This is a mouth-tingling numbing hotpot! The spicy soup stock base is a delicious broth in which fresh ingredients are poached – like a Chinese fondue. The Mandarin word for such a feast is ‘Huo-guo’, meaning ‘hotpot’, because all the ingredients are cooked in a hotpot!
I love this kind of feast, it is easy to prepare, and is great for interaction with friends. All you need is an electric wok or fondue set up in the centre of the table and plenty of soup ladles and away you go. I had this dish in Chengdu in the middle of summer and it was fantastic. Be warned – this is extremely spicy.... Read more.
Heat a 2 litre/3½ pint capacity wok over a high heat and add the groundnut oil. Add the chillies and Sichuan peppercorns and stir-fry until fragrant.
Add the chilli bean sauce and chilli sauce and then pour in the stock. Add the star anise, Chinese mushrooms, tangerine peel, chilli oil and ginger and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low–medium and simmer for 20 minutes.
Ten minutes before serving, add the remaining spicy soup stock base ingredients.
Whilst the stock is simmering, place all the ingredients for the pot on serving plates, cover with clingfilm and put into the fridge. To make the vinegar, chilli and soy dipping sauce combine all the ingredients and put to one side.
To serve, arrange all the ingredients on the table. Transfer the soup base to an electric wok or fondue and set it up in the centre of the table. Let guests help themselves and cook the ingredients in the spicy broth. Let each guest prepare their own Taiwanese dipping sauce at the table. Serve with the vinegar, chilli and soy dipping sauce too.
Tip: Make sure you have plenty of utensils for the raw ingredients at the table and let your guests use those to add anything into the stockpot – this reduces the chance of cross contamination from the raw ingredients and your guests’ serving plates.:
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