r i p e

Hot-pot    (printer friendly)
Serves at least 4 people

Hot-pot5 small dried chilies (more if desired)
1 tablespoon peanut oil (more if using more chilies)

1/4 - 1/2 cup lard (I use duck fat! Mmmm.)
1/4 cup chili bean paste
1/4 cup black bean garlic sauce
3 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled & cut into 1/8 inch thick slices
2 quarts low sodium chicken stock
1 tablespoon rock sugar (or granulated sugar)
1/3 cup rice wine or dry sherry

1 teaspoon whole Sichuan peppers (optional)

1. Cut dried chilies in half and squeeze out as many seeds as possible. Heat peanut oil in a small pan on medium-high heat and add chilies. Stir-fry until crisp and fragrant, making sure not to burn. Remove chilies from oil and set aside.

2. In a large stock pot over low heat, melt lard. Once lard has melted, turn up the heat to medium-high. When lard is hot, but not smoking, add the chili bean paste and stir-fry for a few moments. Add black bean sauce and ginger and stir-fry until fragrant. Then pour in 1.5 quarts of the chicken stock. When liquid has come to a boil, add the sugar and the rice wine or sherry. The broth can be made ahead up to this point and refrigerated.

3. Add the prepared chilies and Sichuan peppers (if using) and simmer for about 30 minutes. Heat the remaining chicken stock and use to top-off the hot-pot when it gets low.

Suggested dipping ingredients:
Napa cabbage, cut in bite-size chunks
fresh mushrooms
fresh udon noodles (from the refrigerated section)
dried rice stick noodles, soaked in warm water for a few minutes until soft, then drained
thinly sliced meats (the thinner the better): pork, beef and lamb

Suggested dipping sauces:

1 cup peanut butter
3 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoon tomato paste

1. Mix all ingredients together then add water until the desired consistency is achieved (it should be slightly runny).

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons minced ginger
a few drops of sesame oil

1. Mix all ingredients together.

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons Dijon
1 teaspoons peanut oil
a few drops of rice vinegar

1. Mix all ingredients together.