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Spicy Sichuan Hot Pot cooking with vegetables and beef and other vegetables around the hot pot in bowls.
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5 from 22 votes

Spicy Sichuan Hot Pot [Mild Broth Recipe Included]

Spicy Sichuan Hot Pot is made with a delicious Chinese spicy broth that simmers away while your guests can cook their own thin slices of meats, vegetables, noodles and anything they desire. Fun interactive communal dinner idea!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr 20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Mains
Cuisine: Chinese
Servings: 8
Calories: 255kcal
Author: HWC Magazine

Equipment

  • Electric hot pot, portable electric cooker and deep pot, instant pot or even a deep portable electric frying pan
  • COOKING chopsticks or tongs
  • Ladle
  • Small metal strainers
  • EATING chopsticks and spoons

Ingredients

Ingredient Ideas to cook in Hot Pot

  • 1 diakon radish
    peeled and cut into wedges
  • 8 oz baby corns or corn on the cobs husked and cut in half
  • 8 oz mushrooms
    we used enoki - optional
  • 2 cups baby bok choy
    washed and prepped - optional
  • 2 cups green vegetables we used bok choy
  • 2 cups napa cabbage
    cut into cubes - optional
  • Lotus root optional
  • Butternut squash optional
  • ½ pound shrimp optional
  • 12 oz beef
    thin sliced
  • 6 oz tofu
    firm cut into cubes - optional
  • fish balls optional
  • fish thin slices (optional)
  • 8 oz rice noodles we used dried shrimp noodles - optional
  • Homemade Chinese Dumplings optional

Spicy Sichuan Broth (For those that like it really spicy)

  • 1 tablespoon oil light flavored
  • 2 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns
    or to taste
  • 8 Sichuan dried peppers chopped or to taste (can substitute with other mild dried chili peppers or fresh chopped chilis to taste)
  • 3 whole star anise
  • 2 inch ginger
    knob peeled and sliced
  • cup orange peel cut off orange peel off one orange (just the orange and not the yellow pith)
  • 10-12 cups Chicken broth
  • 5 dried mushrooms we used shiitake
  • 1 diakon radish peeled and sliced
  • 8 oz baby corns or corn on the cob cut in half
  • 1 tablespoon chili bean sauce
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon garlic chili oil or to taste (optional)
  • 4 green onions chopped

Mild Hot Pot Broth (Optional for those that do not like spicy foods)

  • 10-12 cups chicken broth gluten free
  • 1 diakon radish peeled and sliced thinly
  • 6 Chinese red dates dried whole
  • cup goji berries
    dried also known as wolf berries
  • 3 garlic peeled and bashed
  • 1 inch ginger knob peeled and sliced
  • 6 shiitake mushrooms dried
  • 8 oz baby corns or corn on the cob husked and cut in half
  • 3 star anise whole
  • 2 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 4 spring onions chopped
  • salt and white pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce or to taste

Dipping Sauce Ideas

  • Chopped bird chilies and soy sauce optional
  • Chopped garlic fried golden brown optional
  • Chinese picked vegetables serves as a palate cleanser - optional
  • Crushed chili, soy sauce, black Chinese vinegar and coriander optional
  • Sesame oil, scallions, garlic, chili oil and black Chinese vinegar  optional
  • Oyster sauce, sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, scallions optional

Instructions

  • Determine if your guests would like the hot and spicy or mild broth (I made one of each).

Spicy Sichuan Hot Pot Broth

  • Turn your burner on medium high and add the oil. Then add Sichuan peppercorns, Sichuan dried peppers, whole star anise, ginger, and orange peel and stir fry until aromatic, about 1 minute.
  • Add chicken broth, dried mushrooms, diakon radish, baby corns (or corn on the cob), chili bean sauce, soy sauce, garlic chili oil and green onions and allow to cook for about 20 minutes or until the diakon radish is tender. Turn down the temperature to a simmer until you are ready to eat. Skim your broth frequently.

