This Tomato Hot Pot with Beef is delicious and will match a wintertime meal to keep you warm. The sweet and sour tomatoes greatly contrast the thinly sliced, marbled beef. Enoki mushrooms with mung bean vermicelli provide a warm, substantial supper.
Is this a Hot Pot in a technical sense?
Well, technically, it is a soup, but it would be even better if you put the pot on induction or another electric burner and ate it while it was sizzling and bubbling! You could also use an electric hot pot, but not one for dipping raw food into bubbling stock.
As everything is already in the pan, you won’t have to do as much preparing. Feel free to add other ingredients like tofu, wood ear mushrooms, leafy greens, beef balls, etc. You can also eat this as soup if you don’t have a portable electric burner.
What kind of Beef do I need?
You’ll need thinly sliced beef, like the kind that comes with a hot pot. Look for these kinds of packages in your Chinese grocery store:
When the thin beef is poached, it cooks quickly and has a great texture. You’ll notice that I cook the beef in boiling water before I add the soup. This removes any blood and other impurities (which rise to the top of the boiling water as foam) and makes the soup cleaner. It also helps get rid of some of the fat.
Still, that pot of blanching water does take away some of the beef’s flavor, so if you want to keep the flavor but don’t mind if your soup is a little cloudy, you can add the meat straight to the soup instead of blanching it first.
How to prepare Mung Bean Vermicelli?
Make sure you have vermicelli made from mung beans instead of rice. Rice noodles are more opaque than mung bean noodles. This is why mung bean noodles are sometimes called “glass noodles.”
You must soak the noodles in water for about 15 minutes (though they can sit in the water for up to a few hours). You might want to cut the noodles in half so they are easier to eat.
- 1.75 ounces of 1 package or bundle of mung bean vermicelli
- 6 ounces of Enoki mushrooms
- 3 medium tomatoes
- 12 ounces of hot pot beef that is fatty and thinly sliced
- 3 scallions
- 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 rounds of ginger
- 1 piece of finely chopped garlic
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 spoonful of light soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 4 cups stock from chickens
- 2 cups of water
- 1/8 teaspoon of white pepper
- Salt to taste
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
- Put the bundle of mung bean vermicelli in a bowl of warm water and let it soak for about 15 minutes or until it softens. To clean enoki mushrooms, trim off the dirty ends and give them a quick rinse. As you do this, separate the mushrooms into smaller pieces (each bundle should be about 1/2 inch thick). Put aside the noodles and mushrooms.
- Carefully cut an “X” shape in the bottom of each tomato with a sharp paring knife. Slowly drop them into the boiling water. Peeling them will be accessible after you cook them for 30 seconds. Slowly take the tomatoes out of the water with a slotted spoon and set them aside to cool.
- Once the water is boiling again, gently add the beef—Cook for 15 seconds. It can also be until the beef turns opaque and any foam rises to the top. Patiently take the beef out of the pot and put it somewhere else.
- Separate the green parts of the scallions from the white parts. Cut the white parts into pieces that are 1 to 2 inches long and 1 inch wide.
- Chop the green parts very small. Your tomatoes should be cool enough now for you to peel them. Peel off the skin and gently cut into pieces that are 1 inch long.
- On medium heat, put the oil, the white parts of the scallions, and the ginger slices in a soup pot. If you have a Chinese ceramic soup pot, that would be best. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
- Add the garlic and tomato paste. Carefully cooks for 30 seconds until the oil turns reddish-orange. Add the tomatoes, sugar, sesame oil, and light soy sauce. Fry the tomatoes for about 3 minutes or until they break down.
- Add the water and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Cover the pot, turn down the heat, and let it simmer for 5–10 minutes. Gently add the enoki mushrooms and vermicelli, cover, and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add the beef, white pepper, and salt to taste, and mix well. Add cilantro and chopped scallion greens to the top. With steamed rice, please!