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A small, simple appliance that uses a heat coil or hot plate in a kettle-shaped pot to heat water. Add water, plug it in, and in a few short minutes, you have hot H2O for making tea, instant soup, etc. Almost the perfect appliance (a hot pot comes a close second to a microwave) for cramped living quarters like a dorm room.

Hot pot rice refers to rice steamed in a clay pot with fragrant foods on top. Frequently, these include all the different kinds of Chinese preserved meats, including preserved fish, duck, pork, and sausage and vegetables, like lotus root. Since they’re preserved, these meats are very salty, and as the rice steams, both the aroma of the preserved meats and the scent of the earthen pot permeate the rice. The longer the rice is steamed, the more fragrant the rice becomes, so it’s typical for diners to order a rice hot pot as soon as they are seated, or even before they get their table.

The rice comes to the table in its clay pot and when the server removes the lid, that’s when the smell of hot pot goodness hits. Everyone around the table will look in anticipation as the server then puts the toppings on a separate plate, add some dark soy sauce to the pot and mix it in with the rice. Dark soy sauce is a special kind of soy sauce that’s less salty than regular soy sauce and slightly sweet and goes well with the hot pot rice. After that, everyone will take some rice, put it in their own bowls, put some of the other meat on top and start shoveling. It’s ok to add more dark soy sauce to your own bowl if you want it to be saltier, but use the good stuff that came with the pot and not the stuff from the Kikkoman bottle.

Hot pot rice is a quintessential dish in Cantonese style cooking. In Hong Kong, restaurants that specialize in making hot pot rice will put pots and steamers outside on the street to entice people to enter their restaurant to try their dishes. A lot of restaurants also have hot pot specials late at night.

In Los Angeles, try MPV Garden in Monterey Park. They have late night specials, with dishes for $5-$6 and hot pot rice for $6 after 9:30 p.m. Best of all, the meal comes with soup-of-the-day, red bean dessert, iced chrysanthemum tea and hot tea all for free. You can't get good eats that cheap at Denny’s.

MPV Seafood Restaurant
1412 S Garfield Ave.
Alhambra, CA
Hot pot is a traditional Northern (Northern English, that is) dish made from meat and potatoes and could be best described as a meat stew with layers of potato. Lancashire hot pot is perhaps the most traditional of all and is usually made from lamb or mutton and kidneys. Sometimes oysters are also added but hey, this is supposed to be a working class dish, after all.

If you don't really have a penchant for internal organs then why not try my recipe for a delicious bacon hot pot? For four, you will need:

Bacon. (12-15 rashers)
Two fairly large onions.
Oil for frying.
Potatoes. (probably about 6 largish ones, if you don't have enough you can always peel some more)
Note: The bacon used should not be the "streaky" kind, but the sort with a large section of meat in one piece. This is possibly known as Irish Bacon or somesuch in the US but here in the UK this kind of bacon is the norm.1


Grease a casserole dish with butter or margarine.
Peel the potatoes and cut into slices varying between about 8 and 15mm. Line the casserole dish with a layer of these potatoes, around 20mm thick.
Chop the onions and fry in the oil until soft and light brown. Spread the fried onions on top of the layer of potato in the casserole dish.
Fry the bacon in the oil left over from the onions until the fat on the bacon is just beginning to turn brown.
Put the bacon on top of the onions in the dish.
Now add about a third of a cup of water to the frying pan and bring to the boil. Stir with a wooden spoon to gather up all the bits, and pour this over the bacon and onions.
Top with another layer of sliced potatoes, preferably thicker slices as they won't go so crispy during cooking.
Dot the top layer with margarine or butter, and cover with a lid or baking foil.
Cook at 180 centigrade for two hours, removing the lid 20-30 mins before removing from the oven to brown the potatoes.
Serve with coarsely chopped cabbage, boiled briskly for about 10 minutes.

1. I've been informed that this type of bacon is known as "Canadian bacon" or "Back Bacon" or "Side bacon". So many bacons! Thanks!

Hot bulb, Hot pot. (Internal-combustion Engines)

See Semi-diesel, below.


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