Mild Hot Pot Broth

  • Turn burner on Medium high. Add chicken broth, diakon radish, Chinese red dates, goji berries, garlic, ginger, dried mushrooms, baby corns or corn on the cob, star anise, sesame oil, spring onions, salt, white pepper and soy sauce to taste. Cook for about 20 minutes or until the daikon and corn are tender. Place heat to a simmer. Skim your broth frequently.

Prepare Ingredients to be Cooked

  • Plate up all of your uncooked thinly slices meats, fish on to separate serving plates. Also plate up all of your raw vegetables and other items such as noodles to prepare for the guests to cook at the dining room table.
  • Prepare your dipping sauces and condiments and place on dining room table.
  • Transfer your Hot Pot Soup Base Spicy or mild version from your pot on the stove to your hot pot at the dining room table. (Be careful- very hot) Turn on your electric or gas hot-pot and return temperature up to a slight boil. (If you decide to make only one type of broth this whole procedure can be done at the dining room table on the electric or gas hot-pot)
  • Make sure the hot-pot broth is boiling. With your cooking chopsticks, carefully start adding your firmer vegetables like squash, carrots or lotus root to the boiling hot pot broth, as these take longest to cook. Next go with either your meats or fish and dip into hot broth and swish back and forth until cooked. Then, start adding some green leafy vegetables. Each person will need to cook and grab from the hot-pot their finished cooked product with their cooking chopsticks or tongs NOT with your eating chopsticks.
  • Provide small bowls for the cooked delights and enjoy dipping your cooked meats, fish and vegetables in the dipping sauces and condiments. We also like to add a few spoonfuls of the hot pot broth on the cooked items as it is so nourishing.
  • When all of the guests have finished cooking the meat, fish, vegetables, add the noodles as the last step and cook until al dente. (I like to save a few mushrooms as this really makes the broth really savory.)
  • Enjoy a wonderful heart healthy bowl of hot pot with family and friends.
  • During the cooking process, it is common to need to add additional broth as the ingredients absorb some of the broth as some of the broth evaporates. Make sure you have extra chicken, vegetable or broth reserved on the side as you will need it.

