Growing up, my parents owned a hole-in-the-wall Chinese restaurant in a small town in northern Tennessee. Every day for the sixteen and a half years that this restaurant was open, I watched my dad cook delicious food while I sold, served, and ate it after school and on the weekends. However, I was “that kid” who, despite being surrounded by the family business her whole life, never picked up a spatula or a wok to learn how to cook…
This holiday season, however, I have finally been bitten by the family cooking bug!
Every other week at WildChina’s Beijing office, we have a company lunch. The menu usually consists of yummy, homemade jiaozi (dumplings), but this week, we had a special treat – HOT POT.
As grabbed a bowl of creamy peanut sauce, fresh cilantro, and lajiang (red pepper chili sauce), I realized how easy it would be to whip up this tasty treat myself.
All you need is:
1 hot plate
1 metal pot w/ lid
Ginger and Spices (like salt and pepper, or for you adventurous and creative types, some mixture of chili or curry powder)
Thinly sliced meat (such as lamb or beef)
Sauce, as mentioned above: peanut sauce (available in packages), fresh cilantro, red pepper chili sauce
Wait for the chicken broth and spices to boil, throw in your meat and veggies and allow it to cook fully (usually just a couple minutes), and dig in. This is the perfect meal for a large group of people to keep warm with and enjoy together – and it’s healthy to boot.
The simplicity of it all has inspired me to become an experimental chef (stop laughing mom and dad) and has alleviated my worries about what to make for the holiday dinner party I’ll soon be hosting.
Nancy is a member of WildChina’s marketing team. She works in WildChina’s Beijing office and can be contacted at email@example.com.