Hot Pot Is for Everyone

Credit…Nico Schinco for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Barrett Washburne.

Good morning. Hot pot’s on the docket for Saturday night: a big metal tureen of soup bubbling over a burner in the center of the dining table, into which we’ll float slices of beef, cubes of tofu, leafy greens, oyster mushrooms, rounds of sweet potato, rice cakes, cubes of daikon radish and lots and lots of dumplings to welcome the Lunar New Year.

Allison Jiang has the particulars in The New York Times, and Naz Deravian delivered a recipe (above) that’s really just an outline. Your hot pot might be numbingly spicy in the Sichuan tradition, loaded with seafood in the Cantonese style, made with meat or made only with vegetables. You might use vermicelli noodles in it. Or dried tofu sheets. I like chile crisp in mine, white pepper and a float of sesame oil across the surface of the broth. It’s fun to experiment.

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Our friends at Wirecutter have a smart guide to the equipment you’ll need to be a home hot pot ace, but it’s important to note that you can improvise too, using a slow cooker, Instant Pot or rice cooker in place of the induction or propane burner the experts call for. You could even use a fondue set, if you have one. (In Switzerland, there’s a holiday version of fondue called fondue Chinoise, which is essentially a Eurofied hot pot, with a rich beef broth used in place of the traditional cheese.) Hot pot’s for everyone.

As is the Super Bowl, which for many will take up most of Sunday’s hours: the 49ers and the Chiefs facing off in Las Vegas at 6:30 p.m. Eastern time, as purely American a sentence as I have ever typed. You could make Buffalo chicken dip for the game, stromboli, pulled pork, turkey chili, Chex mix, garlic bread or queso.

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