Going vegetarian with hot pot
Hot pot is a communal Chinese meal that involves cooking raw ingredients, ranging from meat to vegetables, in a simmering pot of broth. With the rise of plant-based diets, more and more people are looking for vegetarian options for hot pot. Here are some ideas on how to go vegetarian with hot pot.
The basics of vegetarian hot pot
The key to making a vegetarian hot pot is to use a flavorful broth that can stand on its own. Vegetable broth or mushroom broth are good options. In addition to the broth, you should offer a variety of vegetables, such as mushrooms, cabbage, spinach, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, and bean sprouts. Tofu, which is high in protein and versatile in texture, is a great addition to the hot pot. You can also offer noodles, such as udon or rice noodles, for a heartier meal.
Spice it up
While hot pot is not typically spicy, you can amp up the heat with some chili oil or chili paste. You can also offer seasoning options, such as soy sauce, sesame oil, and ponzu sauce, to add depth of flavor to the broth and ingredients.
Get creative with vegetarian proteins
If you want to add more protein to your vegetarian hot pot, there are plenty of options beyond tofu. Consider mock meat products, such as vegetarian dumplings, vegetarian meatballs, or vegetarian sausages. You can also try adding some legumes, such as lentils, chickpeas, or black beans, to the hot pot for a healthy dose of plant-based protein.
Don’t forget the dipping sauces
A hot pot is not complete without dipping sauces. While traditional hot pot sauces include peanut sauce and sesame sauce, you can get creative with vegetarian options. Consider making a cilantro lime sauce, a ginger-scallion sauce, or a miso dipping sauce. You can also offer a variety of toppings, such as chopped green onions, cilantro, or sesame seeds, for added texture and flavor.