Hot Pot Blizzard Family Tradition. Photo by Michiko Yoon

Hot Pot: A Blizzard Family Tradition

November 18, 2018
Blizzard in Crystal City. Photo by Sang-Min Yoon
Blizzard 2016. We got restless after being stuck indoors for three days.

When it starts to snow, that’s when my husband breaks out the hot pot vegetables. It has become a family tradition for us to have hot pot during a winter storm.

What is Hot Pot?

Hot pot is a Chinese cooking method with a simmering pot of soup where you throw in different vegetables, shaved meat and udon noodles into a pot. While the hot pot is simmering, ingredients are placed into the pot and are cooked at the table. You can eat with hoisin or ponzu sauce.

A similar dish is shabu shabu in Japan, named after the bubbly sound the soup makes when you cook it. I first encountered shabu shabu in a restaurant in Daegu, South Korea, and I was blown away by the presentation of meat and vegetables and how delicious everything tasted.

I would argue that hot pot is one of the healthiest dishes you can make at home. It’s a feast of different vegetables in a simmering broth.

Creating a Blizzard Family Tradition

Our family tradition started when my husband lived in Crystal City, Virginia, and we had a huge blizzard in 2016 that made us stay inside for three days with one to three feet of snow. Hot pot was something we could look forward to and enjoy during the storm.

If you’re ready to get started making this dish at home, check out the link below from that goes through the various ingredients and tools you should prep to make this meal.

Everything You Need to Know to Make Chinese Hot Pot at Home

Here’s the short list of ingredients that our family always throws into to our hot pot:

  • Bok choy
  • Watercress
  • Napa cabbage
  • Shiitake mushrooms
  • Enoki mushrooms
  • Oyster mushrooms
  • Firm tofu
  • Fish cake
  • Thinly sliced brisket beef cuts
  • Pork belly
  • Udon noodles
  • Corn on the cob

Happy snow day!

Blizzard 2016 in Crystal City Virginia. Photo by Michiko Yoon
The view of the blizzard from our Crystal City, VA apartment on January 23, 2016.

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