January 12, 2011

Chinese Hot Pots

Every Asian country has their own version of noodle soup. Actually, EVERY country I can think of has a signature noodle soup! China alone, has hundreds of variations based on regional culture and resources. In China soups are thought to hold healing properties and noodles are a system of longevity. A noodle soup is therefore taken very seriously, as are most dishes!

Chinese culture offers a large amount of respect for the foods they eat; a lost tradition American culture is slowly beginning to regain. Regional cuisines are highly respected and noted for their culinary and health-related attributes. Children are taught early on, how to prepare traditional dishes, some that have been around for thousands of years.

I spent the summer after high school in China studying Chinese history, Mandarin Chinese, and the Uighur language spoken widely in the North Western Chinese province of Xinjiang. We spent a great deal of our free time with Chinese college students who were eager to befriend "the foreigners" and brush up on their english.

These friends introduced me to classic hot pots, a method of making soup in which you gently cook raw veggies in your serving bowl by pouring hot broth over the top, and allowing them to steep. Hot pots are a fun interactive meal that allow each individual to personalize their bowl with favorite ingredients and spice.

Bean thread noodles are made solely out of mung bean sprouts, therefore making this a gluten-free and very light dish!

Chinese Hot Pots
Gluten-free and Low-carb

6 cups chicken stock
6 cups water
½ cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 ½ Tb. sesame oil
3-5 slices of fresh ginger
3-5 garlic cloves, cracked

1 lb. boneless chicken thighs, thinly sliced
5 oz. bean thread noodles, or rice stick noodles
1 large bunch of green onions
1 ½ cup mung bean sprouts
8 oz. mushrooms, any variety
4 baby bok choy
Chile-garlic paste

In a large pot, bring the chicken stock, water, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger and garlic to a boil.

Add the chicken and simmer for 5-7 minutes, until just cooked through. Add the noodles. Stir, then cover and remove from heat.

Meanwhile chop all the veggies and place in serving bowls.

When ready to serve, allow each person to fill their bowls with fresh vegetables and a bit of chile sauce.

Then ladle the scalding hot soup over the veggies and let them sit for 5 minutes.

Mix and eat! Makes 6-8 bowl of soup.

Chinese Hot Pots Gluten-free and Low-carb on Foodista


  1. I love hot pots...nothing like it. You're the second person I know who studied Ughur!

  2. Hi Sommer :) Boy, you are making me salivate! After all the year end culinary excesses, this is EXACTLY what I am craving! Aren't you a smart cookie! Your shots are truly droolworthy...

  3. Gorgeous photos, Sommer. Makes me wish I had a bowl of that luscious soup right now.

  4. These bowls look delicious, and so fun for a group to make! I can't wait to try it.

  5. I love the idea of cooking the veggies in each individual bowl. In that way you get all the juices of them inside the soup. Nothing is wasted.

  6. Beautiful shots Sommer. You're making me drool and it's still 8:30 A.M :)

  7. Mmm, I love hot pot! I've not had it in ages. Years, really. My family always used an electrical um, pot sort of thing. It was rectangular in shape, had a lid with venting holes... good times! We'd then use tiny, mini spiders to put our raw foods into the soup (in the pot) to cook and then take it out. Aww, I want to go do it now! Thank you so much for bringing back fun memories around the table when my feet still could not reach the floor :-)

  8. I love rice noddle .. especially stir fry one.. but your noddle soup looks yummy! mouthwatering picture ^_^

  9. Hot pot is my favourite. It's perfect for the cold weather and very easy to prepare and fun to eat. It's a great way to keep everyone one the table, eating and chatting :D

  10. I love Hot pot!! It has been awhile since we last have hot pot a home. Your post reminded me that it is time to do it again! Fabulous photos!

  11. Yum! I really a marble bowl, so I can make hot pots at home. Yours looks delicious.

  12. Gorgeous photos! But even if they were a blurry mess, I'd still be in love with your soup...it sounds wonderful~

  13. amazing pics and a great recipe- guess I could do the same with veggies!

  14. I never realized how easy these types of soups were to make, now I'll definitely be trying it.

  15. Oh my gosh, I love this! I think I'll do this for book group next week, substituting vegetable stock for the chicken (since one of the women is vegetarian). Thanks for the great idea!

  16. I feel full just after looking at the pictures!

  17. So far, I've not met a hot pot that I didn't like.

  18. These hot pots sound wonderful! I love how you can make individual servings with various mixins!

  19. What a wonderful story on Asian culture and the power of soup. I love your pictures. I must try this soon. Thanks for the recipe!

  20. They know for sure how to build flavors in their soups. Love the pictures.

  21. I've had something like this at a nearby Vietnamese restaurant, except that it wasn't as "interactive" as what you've described. Will definitely try this at home!

  22. wow thats cool and again that experience will stay with you forever :-)

  23. I love the look of this soup! I stumbled it to be able to find it later. Looking at the recipe, it looks like it would be pretty easy to make 1/3 of it for a quick meal for 2. Thanks for sharing.

  24. What an adventure, and right after high school...lucky girl. :)
    The hot pots looks fantastic - I thought it was going to be a mile long process, but this looks easy. Thank you for sharing!

  25. When I traveled in Japan a couple years ago they had dishes just like this so I know how good they can be! That being said, I'm making my way to the Asian market very soon to get some of these ingredients.. I already printed the recipe :)

  26. This the kind of food we love....and it's cold out and this warms you from the inside.

  27. These bowls certainly look healthy and fibrous.Perfect for Chilly Evenings!

  28. That last picture is a stunner! This recipe looks very good and I am wondering if it is similar to hot and sour? My son James is taking Mandarin at school and we are encouraging him to choose it for his language of study for the next six years and on into college. We plan to travel there when the boys are all teenagers. I agree with you about how we seem to be rediscovering our regional foods and think this is a good thing!

  29. Wow..The pics are poking my screen :-)I love rice noodle soups yummm

  30. I could eat (veggie) hot pots everyday!

  31. I love noodles... can eat everyday, stir fried, steam, with soup, crisp noodles with bits and bobs... i can use noodles to buy a smile from my daughter! :-)

    Thanks for your kind words. Mei

  32. Thanks for sharing your recipes online

  33. Wish I could have big bowl of that right now. Looks so comforting!

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  48. Yum, its so cold here at the moment, this looks a perfect bowl for dinner.

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