Video

Notes

We have both a Spicy and a mild broth recipe listed above for your convenience. 
Sichuan peppercorns can be found in a Whole Foods market, Asian Market, specialty stores and also online on Amazon. Feel free to substitute other mild dried chilis available or fresh chili to taste, if you cannot find dried Sichuan chili peppers.
Please be careful if you have young children participating in this family feast. Please cook for them and place on their plates.
The first item of business is to determine what kind of hot pot will your family and friends enjoy. Do they like it spicy or mild? There are many dual hot pots on the market so that you can cook spicy (la da) on one side and mild (bu la da) on the other side.  Otherwise, if you want one of each will have to cook it in two separate pots. 
You can add anything your little heart desires to your hot pot. However, some of our family favorites are the diakon radish, corn on the cob, thin beef, Chinese green vegetables and mushrooms.
If you want to keep this recipe low carb, just skip the corn and the noodles. 
If you want to keep this recipe gluten-free, you will not be able to add the Chili bean sauce as we have not been able to find this item gluten-free as of yet. Use a gluten free broth and tamari instead of soy sauce. If you want to make this recipe vegan, use vegetable or mushroom broth and add in vegan options to the pot to cook. 
Cook your hard vegetables first, like your diakon and corn on the cob. Then the rest of the items such as thin meats, fish and vegetables all cook very quickly in a matter of seconds in the broth.
You can make a very simple dipping sauce of soy sauce or tamari if you need it gluten free and a little chili or sesame oil. We love fried garlic. After you cook your items in the hot pot, you can dip into your dipping sauce and enjoy. 
Sometimes, during the cooking process, your broth level will get a little low and start to concentrate. Add some boiling water from your hot kettle and you are back in business or more chicken or vegetable broth. 
You will need to skim your broth. Yes, just like mom used to do when she made soup. When you first add your broth ingredients you will need to skim the top. 
If you have not made Spicy Sichuan Hot Pot before, check out these helpful hints for our cooking our hot pot recipe.
  1. Cook the hard vegetables like lotus root, squash, carrots, daikon, etc. first as they take longer to cook.
  2. If you are preparing your own thin sliced meats, place them in the freezer for about 45 minutes before slicing. Cut meats thin against the grain. Freezing your meat makes it easier to cut it super thin. Your goal is to have it thin as shaved beef or sukiyaki beef.
  3. Set aside extra chicken or vegetable broth to add to the pot mid-cooking. As you cook your ingredients, some of the soup broth will be absorbed and evaporate.
How to host a hot pot buffet gathering? 
  • Make your Spicy Sichuan Hot Pot 
  • Broth and/or mild soup broth and keep warm in electric hot pot cooker, portable electric cooktop with pot, instant pot or deep electric frying pan. (Reserving a little extra chicken broth for later as the liquid volume reduces during the cooking process)
  • Slice meats and fish. Prepare vegetables, tofu, dumplings, noodles, mushrooms, etc. and place on serving plates on your table.
  • Gather up cooking chop sticks, tongs, strainers to cook your ingredients.
  • Make the hot pot dipping sauce and place in individual little containers for each person.
  • Set the table with a small bowl, napkins, eating chopsticks and soup spoon for each guest.
  • Gather up your guests to sit around the table.
  • Designate one person as the guide and main chef to the cooking process.
  • Increase the temperature of the cooking device up to a boiling level and adjust to a medium boil during the cooking process.
  • Add your hard vegetables that take longer to cook first to the pot.
  • Next allow your guests with cooking chopsticks or tongs to add ingredients to the pot that they wish to eat.
  • If your soup broth level starts to evaporate during the cooking process, add a little extra chicken or vegetable broth to the hot pot cooker. Then, allow the broth to come back up to temperature before adding more ingredients to the pot.
  • As the very last step, add the noodles in a little basket to prevent them from getting lost in the pot and cook until aldente. We cook noodles last as they soak up a lot of the soup broth.
  • Enjoy the experience
Hot Pot Etiquette and Safety
  1. Cooking chopsticks vs eating chop sticks. Do not dip the eating chop sticks in the pot and do not eat with the cooking chopsticks. We are very strict about this. (Be sure to take extra precautions to make sure the cooking instruments used, and all ingredients placed in the cooking pot or taken out of the cooking pot are with CLEAN COOKING INSTRUMENTS ONLY and NOT THE EATING CHOPSTICKS.) Okay, the nurse will now step down from her soap box.We have separate kitchen chopsticks and tools for meats, seafood, mushrooms, tofu and vegetables to prevent cross contamination. In addition, we place the raw items like meats on one plate separated from vegetables on another.
  2. Keep the Children Safe: If you have young children, you know they can be unpredictable. It’s always best to be on the safe side. We usually sit small children at a separate table right next to us but far away from the electric hot pot. We cook for them and put it in their bowl, so their hands are far away from the hot cooking vessel. However, we found that once children are a little older, compliant and can follow directions, they love watching the cooking process at the table. However, we still do the cooking for them. However, by the time they are 9 or 10, they can be cooking for you.
  3. Eat what you put in the pot and not what your friend put in the hot pot, if you want to stay friends. (smiling)
  4. No double dipping! After you cook your ingredients, remove them from the pot and place them on your plate, you are done. Do not put ingredients that have been on your personal plate back into the pot. Ewwww!
  5. Designate one personal chef in the group. During the times when we are more aware of cross contamination and illness, nominate one person to cook and scoop the hot pot ingredients on everyone’s plate. This may not be the full cooking experience, but it is certainly still mesmerizing watching the hot pot broth boiling away. This is the safest option. Another option is to make one delicious pot of our Chinese Beef Noodle Soup Recipe and serve it up.
  6. Use the scooper basket to add in your noodles so they don’t get lost in the pot. Do not cook noodles until the very end because they will absorb a lot of the liquid in the hot pot.

Nutrition

Serving: 8g | Calories: 255kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 102mg | Sodium: 1629mg | Potassium: 756mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 2857IU | Vitamin C: 71mg | Calcium: 208mg | Iron: 4mg