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Sichuan (Szechuan) Hot Pot Recipe

In this cold winter, there is nothing better than sharing a spicy Sichuan hot pot with your friends and family.

For the uninitiated, Chinese hot pot, a.k.a. huo guo (火鍋), is a group dining activity where a pot of boiling broth is shared. Friends and families cook the raw ingredients of their liking in this communal pot of broth while chitchatting, laughing, and enjoying each other’s company by the table-side.

This recipe is for a popular regional hot pot from Sichuan (Szechuan). The broth is infused with lots of aromatic spices, fiery chili oil and tongue-numbing Sichuan peppercorn so it is very fragrant and spicy!

This is a make from scratch recipe that I first posted on my blog. If you like to learn visually, I'd recommend you to visit my blog (link in my profile) for the step by step pictorial recipe. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
For Master sauce (adjust to your own spiciness)
3 tbsp Sichuan Spicy Bean Paste
5 Dried chili, soaked until soft.
1 tbsp Chinese Black Bean
4 slice Ginger, 4 glove Garlic
½ cup Cooking Wine
1tbsp Rock Sugar
Dry Spices: 3 star anise, 1tbsp Sichuan Peppercorn, 1 black cardamom, 4 green cardamom, 2 sand ginger, 1 piece cinnamon stick, and 1 tbsp fennel seeds

For the stock:
2 lb Beef or Pork or Chicken bones.
3 slice Ginger
2 Scallion
3 Bay leaf
1 gallon water

Instructions:

The recipe is for half of a 12 inch special pot. Adjust the amount accordingly.

1. Make the base stock by combining beef or pork bones or chicken skeleton with water, ginger, scallion, bay leaves. Broil and simmer for 3 hours. Can be made in advance.
2. The master sauce is the soul of Sichuan hot pot (and is guarded by restaurant owners as top secret but today you’ll get it for free). I recommend making this in advance. To make the aged-spicy paste: chop the Sichuan Spicy Bean Paste, soaked dry chili, ginger, garlic, and black bean. Combine 4 tbsp of oil and all the chopped ingredients, cook in low heat for 10 minutes. Stir frequently. Add the rest of the dry spices and cooking wine and sugar to the paste. Continue to cook in low heat for another 30 minutes then turn off the heat. This is your aged-spicy taste and can be made in advance.
3. Before serving the hot pot, combine the aged-spicy paste with base stock and bring to boil. Add additional ginger, dried chili, and salt to taste.
4. To make the special peanut butter sesame dipping sauce, combine the peanut butter, sesame paste, and fermented bean curd. Mix into a paste. Add oyster sauce, sugar, chopped chive flower and mix well.

Jan 12, 2014
YiReservation in Home Cooking

Best Taiwanese or Chinese Beef Noodles (now that it's cooooold)

thanks! i passed by that place earlier this year when it just opened but have not gotten a chance to check it. Will pay my visit there soon.

Nov 13, 2013
YiReservation in Manhattan

Best Taiwanese or Chinese Beef Noodles (now that it's cooooold)

Yes unfortunately that's the fact of life. I wish I can combine the Lam Zhou pulled noodles with the broth from Szechuan restaurants.

Nov 13, 2013
YiReservation in Manhattan

Good Chinese Beef Stew Over Rice

I second the beef stew at Wonton Garden. It's got pretty good balance in flavor. One of the better Cantonese style beef stew I've had in Chinatown.

Nov 12, 2013
YiReservation in Manhattan

Best Taiwanese or Chinese Beef Noodles (now that it's cooooold)

I do enjoy both Super Taste and Lam Zhou. I think the texture of their hand-pulled noodles is fantastic. However I think their broth is somewhat on the weaker side. Just my personal opinion though.

Nov 12, 2013
YiReservation in Manhattan

Best Taiwanese or Chinese Beef Noodles (now that it's cooooold)

not a noodle shop owner but i've been dreaming about opening up one lol ... in the meantime I have shared what I consider a decent bowl of spicy beef noodle soup: http://yireservation.com/recipes/spic...

Nov 12, 2013
YiReservation in Manhattan

Best Taiwanese or Chinese Beef Noodles (now that it's cooooold)

I generally find beef noodle soups from Szechuan restaurants are pretty good in terms of flavor. If you can handle the heat, try to order a bowl of spicy beef noodle soup from one of the better Szechuan restaurants in the city. A few names that come to mind are: Szechuan Gourmet, Legend, Land of Plenty, and Hot Kitchen.

Nov 12, 2013
YiReservation in Manhattan

Chinese cooking, meat and cornstarch

As Caroline mentioned, the bicarb in baking soda works as a meat tenderizer and it works well. The downside is the meat loses some flavor if you use too much baking soda or marinate it for too long. I normally use 1/2 tsp of baking soda for 1 lb of meat.

Feb 29, 2012
YiReservation in Home Cooking

Can't seem to find authentic Sichuan in NYC - Where's the ma 麻???

wow using peppercorns to stay alert sounds like an awesome idea....i just like to use handful of them whenever I cook my Szechuan comfort dishes. Speaking of that I just made some spicy hot pot with lots of peppercorns and a dozen spices...can't get enough of sichuan hot pot :)

Feb 29, 2012
YiReservation in Outer Boroughs

Can't seem to find authentic Sichuan in NYC - Where's the ma 麻???

