Dry Pot

Dry Pot

Dry pot is basically a dry version of hot pot, in which all of the ingredients are cooked in an extremely spicy oil base and then served in a large bowl. This dish is not soupy and thus is called dry pot. You can use a variety of meats and vegetables, all mixed together to suit your taste. The recipe below serves as a good example from which you can develop your own versions. Note: the core ingredients, like the infused oil, hot pot spices, dried red chilis, and the black bean and red bean chili pastes, are essential to authentic hot pot. The other ingredients–meats, vegetables, and noodles–can vary.

INGREDIENTS:

Infused Oil

  • 1/3 cup peanut oil
  • 3-4 star anise
  • 1 tablespoon green Sichuan pepper corns
  • 1 tablespoon red Sichuan pepper corns
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1-2 black cardamom pods (or, you can use 1 teaspoon of cardamom seeds)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3-5 slices fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup dried red chilis (keep whole)

Dry Pot Elements

  • 2 chicken legs (bone in) and 2 chicken thighs (bone in), or 1/2 to 1 pound of other meat of choice (pork, beef, or lamb works well, as do cuttle fish, fish balls, pork balls, or beef balls)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup dried red chilis (keep whole), depending upon who spicy you want it
  • 1 tablespoon black bean chili paste
  • 1 tablespoon red/broad bean chili paste
  • 2-4 tablespoons hot pot sauce or dry pot sauce (usually comes in medium sized packets in Asian grocery stores)
  • 8 cloves garlic, pealed and smashed
  • 4-6 slices of fresh ginger
  • 2-3 thick slices of large leeks, or 2-3 green onions cut into large pieces
  • 1-2 handfuls of small Chinese cabbage
  • 1-2 handfuls of seaweed bow ties, soaked in water for several hours
  • 1 bunch of clear noodles (made from sweet potatoes or mung beans), soaked in water for several hours
  • Small package of mushrooms thickly sliced
  • 2-3 potatoes pealed and thickly sliced
  • 1 medium sized lotus root pealed and thickly sliced (goes really well in dry pot, but can be difficult to find)
  • 1 package of firm tofu, sliced into thick triangles
  • 1-2 tofu skin sticks, soaked on water for at least one hour and cut into large pieces
    • Or, a portion of a large sheet of tofu skin cut into 1/2 inch strips
  • Cut green onions or cilantro for garnish

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

Making the Infused Oil

  1. Warm the peanut oil in a small pot  on medium for a few minutes, add the spices, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
  2. Turn off the heat and remove the spices with a slotted spoon.

Cooking the Dry Pot

  1. If you are including meat:
    1. Cut chicken into large pieces, leaving the bone in; pork, beef, and lamb should be sliced thinly; cuttle fish can be sliced into 1/4 inch pieces; meat balls should be kept whole.
    2. Heat 2-3 tablespoons of peanut oil on high and add 3-4 pealed garlic cloves, 2 green onions chopped, and 3-4 thin slices of ginger, stir frying for about a minute.
    3. Add the cut meat and stir fry until cooked.
    4. You can add some red cooking wine if the wok gets too dry.
    5. Set aside for later.
  2. Add the infused oil to wok and heat on high.
  3. Add the garlic, green onions/leeks, and ginger and stir fry for a minute.
  4. Add the dry red chilis and stir fry for a minute.
  5. Add the black bean paste, red/broad bean paste, and hot pot/dry pot paste and stir fry for a minute or so.
  6. Add the hard/dense vegetables (potato, mushroom, lotus root, etc.) and stir fry for about 5 minutes–if the wok gets too dry, you can add a bit of red cooking wine to keep ingredients from sticking.
  7. Add the cooked meat and mix around well.
  8. If you are including noodles, create a well in the middle of the wok, pour in about 1/2 to 1 cup of water or red cooking wine, bring to a boil, add the soaked noodles, and cook for 3-5 minutes.
  9. Add the small Chinese cabbage and mix well for 3-5 minutes–you may need to reduce the heat to keep noodles from sicking.
  10. Place mixture in a large serving bowl (a metallic wok style pot is a bit more authentic), garnish with chopped green onions or cilantro.