Mongolian Hot Pot

Mongolian Hot PotCalled a Mongolian or Chinese Hot Pot, Firepot, Fire Pot, or Chinese Fondue Pot, it is a large communal cooking and serving pot.

The base of the traditional hot pot holds charcoal briquets, over a grate that allows the ashes to drop below, so more briquets could be added to keep the pot hot.

Food is cooked in the pot that fits over the base. The pot is shaped like a ring, its central tube extending past the cover to act as a chimney for the smoke from the briquets.

The traditional use of the Mongolian Fire Pot is for making a soup broth, in which thinly sliced, bite size pieces of lamb or beef are cooked.

This type of pot is still popular in Asian countries, but now it is made of aluminum or stainless steel, using a gas or electric source of heat. Still, copper makes the best fire pot, because of its wonderful ability to diffuse heat and conduct it quickly and easily throughout its surface. This cooks food more evenly, with a lower heat source than might normally be used with another pan, and prevents hot spots and sticking.

Hot pots adapted for serving and keeping food hot at the table utilize an alcohol or gel fuel burner, and the ringed cooking pot might be incorporated in the base. You might see one in an upscale restaurant, brought to your table for the aesthetic appeal it adds to its serving functionality.

Use it for meat and vegetable fondues. Or it for cheese or chocolate and dessert fondues, that is if you are careful in regulating the heat so as not to scald the ingredients.


A Brief History of the Mongolian Hot Pot

The five main races of China are the Han of China proper, the Mongolians, the Tibetians, the Manchurians and the Muslim tribes. Outside the Great Wall lived the nomadic Mongols. Descendants of the great Kublain Khan, superb horsemen who in ancient times controlled an Empire stretching from Peking to Vienna. Here were the origins of the Mongolian Stove and many of the barbecued dishes of China.

At night, the nomadic tribes gathered around the cooking fires and prepared their simple meal. Chunks of meat were speared and cooked in a stew, bubbling in a primitive cauldron.

The gourmets of Beijing and Tokyo transformed the simple Mongolian Pot into the festive dish we know today. Even so, it still appeals to our primitive love of fire, food and friendship.

The Muslim tribes, following the teaching of the Prophet, did not use pork in their diet, but Mutton. It was in this manner that mutton was introduced into the cuisine of China.


Serving Tips

Always have liquid in the pot when it’s being heated.

You’ll need a ladle and fondue forks, or long seafood forks.

Each diner skewers thinly sliced, bite size pieces of food firmly with their forks from communal plates, and dips the forked food in the pot for a brief time to cook. Use the ladle to serve from the pot.

You can use tongs instead of forks if you prefer to serve the food onto the plates of your guests.


Recipes

Precious Ten Mongolian Pot

1/4 Lb. chicken breast, sliced as thin as possible
1/4 Lb. chicken livers, sliced as thin as possible
1/4 Lb. shelled, deveined shrimp, sliced thin
1/4 Lb. boned fish, sliced thin
2 Tbs. soy sauce
1 Tbs. sherry
1 Tsp. salt
1/8 Tsp. MSG (monosodium glutamate)
1/8 Tsp. pepper
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 diced scallion
1/2 Lb. spinach or celery cabbage, cut in thin strips
3 Cups chicken or turkey stock, canned and undiluted
1 slice of ginger, diced
2 Cups water

Set the table with all the ingredients arranged attractively on platters. Each place setting consists of a soup bowl, spoon and dipper.

Add water to the stock and bring to a boil on the kitchen stove.

Set the Mongolian Pot on the dining table, fill it with the boiling stock, and light the burner under the pot.

Add ingredients as desired. Simmer until tender and serve in the soup bowls. Guests may also use their dipper to obtain attractive morsels from the pot.

Serves 4 to 6

Peking Mongolian Stove

2 Cups chicken stock
5 Cups hot water
3 scallions, sliced in thin strips
6 dry mushrooms, soaked and sliced
4 Lbs. lean beef, sliced paper thin
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 slice ginger, diced
1 Tbs. salt
1/8 Tsp. pepper

Dipping Sauce:
1 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sherry
1/8 Tsp. pepper

Mix garlic, ginger, salt and pepper with chicken stock and water. Bring to a boil on the kitchen stove.

Bring the Mongolian Pot to the dining table, fill it with the hot mixture, and light the burner under the pot.

Add the scallions and mushrooms and allow to boil.

Set the table with the meat attractively arranged on small dishes surrounding the Mongolian pot. Each guest’s place is set with a soup bowl and spoon, small dish of dipping sauce and either a slim bamboo skewer or cocktail fork.

Guests cook their own slices of meat in the boiling broth and then dip them into the sauce. Afterwards, soup is served from the Mongolian Pot.

Serves 4 to 6

Chrysanthemum Stove

2 Cups fresh white chrysanthemum petals, washed thoroughly
1/4 Lb. chicken breasts, sliced as thinly as possible
1/4 Lb. chicken livers, sliced as thinly as possible
1/4 Lb. shrimp, shelled, deveined and sliced as thin as possible
1/4 Lb. cooked ham, shredded
1/4 Lb. spinach or Chinese cabbage, cut in thin strips
3 Cups canned, undiluted chicken or turkey stock
4 Cups water
1/2 Cup soy sauce
1 Tsp. salt
1/8 Tsp. MSG
1 scallion, diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 slice ginger, diced

Set the table with all the ingredients arranged attractively on platters. Each place setting consists of a soup bowl, spoon and dipper.

Add water to the stock and bring to a boil on the kitchen stove.

Set the Mongolian Pot on the dinner table, fill it with the boiling stock, and light the burner underneath.

Add ingredients as desired. Simmer until tender and serve in the soup bowls. Guests may also use their dippers to obtain attractive morsels from the Mongolian Pot.

Serves 4 to 6

Mongolian Mutton Stove

2 Cups canned, undiluted chicken or turkey stock
5 Cups hot water
6 dry mushrooms, soaked and sliced
3 scallions, sliced in thin strips
4 Lbs. mutton or lamb, sliced paper thin
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 slice ginger, diced
1 Tbs. salt
1/8 Tsp. pepper

Mix garlic, ginger, salt and pepper with stock and water. Bring to a boil on the kitchen stove.

Place the Mongolian Pot on the dinner table, fill with the hot mixture, and light the burner underneath.

Add the scallions and mushrooms and allow to boil.

Set the table with the paper thin mutton or lamb slices arranged attractively on small dishes surrounding the Mongolian Pot. Each guest’s place is set with a soup bowl and spoon, slim bamboo skewer or cocktail fork.

Guests spear their own slices of mutton or lamb and cook them by immersing them in the boiling broth.

Soup is served afterwards from the Mongolian Pot.

Serves 4 to 6