Hot Pot Party!

Hot Pot Night cover

Let's Have Hot Pot!

Hungry for some hot pot fun? You came to the right place! Here are some activity ideas, helpful hints, and downloadable resources to get you started on planning your own Hot Pot Party, inspired by Vincent Chen's Hot Pot Night!

    Before or after a rousing read-aloud of Vincent Chen's Hot Pot Night!, get the wiggles out with a few games!

    • Duck, Duck, Goose: Put a tasty twist on this fan favorite by substituting "hot" and "pot" for "duck" and "goose." Each person dubbed "hot" can start a drumroll on the floor with their hands, simulating the sound of a pot coming to boil as the round progresses around the circle. 
    • Scavenger Hunt: Print several copies of these downloadable ingredient picture cards and hide them around your party room. Offer prizes to the team that finds the most veggies or seafood as well as the team that finds the most cards total. 
    • Am I Delicious?: Use printed copies of the ingredient cards listed above for a finger-licking-good round of the old party game "Who Am I?" Paperclip the cards to the back of your guest's shirts (no peeking!) and challenge them to guess what food they have by asking the other guests yes-or-no questions. Are they stumped? Try starting with "Am I from the ocean?" "Am I smaller than an apple?" or "Do I grow underground?" 
    • Chopstick Races: Any champion of the old egg-and-spoon race will love this variation! Equip each racer with a pair of chopsticks and a coin or a small rubber bouncy-ball; challenge them to reach the other side of the room without dropping their item. 

    Are some of your guests new to chopsticks? Never fear! With this easy craft, they can make their own beginner's set to practice without worrying about dropping or slipping. 

    • Select a plain set of disposable chopsticks and one spring-clip clothespin.
    • Glue one chopstick to one side of your clothespin, close to the blunt end of the stick. The grasping end of the clothespin should be level with the blunt end of the chopstick; the handle should lie along the shaft.
    • Glue the other chopstick to the other side of the clothespin in the same fashion.
    • Decorate the clothespin with food-safe markers.

    Whether you're making food for your party or sending your guests home with a recipe card, you can't go wrong with author-illustrator Vincent Chen's family hot pot recipe. 

    • Sauté one chopped onion, one chopped beefsteak tomato, and ten leaves of napa cabbage in one tablespoon oil until tender. 
    • Add eight cups water and simmer until fragrant. Strain out vegetables and transfer broth to a pot with a built-in heating element (or a regular pot on a portable cooktop).
    • Whisk together soy sauce, minced garlic, minced ginger, and sesame oil to make your dipping sauce. Store in a fridge until ready to serve.

    Here are some traditional hot pot favorites: 

    • Thinly shaved beef, pork, or lamb (if you get it frozen from your local Asian grocery, remember to thaw it before cooking!)
    • Sliced tofu
    • Seafood: shrimp, fish, clams, mussels, fish balls, squid, etc.
    • Vegetables: baby bok choy, spinach, napa cabbage, carrots, etc.
    • Mushrooms: try shiitake, enoki, portobello, and king oyster mushrooms as well as white mushrooms!
    • Starches: daikon, potatoes, taro, lotus root, kabocha squash, noodles, dumplings, etc.

    Important safety reminders (consider writing these on a whiteboard or putting up posters if you plan to serve hot pot at your party):

    • Wait until your broth is boiling and add just a few pieces of food each time to keep the temperature consistent.
    • After handling raw meat, sanitize your tongs or chopsticks by dipping them into the boiling broth for a few seconds before handling cooked food.
    • Allow denser foods like tofu, root vegetables, and dumplings more time to cook. 
    • Handle hot broth, pot, cooktop, and cooked food with caution.