Let’s face it, you can’t please everyone every night when it comes to dinner. On those nights when I want something with more grown-up flair, hot pots are the perfect answer. I should forewarn you this isn’t a classic Japanese-style hot pot—it’s more an Americanized spin on ramen, but it is filled with big, bold flavors that will leave you longing for seconds.
The kids keep it simple, with just noodles and carrots. My husband and I load ours up with the same, as well as shredded cabbage or kale, handfuls of fresh torn cilantro leaves and cubes of tofu or thinly sliced beef—don’t worry it cooks as soon as it makes contact with the boiling broth. I especially love making a quick seasoned avocado that softens into creamy pillows floating around the bowl. You can make a mock version too by tossing cut up chunks with lime juice, hot paprika and coriander. An extra squeeze of fresh lime to the pot pulls all the flavors together nicely.
For extra flair and fun, transfer the boiling broth to a fancy tea kettle to pour tableside. This is one time when cooking separate meals for everyone is a welcome change of pace.
Serves as many as you like
This is a quick and easy weeknight meal, and relies on a richly flavored broth—this vegetable bouillon is our go-to recipe.
Good quality chicken or vegetable broth