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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!

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  • 250g/9oz fish balls (msg free), if you are unable to get hold of these, leave them out or substitute with vegetables instead

  • 1 small handful of Chinese cabbage/leaf, sliced 2.5cm/1 inch thick

  • 1 small handful of deep-fried tofu, if you are unable to get hold of this, leave it out or substitute with vegetables instead

  • 1 small handful of fresh tofu, cut into 2.5cm/1 inch chunks

  • 1 large spring onion, roughly chopped

  • For the spicy soup stock base

  • 2 tablespoons groundnut oil

  • 3–4 long dried Sichuan chillies or long dried chillies

  • 50g/2oz whole Sichuan peppercorns

  • 1 tablespoon chilli bean sauce

  • 1 tablespoon chilli sauce

  • 1.7 litres/3 pints hot vegetable stock

  • 2 star anise

  • 6 dried Chinese mushrooms, whole or dried shitake or dried porcini mushrooms

  • 1 small handful of dried tangerine peel or zest of 1 orange

  • 250ml/9fl oz chilli oil

  • 2.5cm/1 inch piece of fresh root ginger, peeled

  • 2 medium red chilli, deseeded and sliced

  • For the pot (1 plate each of):

  • thin slices of lamb

  • raw prawns, shelled and de-veined

  • firm tofu, cut into chunks

  • enoki mushrooms and baby corn

  • 250g/9oz fish cake (msg free), sliced, if you are unable to get hold of this, leave it out or substitute with vegetables instead

  • Vinegar, chilli and soy dipping sauce

  • 3 tablespoons Chinkiang black rice vinegar or balsamic vinegar

  • 3 tablespoons light soy sauce

  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

  • Special Taiwanese dipping sauce (serve 1):

  • 1 egg yolk

  • 1 tablespoon oriental satay/barbeque sauce

  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander

  • 1 tablespoon finely sliced spring onion


  • 1.

    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.

  • 2.

    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.

  • 3.

    Ten minutes before serving, add the remaining spicy soup stock base ingredients.

  • 4.

    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.

  • 5.

    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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Posted by bobbra40Report
My friends and I enjoy chillies so it was well worth cooking this dish as all the heat and the flavor made a very enjoyable dining experience.

If you don't like very hot spicy food please be careful with this dish.