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Chinese Hot Pots

Every Asian country has its own version of noodle soup. Actually, EVERY country I can think of has a signature noodle soup! China alone, has hundreds of variations based on regional culture and resources. In China soups are thought to hold healing properties and noodles are a system of longevity. A noodle soup is therefore taken very seriously, as are most dishes!

Chinese culture offers a large amount of respect for the foods they eat; a lost tradition American culture is slowly beginning to regain. Regional cuisines are highly respected and noted for their culinary and health-related attributes. Children are taught early on, how to prepare traditional dishes, some that have been around for thousands of years.

I spent the summer after high school in China studying Chinese history, Mandarin Chinese, and the Uighur language spoken widely in the North Western Chinese province of Xinjiang We spent a great deal of our free time with Chinese college students who were eager to befriend “the foreigners” and brush up on their English.

These friends introduced me to classic hot pots, a method of making soup in which you gently cook raw veggies in your serving bowl by pouring hot broth over the top, and allowing them to steep. Hot pots are a fun interactive meal that allow each individual to personalize their bowl with favorite ingredients and spice.

Bean thread noodles are made solely out of mung bean sprouts, therefore making this a gluten-free dish. It also fits easily into Tim Ferriss‘ “Slow Carb Diet” because the noodles add very few carbs per bowl.

In a large pot, bring the chicken stock, water, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger and garlic to a boil.

Add the chicken and simmer for 5-7 minutes, until just cooked through. Add the noodles. Stir, then cover and remove from heat.

Meanwhile chop all the veggies and place in serving bowls.

When ready to serve, allow each person to fill their bowls with fresh vegetables and a bit of chile sauce.

Then ladle the scalding hot soup over the veggies and let them sit for 5 minutes.

Mix and eat! Makes 6-8 bowl of soup.

Chinese Hot Pots

Yield: 6+

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes


6 cups chicken stock 6 cups water ½ cup rice vinegar 1/3 cup soy sauce 1 ½ Tb. sesame oil 3-5 slices of fresh ginger 3-5 garlic cloves, cracked 1 lb. boneless chicken thighs, thinly sliced 5 oz. bean thread noodles, or rice stick noodles 1 large bunch of green onions 1 ½ cup mung bean sprouts 8 oz. mushrooms, any variety 4 baby bok choy Chile-garlic paste


In a large pot, bring the chicken stock, water, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger and garlic to a boil. Add the chicken and simmer for 5-7 minutes, until just cooked through. Add the noodles. Stir, then cover and remove from heat. Meanwhile chop all the veggies and place in serving bowls. When ready to serve, allow each person to fill their bowls with fresh vegetables and a bit of chile sauce. Then ladle the scalding hot soup over the veggies and let them sit for 5 minutes. Mix and eat!

Making this recipe? Why not take a quick shot and share it on Instagram! Make sure to tag it #ASpicyPerspective so we can see what you're cooking!

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72 Responses to “Chinese Hot Pots”

  1. Lora @cakeduchessposted January 13, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    Oh goodness does this look fantastic! I need a spicy bowl tonight for this cold I got in NYC;) LOVE your new blog look. Fabulous! How wonderful that you got to live in China for a period.


  2. Sophieposted January 13, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    Yummie yummie yummie, dear Sommer! What a fantastic & tasty Chinese hot pot!

    Congrats on your new blog! It rocks!! I just transferred my blog to wordpress.com. Come over & update your RSS, if you will! http://www.sophiesfoodiefiles.wordpress.com


  3. Sophieposted January 13, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    MMMMMMM,..tasty food, Sommer! What a fab Chinese hot pot!

    I also love your new blog! It rocks! I just transferred my blog to wordpress.com Come over & check it out!
    Could you also update your RSS? thanks!


  4. Stellaposted January 13, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    Ooh, I can see that my favorite CEO has done a very successful aesthetic/business makeover;-) Quite nice, Dearie! I must say that I’m impressed. Ooh, and this soup looks so good too. I love Asian soups like this, Sommer. It would really hit the spot in this chilly weather too!
    p.s. your new id photo is really cute. Me likes…


  5. A little bit of everythingposted January 13, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    The site looks so good. I really love it.
    So cool you got to spend some time in China and learned more about their history and language. You’re so lucky.

    Best wishes,


  6. Meganposted January 13, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    Great new layout! I love the new design. :) I am definitely digging these hot pots! I am putting them on the “must try” list. (We just got a bunch of hot sauces for Christmas…including some great Chile-Garlic paste that will go perfect with this!)


  7. Jeanposted January 13, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    The Hot Pot looks wonderful and I will be making it this weekend. And I love your new website. It is totally beautiful and user friendly. You go girl!


  8. Peggyposted January 13, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    These hot pots look fantastic! Such beautiful photos!


  9. Shirleyposted January 13, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    I love fen si! I’ve only ever seen Chinese hot pot done with the communal pot of broth and everybody cooking food and then transferring it to their own bowls using chopsticks, but I think your way is more sanitary among mixed company.

    Great new look for the blog!


