If you haven't tried it yet, you haven't lived until you've tried Chinese hotpot at home. The concept behind Chinese hotpot is simple: you cook seafood, vegetables and slices of meat in a simmering broth on a portable burner placed in the middle of the table. It's similar to fondue. You can use just about any type of broth you'd like. Chicken or pork broth are extremely popular options. While the type of broth is important, the type of meat you have on the table will make or break your experience. Hotpot meat should be cut into paper-thin slices. While you can try almost any cut of meat, here are 3 of the most popular types to have on the table.
Paper-Thin Slices of Rib-Eye for Its Delicious Tenderness
As far as beef goes, rib-eye is generally considered to be the fattiest cut, as a 6 ounce cut contains approximately 37.6 grams of fat. Upon cooking each slice in the broth to the desired doneness, you'll truly be able to appreciate the marbling of the meat, as it excellently captures the flavor of the beef, so you won't need a lot of dipping sauce. This cut is very tender and, as a result, will cook easily. Each slice will simply melt in your mouth. You can easily get a cut of rib-eye from a nearby butcher shop. Some butcher shops will even slice the rib-eye for you.
Pork Neck Meat for Its Texture
While pork neck meat isn't exactly a popular cut, it's simply delicious for hotpot purposes. Pork neck meat should not be cut paper-thin. Because you'll want to be able to enjoy its texture, you'll want it to be a bit thick. Each slice, however, should be relatively short, so that it can be cooked easily in the hotpot. This cut of meat should be easy to find at a nearby butcher shop and should not be too costly.
Thin Slices of Lamb Flap for Its Flavor
If you love lamb, you'll find that it goes surprisingly well with hotpot. The flavor of the meat really complements the flavor of the soup and the dipping sauces that are often used. While there are many different cuts of lamb that are popular for hotpot, lamb flap, which is the gristly end of the rib that is often trimmed away, tends to be most popular. As this cut has become highly sought after thanks to China's taste for hotpot, you can expect this cut of meat to be rather expensive. Slices of lamb flap are tender and have the perfect balance of meat and fat in them.
Having an assortment of different types of meat on the table can really make your hotpot shine. Different cuts and types of meat will cater to different palates. Once you have the broth, the meat, the vegetables and the seafood ready, all that's left is to make a dipping sauce out of soy sauce or even peanut sauce, and you'll be ready to go.