Dipping fun around the Mongolian Hotpot

“The little chilis can numb your tongue, but they are authentic. This is the only restaurant in Houston like the ones back in Hangzhou”, my nephew said on his last night in town. It was a place called Mongolian Hotpot, on Richmond just past Fairview, SW corner. The place was packed. My nephew ordered for us, fatty mutton, lotus root, tofu skin, bok choy, Napa cabbage, noodles, ear fungus, spicy and herbal broth, and sesame dipping sauce. The steaming cauldron of divided broth had an indescribably delicious aroma, heavy with cumin, star anise, and other things I couldn’t identify. Wikipedia doesn’t identify the common spices, but maybe they are these: cumin, star anise, ginger, cinnamon, dried lotus flower, dried mushrooms, sichuan peppercorns, dried tangerine peel, fermented black beans, and probably a soy sauce and a vinegar. There were some football shaped things floating in the spicy broth bigger than quail eggs, and I’ don’t know what they were.

The plate of mutton was like rolled prosciutto, hard to remember it was raw, unsmoked. We put some of the meat in first, then gradually added and ate the other ingredients. we were never sure if the lotus root was done because it remained crunchy. The sesame dipping sauce was excellent. I shouldn’t have sipped any broth – salt overload, maybe because they kept topping up the broth with broth.

It was fun to eat and cook, and admire the ingredients, cooked and raw. You could have a different meal every time.

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About Joan E. Strassmann

Evolutionary biologist, studies social behavior in insects & microbes, interested in education, travel, birds, tropics, nature, food; biology professor at Washington University in St. Louis
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2 Responses to Dipping fun around the Mongolian Hotpot

  1. Daniel Mueller says:

    It was awesome getting dinner with you and Julian! We definitely have to go try the Hotpot again-next big family outing will suffice. Its great for conversation and the food is delicious too! Wish we had a Hotpot in College Station…perhaps some research is in order (though I have my doubts).

  2. Daniel Mueller says:

    Welcome to GoodbyeHouston! Great to have you home this weekend!

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