KOREAN HOT POT
Quick Fix Vegan
by Robin Robertson
This meal is fun to eat because everyone cooks their own food right at the table, making it more of a 'tabletop' dinner rather than 'stovetop,' although the broth does get heated on the stovetop prior to serving. In this recipe, the vegetables and broth are served over hot cooked rice.
• 6 cups vegetable broth
• 1 head bok choy, thinly sliced
• 1 pound extra-firm tofu, diced
• 12 to 16 small shiitake mushroom caps
• 2 cups bean sprouts
• 1½ cups snow peas
• 1 tablespoon kochujang paste (Korean chill paste) (optional)
• 3 cups hot cooked rice
• Toasted sesame seeds
• Minced scallions
• Soy sauce
• Peanut sauce
Bring the broth to a simmer in a Dutch oven or heatproof earthenware pot over medium heat (see note). Once it is hot, place the pot of broth in the center of the table over a heat source (a single-burner butane stove works well for this). Arrange the bok choy, tofu, mushrooms, bean sprouts, and snow peas on a platter and set on the table near the simmering hot pot. Transfer some of each of the ingredients into the broth to cook. For a spicy broth, you can add a spoonful of kochujang paste. Set out the toppings on the table in small bowls.
Spoon some rice into the bottom of individual soup bowls. Instruct diners to select ingredients from the hot pot to add to the rice and to garnish their serving with toppings of choice. As the cooked ingredients are removed and eaten, add more of the raw ingredients to the hot pot.
NOTE: A variety of heatproof earthenware pots can be found in Asian markets and online. These pots can be used directly over a gas flame and are ideal for cooking on a tabletop butane stove. If you don't have a ceramic pot, you can use a regular Dutch oven instead. Another option for tabletop cooking is an electric multicooker, which is similar to a slow cooker but can cook at higher temperatures and is wider and more shallow.