Monday, February 1, 2010

Eating My way Through Taiwan: Hot Pot

Hot Pot (Huo3 guo1 [Hwuh gwuh])
(click on the photos to enlarge them)

Today’s meal is Hot Pot. I know I promised to discuss San Bei Tian Ji, but I changed my mind. San Bei Tian Ji is a recipe for cooked frog. The name literally translates as Three Cups Frog and it’s alright but it’s not high on my recommendation list. They make the same recipe with Chicken and it’s much better. So today I’m going to discuss Hot Pot.

Hot Pot is a favorite in Taiwan. It's really a do it yourself soup. The cost is around $200NTD (or $6.40 US).

Here’s how it works. In the table, in front of each diner is a burner and a pot of broth. The waiter will give you White Cabbage, Romaine Lettuce, Mushrooms, sometimes tomatoes, and assorted fish balls. These are balls made from a paste of cooked fish. They are very tasty. He will also bring you shrimp dumplings and a plate of thinly sliced beef, lamb or Pork, depending on your preference.

You turn on the burner and begin to heat the broth, as it is heating you tear the white cabbage into small pieces and toss them into the pot along with the mushrooms and some of the fish balls and dumplings. Hold the Romaine Lettuce until it is almost cooked or it gets too mushy. Then you add the meat and allow it to cook for a while.

Using your chopsticks remove the vegetables, fish and meat from the pot and dip them into a tasty and spicy sauce.
Then eat it. It is without a doubt one of my favorite things to eat here in Taiwan. The place for Hot Pot in Taoyuan City is Cash City. The price is $250 NTD for a filling meal.

Hot Pot is a favorite pastime in Taiwan. You often see large groups of Hot Potters gathered in these restaurants. They're fun, noisy places.
Many people have portable Hot Pot burners that they can take with them on picnics or wherever. We even had a Hot Pot fellowship at Christmas. Here's a group of happy Hot Potters.

Other posts you may be interested in:

Eating My Way Through Taiwan:  Japanese Barbeque
Eating My way Through Taiwan:  Pot Lucks
Eating My way Through Taiwan:  Bao zi

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