingredients (you can use all different types of proteins, vegetables, and starches). Here are my basic hot pot ingredients:

Proteins: thinly sliced lamb, beef, chicken, packaged shrimp balls, fish cakes, tofu
Starches: Taro root, white radish, QQQ noodles
Vegetables: enoki mushrooms, Napa cabbage
Condiments: soy sauce, sesame oil, BBQ sauce
Miscellaneous: chicken, vegetable, or beef broth, chopped up cilantro
Tools: Nets for fishing out hot pot goodies, regular pot (or an electric pot if you have one), butane gas (if you use a regular pot and butane gas stove, both found in Chinatown)

The only prep work you need to do is clean the vegetables, cut them up into bite sized pieces, and set the table! The vegetables:


Usually, you put the pot in the middle of the table so everyone can reach the pot to pick up goodies:


David, Justin, Julie, and Audrey getting ready for the hot pot:


Audrey, me, Julie, and Justin:


Once the water starts boiling, you can add the vegetables and starches (taro and white radishes take a little longer to cook). Cover the pot and let it boil again and then you can start adding all of your meats (don’t forget chopsticks for all of your different types of meat). Our hot pot:


Near the end of the meal, you can add the QQQ noodles; the broth will be really flavorful because you’ve added a lot of different types of meat during the meal and the noodles don’t take very long to cook. Hot pots are really fun and the cleanup is easy as well; if you have any meat or veggies left over, just add them to the pot and you have soup for the next day!

Total Costs:

QQQ Noodles: $1.29
Chicken Breasts: $2.51
Tofu: $1.99
White Radish (daikon): $1.20
Taro: $4.66
Napa Cabbage: $1.63
Butane: $4.79 (for 4 tanks)
Fish cakes (the pink and white cakes): $2.99
Lamb: $15.51
Beef: $12.90
Chicken Broth: $2.99
BBQ Sauce: $1.95
Enoki Mushrooms: $2.50
Shrimp Balls: $2.99
Cilantro: $0.50
Soy Sauce: $1.95
Sesame Oil: $4.95

Total: $67.30 for 6 people, about $11/per person!

Reader Comments

Hot pots are the best! I personally like the egg dumplings and the meat balls most.

Written By Byron Chou on October 14th, 2009 @ 5:56 am

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