  10. Saraposted January 13, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    I love the new look of the blog and I’m in love with these Chinese hot pots. So need to make them one of these cold night!


  11. Katie@Cozydeliciousposted January 13, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    This looks amazing! I love bok choy and any excuse to use it. I could use a warm bowl of soup right now!


  12. Skylarposted January 13, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    Be still my heart. The hot pots looks amazing. And loving the design!


  13. Angie's Recipesposted January 13, 2011 at 11:18 pm

    wow That looks simply delicious and reminds me of home. :-))

    New design looks pretty cool!


  14. Cherineposted January 14, 2011 at 2:05 am

    Ohhh I LOVE the new design :)


  15. sweetlifeposted January 14, 2011 at 8:59 am

    LOVE LOVE the new look Sommer, so sleek, perfect hot pots, i could really use a bowl of the warm goodness..yummo

    have a great weekend!


  16. A Canadian Foodieposted January 14, 2011 at 10:10 am

    Your site looks so pretty!!!! This hot pot tutorial is exceptional! I have always loved hotpots but never had a clue how to make them and thought they were WAY to complicated. I see they are not. Time is needed to buy and plan – but the execution is fairly straight forward.
    Thank you so much!


  17. Julie M.posted January 14, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    Very nice Sommer! I LOVE the new look of your blog and your hot pot doesn’t look half bad either! Nice job!


  18. Dmarieposted January 14, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    love this…am a big fan of fresh bean sprouts in Chinese cooking. Even bought my own beans to grow my own but have never gotten around to growing any. Will have to visit this recipe again to nudge me into finally giving it a go. Thx for sharing…jealous of your travel adventures!


  19. A little bit of everythingposted January 15, 2011 at 12:28 am

    Congratulation on making it to Top 9
    It does look good.


  20. fooddreamerposted January 15, 2011 at 6:12 am

    Oh wow, I love the new blog! GORGEOUS! And the hotpots look delicious. Congrats on top 9!


  21. Chef Dennisposted January 15, 2011 at 6:37 am

    Hi Sommer

    your new site is beautiful!!! I love it, mine is in desperate need of a make over….sigh
    your hot pots look so very very good! Perfect for this time of year.

    Congrats on the top 9 today!


  22. Lawyer Loves Lunchposted January 15, 2011 at 10:48 am

    This looks delicious! It’s been so cold here lately (and I know that doesn’t even begin to compare to cold in other parts of the US) and a hot, spicy soup is just what we need!

    PS: Love the new site! :)


  23. Sanjeeta kkposted January 15, 2011 at 11:07 am

    Love the new design. Would like to make my veggie version of this Chinese soup.


  24. Priscilla - She's Cookin'posted January 15, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    Gorgeous photos AND love the color scheme of your new design! I especially enjoy your posts inspired by your time in China, Sommer. The hot pot and veggies look so healthy and delicious! Congrats on the Top 9, too :)


  25. Kate @ Diethood.composted January 15, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    Congrats on Top 9!!!


  26. Lynn @ I'll Have What She's Havingposted January 15, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    Congrats on Top 9! This looks great. There are a couple of hot pot restaurants in Montreal, but I’ve never been. Good to know I can make it at home!


  27. Hyosun Roposted January 15, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    Love your new blog design. Very warm and professional! The soup looks delicious, and the photos are amazing. Congrats on Top 9!


  28. Maris (In Good Taste)posted January 16, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    This looks so good! Perfect comfort food without a ton of carbs or calories. Wish I had some tonight!


  29. Priya Sreeramposted January 16, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    Hi sommers, loved the new look of ur site ! the hotpot looks yumm- wanna try a veegie version of this


    • Marian — January 20th, 2011 @ 11:06 am

      I made a vegetarian version of it the other night for my boyfriend’s birthday, and he loved it! I just skipped the chicken and used Better than Bouillon vegetable base in place of the chicken broth. I also added broccoli and cilantro to help fill the space left by no meat. And the rice stick noodles keep until at least the next day if you end up with any leftovers.


  30. denise fletcherposted January 16, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    Hey Sommer! You already know I think your Chinese Hot Pots are brilliant – so I’ll just say “CONGRATULATIONS!” Your new site is gorgeous!!! So polished and professional! Happy for ya girlfriend :)


  31. Altaposted January 21, 2011 at 10:32 am

    This looks so good! FYI, this would only be glutefree if the broth and soy sauce was gluten free. Most people that have eaten that way for a while are used to those things, but thought I’d share just in case someone new to the diet wanted to try this. I love bean thread noodles and have some in my pantry…might have to try this!


    • Sommer — January 21st, 2011 @ 10:43 am

      Thanks Alta! My broth is gluten-free for sure because I make it, but I’ll check the soy sauce.


  32. Magdalenaposted January 28, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    mmmmmmmm…i love noodles, and broths, and soups….and lately i am in Japanese “climates” and they have their own noodle soups, too.
    My taste (although it isnot possible to find it out from my blog)…


  33. Maryposted February 4, 2011 at 12:16 am

    This is a beautiful post. I’ve always wanted to know how to do this! Thank you!


