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I had read in the SF Chronicle food section about Chinese Hot Pots as a popular dish for Chinese New Year (or I guess huoguo in Mandarin). It sounds like the Chinese version of shabu shabu.

Though it seems easy enough to make, I'm wondering whether any restaurants would have it. I've looked up several in the district, but no luck yet. Does anyone have any suggestions about who might serve it?

HOT POT HEAVEN

The Chinese meal-in-a-pot is a great way to bring friends and family to the table for the new year

- Olivia Wu, Chronicle Staff Writer

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The fire burns blue, the pot bubbles music and the steam swirls magical aromas.

Diners swish foods in a central cauldron for seconds, remove them and dunk them in a cooling sauce that's hot with chiles and garlic.

It's winter, time for the hot pot -- the easiest edible entertainment this side of popcorn. It's ideal for New Year's weekend, and a cinch for a celebration during the whole of winter.

Called huoguo in Mandarin, hot pot is the Chinese communal cook-your-own, gather-round-the-fire meal that is friendly in the extreme. It's like the fondue format on epic scale.

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I had read in the SF Chronicle food section about Chinese Hot Pots as a popular dish for Chinese New Year (or I guess huoguo in Mandarin). It sounds like the Chinese version of shabu shabu.

Though it seems easy enough to make, I'm wondering whether any restaurants would have it. I've looked up several in the district, but no luck yet. Does anyone have any suggestions about who might serve it?

This is one of my favorite things to make at home! It is almost identical to shabu shabu. They actually make little electronic hot pots for this purpose only. My appliance obsessed roommate actually bought one. I haven't been able to find a Chinese restaurant that offers it and I hope that another post will enlighten both of us. I guess shabu shabu at Sushi Tono would be the closest thing.

If you want to make it, drop me a line and I'll be happy to share our recipe. I think you've given me an idea for tonight!

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New Big Wong in Chinatown does 'em.

I really dig that place. I've never actually ordered hot pot there (always too busy getting live fish and Dungeness out of the tank), but they do have them on the menu. And the Washingtonian approves, for what it's worth:

After a three-page listing of dishes intended for its non-Chinese clientele, New Big Wong's dinner menu offers five pages of authentic Hong Kong dishes. Among the specialties unique to this kitchen are a pair of preparations cooked and served in Chinese covered casseroles, called "hot pots." At the lower end of the price scale, the Chur Chur Chicken in a chafing dish is a delight of wings cut into bite-size pieces, whole shallots, slices of Chinese sausage, dried shiitake mushrooms, ginger, and scallions, all bound in a spare amount of oyster sauce. The bone-in pieces of wings make for tricky eating, but the splendid flavor of meat cooked on the bone makes up for the inconvenience. Prices for the hot pots range from $9.95 for the Chur Chur Chicken to $24.95 for the exquisite lobster with bean thread in pot, a Chinese casserole brimming with segments of unshelled lobster, sliced ginger root, scallion shreds, and julienne carrots, all in a tangle of cellophane noodles imbued with lobster flavor.

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Unless I'm misreading, what New Big Wong and TemptAsian are serving is not the same kind of hot pot that MeMc is asking for. As the quoted article said, what she's looking for is more like "Chinese fondue", and what NBW and TA have is pre-cooked food in a casserole dish.

I have not seen this "fondue" style of Chinese hot pot in the DC area.

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Unless I'm misreading, what New Big Wong and TemptAsian are serving is not the same kind of hot pot that MeMc is asking for. As the quoted article said, what she's looking for is more like "Chinese fondue", and what NBW and TA have is pre-cooked food in a casserole dish.

I have not seen this "fondue" style of Chinese hot pot in the DC area.

Yes, this is they style I was referring to. I have had a "hot pot"" at TA... but it wasn't a soup. In this version you cook everything in water which becomes increasingly seasoned until it's ready for noodles (mung bean or rice stick) and then spooned into the sauce bowl you've used for dipping. The sauce is the fun part... sambal, raw egg, sesame oil, light soy and this stuff that comes in a can with a fat Chinese chef on it (that's the only way I can identify it). It's really wonderful.

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Yes, this is they style I was referring to.  I have had a "hot pot"" at TA... but it wasn't a soup.  In this version you cook everything in water which becomes increasingly seasoned until it's ready for noodles (mung bean or rice stick) and then spooned into the sauce bowl you've used for dipping. 

Is this associated with a certain region of China? Perhaps if we can identify which region specializes in it, we can narrow down the list of places to call to see if they offer it.

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Is this associated with a certain region of China? Perhaps if we can identify which region specializes in it, we can narrow down the list of places to call to see if they offer it.