I haven't had to buy any peppercorns for a while because someone brought me a bag of them from Sichuan as a gift last year. As I am running out of stock I am also searching for a local source. As far as I can remember I haven't seen a local supply that can compare to the ones from Chinese in terms of fragrant and intensity. I'll check the Penzey brand since you guys are all suggesting it!

Feb 28, 2012
YiReservation in Outer Boroughs

Can't seem to find authentic Sichuan in NYC - Where's the ma 麻???

have you been back to flushing lately? A mall called New World Mall opened late last year and it features a food court that consists a few Sichuan stalls!
If you like spicy stuff definitely check out the big mala tang stall I guarantee you it's got enough heat (ask for extra spicy!). I also like the stir fried meat and veggies of your choice stall right next to it. You'll find out the deal once you get there.
Btw I grew up in Sichuan so I understand what you mean by "Where's the ma 麻" lol

-----
New World Mall
40-21 Main St, Queens, NY 11354

Feb 28, 2012
YiReservation in Outer Boroughs

Shiao Shing Cooking Wine, Fish Sauce and Hot Chili Bean Paste

I am not sure if you consider this as a real oyster sauce but Lee Kum Kee is the brand I usually have in my kitchen.
Although like most bottled oyster sauce it contains artificial flavoring, Lee Kum Kee is considered the standard product used in professional kitchen and home.
There are many different packages under Lee Kum Kee brand but I like the "Premium Oyster Sauce" package the most as it has higher concentration of oyster extract. The bottle looks like this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Oys...

Jul 10, 2011
YiReservation in General Topics

Shiao Shing Cooking Wine, Fish Sauce and Hot Chili Bean Paste

A commonly used hot chili bean paste in Sichuan is called Pixian bean paste(郫县豆瓣酱). Pixian is a place in Sichuan that's known for its chili bean paste.

Depends on where you live you'll get different distributors (hence difference brands) but with reference to this bean paste,

It looks like this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Dou...

Jul 08, 2011
YiReservation in General Topics

SPICY TOFU

What Sichuan tofu recipe are you looking for? Is it a cold dish using the smoked tofu?

Jun 18, 2011
YiReservation in Atlantic Canada

Chinese hot pot!

I agree I also like to add turnip or radish at the end to finish up the broth.

Jun 17, 2011
YiReservation in Home Cooking

Chinese hot pot!

I grew up eating Sichuan style hot pot on average more than a dozen times a year. The broth used in Sichuan hotpot is a huge pot of chili oil mixed with various kind of dry herbs and spices.

I've cut down a lot ever since I moved to the States but I still crave for it lot throughout the year. Just thinking of it is making me drool :)

Here are some pic I took from earlier this year. I made half spicy and half clear both. The dipping sauces minced garlic with sesame oil and my special peanut sesame sauce.

Jun 15, 2011
YiReservation in Home Cooking

What is this Chinese pastry called?

I believe it's just called Chinese sweet bun. It's soft, sweet, and milky. I used a japanese sweet bread recipe and it comes out pretty close.

Jun 15, 2011
YiReservation in Home Cooking

Cold noodle for lunch

Agree with joonjoon. Cook the noodle al dente and coat with some cooking oil to make it non-stick. When ready just mix in the sauce.
My favorite cold noodle dressing is the Sichuan spicy flavor which is a spicy, sour, and a little bit sweet.

Jun 15, 2011
YiReservation in Home Cooking

Need Advice on Chinese Ingredients for Hot & Sour Cellophane Noodles Recipe

My father loves this brand. I swear he would use for just everything edible if he's in the mood. I also keep a bottle of this at home all the time along with a bottle of Zhengjiang vinegar.

Jun 12, 2011
YiReservation in Home Cooking

Tiger Skin Peppers (Sichuan style) - What kind is typically used?

Hi acustomer, the pepper used in this dish is called green cayenne pepper (or (Niu Jiao Jiao 牛角椒 in Chinese). You can find it in Chinese grocery stores or specialty food stores. Here is a picture found online: http://athens.locallygrown.net/files/...

My dad is a big fan of this dish. He likes to add some black vinegar as well. Yum!

Hope this helps.

Jun 12, 2011
YiReservation in General Topics

Need Advice on Chinese Ingredients for Hot & Sour Cellophane Noodles Recipe

Hi alkapal, I am glad you are willing to try this recipe. The advices mentioned hare are all great and I agree that the brands aren't that important after all.

With regard to the type of noodle, the original version calls for the sweet potato noodle which has a gray appearance and is thicker than the normal rice noodle. It's the same kind of noodle used in Japchae (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japchae).

Please let me know if you have any other questions. Alternatively you can also post questions directly on yireservation.com.

PS. Attaching a picture of this noodle dish I took when I was in Chongqing, China. This is medium heat (yes you can specify the spiciness).

Jun 12, 2011
YiReservation in Home Cooking