TJ Lee’s Hot Pot with Homemade Pork Bone Broth

published Nov 2, 2021
Hot Pot with Homemade Bone Broth Recipe

A light bone broth is the perfect, balanced base for hot pot's array of flavors and ingredients.

Serves4

Prep35 minutes

Cook3 hours

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hot pot with bone broth and mushrooms, bok choy, corn, etc. Ingredients to add to hot pot on table surrounding. black and white fabric runner. meat, shrimp, mushrooms, noodles, tofu, sauces
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk; Prop Styling: Andie McMahon

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My favorite hot pot broth is made from pork bone. It’s very light and a wonderful base for something like hot pot that calls for dipping in different ingredients. I like making the broth from scratch because it’s a labor of love and I want guests who are coming to know that there’s a lot of care put into my hot pot. When I was growing up, my mom was always stepping up to a big pot of soup — when you put a lot of hours into your soup, that means you really love the people you’re feeding it to.

You really want to get the cleanest, clearest broth possible and the best way is to remove all of the blood and impurities from the bones. Sometimes it gets overlooked as “just the broth,” but it’s important. The broth is the star of the show. While you may want to season the soup with more salt, remember that you want a nice, clean broth to boil your food in! As the flavor from each item infuses into the soup, it will become much saltier already without the need of additional seasoning.

Hot Pot Shopping Tips

  • Vegetables are one of my favorite parts of eating hot pot! The different crunchy textures they provide are just fantastic. I highly recommend trying different types of mushrooms, such as

    shiitake

  • Buying frozen items at the Asian supermarket can be overwhelming because there are so many. But that’s also the fun part — you can try different brands of beef balls, fried tofu, and fish balls, some of which have fillings like cheese or meat inside. There is no right or wrong choice. The more you eat hot pot and try each item, the more you will know what you like. 
  • You can buy pre-sliced meat at Asian supermarkets, such as H Mart and Ranch 99. The more expensive fatty cuts of meat will be much more tender and delicious. Do not be afraid to try different cuts and see what you like best! While chicken is an option, no one really wants to boil chicken in a hot pot. Instead swap out for seafood like shrimp, fish, or clams.
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk; Prop Styling: Andie McMahon

Hot Pot Serving Tips

  • When the broth starts boiling, that’s when you want to dip in the meat. Hold it with your chopsticks, dip it into the boiling broth, count 10 to 15 seconds or until it’s gently cooked, and pick it back up. It’ll be nice and tender.
  • At a hot pot like this, I like to have a sauce station. I’ll put out some sacha (or Chinese barbecue sauce), some minced garlic, sesame sauce, soy sauce, and chili oil. Each person can go up there with a small bowl and play around with the flavors until they find one they like.
  • Take leftover sesame sauce from my cold noodles recipe (coming soon!) as dipping sauce for meat. It’s so delicious!

Hot Pot with Homemade Bone Broth Recipe

A light bone broth is the perfect, balanced base for hot pot's array of flavors and ingredients.

Prep time 35 minutes

Cook time 3 hours

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the bone broth:

  • 1 1/2 pounds

    meaty pork bones, such as pork neck or leg bones

  • 1

    (1/2-inch) piece ginger

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    vegetable oil

  • 1/4

    peeled medium white onion

  • 1 pound

    daikon radish

  • 1 tablespoon

    kosher salt

  • 2 teaspoons

    chicken bouillon powder, such as Lee Kum Kee

  • 1/8 teaspoon

    ground white pepper

For the dipping sauce:

For the vegetables and noodles (pick up to 5, about 8 ounces of each):

  • Variety of fresh mushrooms, such as enoki, shimeji or beech, shiitake, or oyster

  • Baby or regular napa cabbage

  • Sliced winter melon

  • 4 ears fresh corn

  • Regular or baby spinach

  • Baby Shanghai bok choy

  • Frozen or vacuum-sealed udon noodles (about 1 pound)

For the seafood, meat, and tofu (pick 3 to 4):

  • 8 ounces

    uncooked peeled or shell-on shrimp

  • 8 ounces

    tilapia fillets

  • 1 pound

    thinly sliced boneless ribeye or fatty beef, thawed if frozen in a stack

  • 1 pound

    thinly sliced boneless lamb leg, thawed if frozen in a stack

  • 1

    (about 1-pound) package soft tofu

Instructions

Make the broth:

  1. Place 1 1/2 pounds pork bones in a large bowl, add enough cool water to cover, and soak for 30 minutes at room temperature. Meanwhile, cut 1 (1/2-inch) piece ginger into 2 slices and smash.

  2. Drain and transfer the bones to a large pot or Dutch oven (at least 5 quarts). Add enough cool water to cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, then simmer for 5 minutes. Drain again and rinse the bones under cold running water. Wash and dry the pot.

  3. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil in the same pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the pork bones and cook until lightly browned on the bottom, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the ginger, 1/4 peeled medium white onion, and 3 quarts water. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Cover and simmer for 1 hour. Meanwhile, peel and halve 1 pound daikon radish lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick half-moons.

  4. Add the daikon, cover, and simmer for 1 hour more. (This is a good time to prepare the sauce components and other ingredients for the hot pot.)

  5. Add 1 tablespoon kosher salt, 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon powder, and 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper to the broth and stir to combine. The broth is now ready for hot pot (remove the bones if desired).

Prepare the dipping sauce components:

  1. Prepare the following, place each in an individual bowl as you complete it:

    • Peel and mince 1 head garlic
    • Coarsely chop the leaves and tender stems of 1/2 bunch cilantro
    • Thinly slice 1/2 bunch scallions
    • Slice 8 fresh Thai chiles into thin rounds.
  2. Fill individual small bowls with the remaining sauce components or just leave out the jars and add spoons for people to help themselves.

Prepare the vegetables and noodles:

  1. Prepare the following, placing them in separate bowls or in piles on a large baking sheet or serving platter:

    • Mushrooms: Trim and cut into bite-sized pieces
    • Napa cabbage: Trim and cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces
    • Winter melon: Cut off the rind, then cut the flesh into 2-inch pieces
    • Corn: Cut each ear into 3 to 4 pieces
    • Spinach: Trim and cut into 4-inch pieces
    • Baby Shanghai bok choy: Keep whole
    • Udon: If using frozen noodles, run under cold water until separated, then drain well

Prepare the frozen foods:

  1. There is no need to thaw the frozen foods unless they are frozen solid together into one piece. If frozen together, thaw in the refrigerator until you are able to separate the pieces. Place each type in a separate bowl or pile together on a platter.

Prepare the seafood, meat, and tofu:

    • Shrimp: Peeled or leave shells on; trim the veins if desired
    • Tilapia fillets: Cut crosswise into 2- to 3-inch pieces
    • Tofu: Drain and cut into 1-inch cubes
    • Sliced beef or lamb: If frozen in a stack, thaw before cooking; if slices are individually rolled up before being frozen, keep frozen
  1. Place the tofu, seafood, and sliced meats on a platter or on separate plates.

  2. Let each person mix their own dipping sauce with their desired ingredients. Fill the hot pot with the bone broth and bring to a boil. Start cooking!