  34. Sanjeeta kkposted February 14, 2011 at 6:38 am

    Love the flavors and the fresh ingredients you have used here in the dish!


  35. Tiffany Rosenbergerposted February 14, 2011 at 10:16 am

    Amazing photos. I love this recipes. Cannot wait to try this.


  36. Lot-O-Chocposted February 14, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    Oh yum this looks delicious, your pictures are gorgeous and are making me so hungry!!


  37. torviewtorontoposted February 17, 2011 at 11:07 am

    I like thin noodles these look wonderful


  38. Katy-Meiposted February 20, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    Thankyou for your visit and comment. Noodles soup… yummy… i love all noodles!


  39. Emily @Cleanlinessposted February 22, 2011 at 9:39 am

    I would love to eat 12 bowls of these, please.


  40. Roxanposted March 9, 2011 at 9:29 am

    Oh, I’m so envious that you studied in China for a few months! I never studied abroad when I was in college and now I really regret it.
    this soup looks amazing, I love all the wonderful vegetables that you’ve included in it.


  41. Rosaposted March 11, 2011 at 9:32 am

    Perfect food for the warmer days! Light and delightfully flavorful.




  42. Trixposted March 11, 2011 at 9:45 am

    That is SO cool that you did that after high school. I would love to learn Mandarin Chinese, but alas, my brain is too fossilized, lol. And a beautiful dish!


  43. Jenah P.posted March 13, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    This sounds so good. Even though I have eaten tonight,and I’m stuffed! It is still chilly here and perfect soup weather! I think we will try this one night this week!
    I couldn’t agree more w/what you stated about how other cultures honor their food. Perhaps that is one of the reasons we, as Americans, are over weight and unfit! I am fascinated w/the food of other cultures. Maybe some of it will rub off here!


  44. Quay Po Cooksposted March 17, 2011 at 6:35 am

    It has been a long time since I last had hot pot. Thanks for the reminder. Your photos look fabulous!


  45. Natalieposted April 2, 2011 at 9:21 am

    Thanks for dropping by and for your comment!

    I love hot pots, but have never made them at home. Great idea for entertaining! :)


  46. wizzythestickposted May 26, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    Noodle soups are perfect for busy days as they are easy and quick t prepare. This looks delicious.


  47. dakshaposted June 21, 2011 at 3:11 am

    This hot pot looks mouthwatering and ur clicks r super:).


  48. Cakewhizposted July 2, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    The changes to your site look great! and your dish looks fabulous!
    IC hope to visit china some day. you are so lucky you got to spend time there :)


  49. Hester Casey - Alchemyposted July 3, 2011 at 8:10 am

    I love the interactive nature of this lovely soup and I totally believe in the restorative powers of soup. Soup isn’t easy to photograph well but you have given us great photos!


  50. Mini Bakerposted August 4, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    Just found your blog! you have some amazing recipes! This one in particular looks so scrumptious!! can’t wait to browse around and bookmark :)
    -mini baker


  51. Parsley Sageposted August 8, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    These are fantastic! I love Chinese hot pot and how lucky are you to have gotten to spend some time there studying up :) Lovely recipe, lovely post!


  52. Laura @ SweetSavoryPlanetposted September 4, 2011 at 9:23 am

    We have friends from China and Taiwan who love to have dinner parties and serve this. It is so much fun, basically easy and quite the variety of food. And healthy!


  53. dakshaposted November 8, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    I like this type of noodles and beans soup. it’s taste amazing.


  54. Priscilla Mposted April 16, 2012 at 11:14 am

    Flavor fiesta! And the pictures are divine!


  55. Juiceposted September 18, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    I made this tonight and it was sooooo yummy! The only thing I changed was I cooked the noodles separately so I can just heat up the broth and have it tomorrow without the noodles getting soggy. It’s definitely become one of my favorites. Thank you!!


  56. Laura (Tutti Dolci)posted October 16, 2012 at 9:57 am

    I love hot pots! When I spent time in China, this was one of my favorite dinners. I loved the interaction!


  57. Parsley Sageposted October 20, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    Oooooh! I love me some hot pots! I keep meaning to sort myself out so we can do these at our house. Yours looks super yummy :)


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  59. Dietsposted December 5, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    Should i use some other oil instead of sesame oil? Otherwise the whole recipe is just full nutrition.


    • Sommer — December 6th, 2012 @ 7:08 am

      You can use any oil you prefer. :)


  60. Monetposted January 25, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    What an amazing experience that must have been…and now you’re sharing part of it (a very delicious part) with us! Thank you for inspiring me!


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  62. Sikaposted May 11, 2013 at 11:54 am

    I like hot pots, thank you for this great recipe!


  63. Dan from Platter Talkposted June 24, 2013 at 11:12 am

    This is such a tasty looking post! I would love to try something like this some day, soon. Thanks for sharing this!!


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  67. Monicaposted April 2, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    What a nice post. I’m Chinese and we do enjoy hot pots. : ) Your version looks scrumptious.


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