I'm fairly sure (based my own Northern Chinese/Southern Chinese background) that you'll find all styles of hot pots all over China. In the north, it tends to be presented in this donut-shaped bowl with a big tower and often flavored with sour cabbage (I think this pot is more of a Mongolian style pot) and I've had Szechuan ones where the soup base is bright chili-red in a regular heated communal pot.

I have almost never seen this served in restaurants in the States, or at least not on the East Coast. I guess it tends to be such a homey thing that restaurants don't bother to do it. In Taiwan at least, the restaurants that do serve it tend to be buffet style (one pot on the table, huge bar of raw food and sauce fixing's).

BTW--the sauce in a can with a fat chef is addictive. It's sha cha jiang and I think some brands will translate it as "Chinese Barbecue Sauce."

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This is one of my favorite things to make at home!  It is almost identical to shabu shabu.  They actually make little electronic hot pots for this purpose only.  My appliance obsessed roommate actually bought one.  I haven't been able to find a Chinese restaurant that offers it and I hope that another post will enlighten both of us.  I guess shabu shabu at Sushi Tono would be the closest thing.

If you want to make it, drop me a line and I'll be happy to share our recipe.  I think you've given me an idea for tonight!

You might also try the shabu-shabu or the sukiyaki at Yamazoto in Alexandria. I'd put both of those up against any restaurant in the area.

Unless I'm misreading, what New Big Wong and TemptAsian are serving is not the same kind of hot pot that MeMc is asking for. As the quoted article said, what she's looking for is more like "Chinese fondue", and what NBW and TA have is pre-cooked food in a casserole dish.

I have not seen this "fondue" style of Chinese hot pot in the DC area.

I have seen hot pots at Huong Que in Eden Center as well. A bit of a haul (which is why we go to Yamazoto) but worth the time and effort.

I have almost never seen this served in restaurants in the States, or at least not on the East Coast.  I guess it tends to be such a homey thing that restaurants don't bother to do it.  In Taiwan at least, the restaurants that do serve it tend to be buffet style (one pot on the table, huge bar of raw food and sauce fixing's).

I've had hot pots in Taipei at the Mongolian barbecue around the corner from the Hotel Baguio (another food story for later). A HUGE buffet with rabbit and venison and beef and pork and lamb and other things you probably don't want to know about and tons of veggies. Lots of sauces on the table and great soup at the end when all the "solid" ingredients are gone.

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Since it's Chinese New Year's time, I'm looking for stuff I remember from that time of year. Particularly hot pots, which I don't remember, eel, which is everwhere it seems, and those cool bamboo husks wrapped around rice with meat, etc. tied with a string:

http://www.hillmans.soupbo.com/soos/joongzi.html

This doesn't look that great, but they really are, I swear!

Thanks for your help. Should be fun.

Edited by MeMc
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Since it's Chinese New Year's time, I'm looking for stuff I remember from that time of year.  Particularly hot pots, which I don't remember, eel, which is everwhere it seems, and those cool bamboo husks wrapped around rice with meat, etc. tied with a string:

Hmmm...zhong zhi's aren't technically a new year's food (it's for Dragon Boat Festival in May), but I did see them recently at Great Wall supermarket in Fairfax/Vienna (off of Gallows Road, near Lee Highway). Great Wall also has new year's rice cakes, candy, and "lucky oranges" (oranges with the green stem and leaves) the last time I was there.

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Tony Cheng's Mongolian BBQ in Chinatown is the only place I know that has it, or at least it used to. It's been a little while since I've poked my head in there. But the March 2005 Washingtonian review indicates they had it at least as recently as a year ago.

The joong, depending on the flavor you want, you can get at Chinese grocery stores, like Kam San in Annandale or Rockville; or Maxim in Rockville. Also Oriental Market (?) in Wintergreen Plaza in Rockville has a nice selection of prepared foods including joong.

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Eating joong (Cantonese)/zhong (Mandarin) now during Chinese New Year is like eating holiday fruitcake at a 4th of July BBQ picnic. (Wait, I think I hear my ancestors rolling around in the grave on this one!) :)

Joong is for the Dragon Boat festival season during the springtime (5th day of the 5th month according to the lunar calendar. (FYI, DC does have a dragon boat festival every year - PM for more info.) Technically, you can eat anything you want to whenever you want but it's definitely not the time to be making joong.

Dumplings, however, are definitely the way to go during Chinese New Year. If you want to do something fun, have a dumpling party at your home at on Jan. 28th and welcome in the year of the dog at midnight.

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Sure about that? :D

Dude, awesome job in resurrecting a 3 year old thread, and proving me wrong by referring to a restaurant that opened AFTER the post in question. And which has since changed hands, and might not even offer the dish in question any more.

:P

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