Hot Pot Obsession by Danielle Drew:
You may find it strange that I, a girl from southwest Missouri, have been on a mission for the last several months to find what my taste-buds cannot live without...HOT POT!
I was first introduced to the Hot-Pot style meal in Dalian, China where I lived for six months teaching undergraduate business courses. I was a little hesitant at first to boil my meat, veggies, and tofu which at first glance looked like a sponge; however, the mere second the soup base touched my tongue I fell in love with the zing, spice, and flavor coupled with the dipping sauce...I was in heaven. My favorite was always the spicy broth, but the plain was good too. I continued eating hot pot about twice a week for the remainder of my time in China. We usually ordered a plate of assorted vegetables (potato, sweet potato, melon, carrot, napa cabbage, bok choy, and enoki mushrooms), frozen tofu, beef, and lamb. I always went with at least 3 other people so this was plenty of food for the four of us. The dipping sauce used in Dalian was a peanut based sauce...I don't know all of the ingredients but I just know that it was delicious. You could add garlic and sliced ma la peppers to your sauce to give it more flavor as well.
After returning to the U.S.A. I knew I had to find a way to either make the soup base and dipping sauces from scratch, or buy them somewhere. I looked at several recipes online but they seemed so difficult. I was really discouraged that I might never get that amazing hot pot again...until of course I found AsianSupermarket365.com !
They had exactly what I was looking for. Several different soup bases to choose from AND dipping sauces . I know there are Asian Markets in the U.S.A. but since returning to the States I moved to Washington D.C. and all of the large markets are in the suburbs. It's difficult for me to get there because I don't have a car so I thought I'd give the online order a try. The products arrived within a few days, hassle free and I have since been able to enjoy my favorite hot pot meal again.
Here is how I prepare my Hot Pot meal with several ingredients purchased from AsianSupermarket365.com .
- napa cabbage
- enoki mushrooms
- 1 package of Little Sheep spicy hot pot soup base - I like this one in particular because unlike some other soup base mixes the Little Sheep one allows you to put in the desired amount of each ingredient (oil, peppers, etc). Each ingredient is individually wrapped so you can create your favorite blend for the soup base. It met my expectations plus some!
- 1 package hot pot spicy dipping sauce - This is peanut based and is exactly like the dipping sauce I had in Dalian. I especially like to dip my tofu and potatoes in this sauce.
- soy sauce
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- sliced green pepper (spicy)
- sesame oil
- frozen tofu (I buy an extra firm block of tofu from the grocery store, slice it into rectangles and separate them with wax paper...put into a freezer bag and freeze. When I'm ready for hotpot I get them out about an hour early and remove the wax paper and let thaw on a plate. This gives the tofu a different texture and I think makes it even better for hot pot because it absorbs more flavor)
- thinly sliced beef
Thanks for carrying these products AsianSupermarket365.com , I will be buying many more packages!