In Sichuan, hot pots come in two flavors: hot or burn-the-house-down-hot. While the rest of China uses a light, savory broth, the people of Sichuan use a broth that’s heavily laced with dried chiles, hot chili oil, and chili sauce. For this recipe, I took a more moderate approach. Feel free to “up the fire” at your own peril.
Makes 8 servings
2 ounces dried bean thread noodles
2 pounds tender boneless beef
One 14-ounce package firm tofu, drained
2 pounds mixed leafy green vegetables, such as bok choy, spinach, and napa cabbage
Sesame Dipping Sauce
1/2 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons chicken broth
1 tablespoon sesame seed paste or chunky peanut butter
1 tablespoon sesame oil
6 cups chicken broth
2 quarter-sized slices ginger, lightly crushed
2 green onions, halved crosswise and lightly crushed
6 whole dried chiles
Chili Dipping Sauce
1/2 cup chili garlic sauce
1 tablespoon XO sauce
To make the marinade, combine the regular and dark soy sauces, rice wine, and cornstarch in a medium bowl and mix well. Add the beef and stir to coat evenly. Let stand for 10 minutes.
Place a wok or stir-fry pan over high heat until hot. Add the oil, swirling to coat the sides. Add the chilies and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add the beef and stir-fry until barely pink in the center, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the green onions and bell pepper and cook until the green onions wilt. Add the chili bean paste and hoisin sauce and toss to coat the meat evenly.
Transfer to a serving plate and serve.