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Chinese New Year Hot Pot

Chinese New Year Hot Pot

Chinese New Year is this weekend and begins the year of the rabbit. It marks the end of winter and the start of spring. It is also a time when families gather to celebrate around a shared Hot Pot meal in which the guests cook at the table as well as eat.

In fact, Chinese New Year is often referred to as the Spring Festival. On the evening preceding the New Year's Day, Chinese families gather for the annual reunion dinner. It is also a tradition for every family to thoroughly clean their house, in order to sweep away any ill fortune and to make way for incoming good luck. Another custom is the decoration of windows and doors with red paper cut-outs and giving money in red envelopes.

Most reunion dinners also feature a communal hot pot, as it is believed to signify the coming together of the family members for the meal. The hot pots not only bring the family to the table to eat, but everyone also cooks at the table as well.
It’s a bit like a meat fondu, with a bowl of flavoured broth instead of cheese, surrounded by raw meat and fish instead of cubes of bread. Each person picks their own food and cooks it in the pot at the table. Typical hot-pot ingredients include thinly sliced lamb, pork and beef, seasonal vegetables, mushrooms, Chinese cabbage, chopped potatoes, beans, chopped carrots, frozen lotus, fried tofu, prawns, crab sticks, fish balls, seaweed and noodles. 

If you want to try it yourself, there are lots of hot pot equipment available online from places such as Amazon but this rather upmarket electric one, makes things very simple indeed.

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