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Posted at: Jun 10, 2018, 12:04 AM; last updated: Jun 10, 2018, 12:04 AM (IST)FOOD TALK

Take a shot at this pot

Take a shot at this pot
Hunan Hot Pot

Pushpesh Pant

DON’T be misled by the name. The connection of this hot pot with distant China is tenuous, nor is it chilly hot or served at a temperature much higher than room temperature. But what the heck! It is tasty, easy-to-cook, nutritious and a wonderful variant on a one dish meal. For those who are tired of biryanis and pulav, this delicacy from Hunan is manna from heaven. We tasted it first at a pan-Asian eatery in South Delhi where it was cooked by a country cousin of ours from Garhwal. We have since tried it out several times. You can try it out as a dinner at the end of a lazy summer day. 

Hunan Hot Pot

Ingredients

Chicken 400g boneless

Spring onions (optional with green leaves)

Soya sauce 2 tbsp

Vinegar 1 tsp

Red chilli sauce 1 tsp

Cornflour 1 tbsp

Black peppercorns (coarsely ground) 1/2 tsp 

Oil to deep fry

Salt to taste

Steamed rice 2 cups

Method

Wash, trim and cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Wash well and chop the onions and green leaves. Put in a bowl and pour the soya and chilli sauces along with vinegar and salt on the chicken. Keep aside for 30 minutes. Spread cornflour on a tray or a flat plate and roll the marinated chicken pieces in it to coat evenly. Reserve the marinade. In the meantime, heat oil in a shallow pan and deep fry the chicken in batches until it turns golden; approximately 2-3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain excess oil on paper towels. Take slightly heated oil in another pan and stir fry the spring onions and green for a minute. Add the reserved marinade. Add fried chicken and briskly stir to blend well. Make a layer of steamed rice in a bowl/pot and scoop a small hollow in the middle. Put the Hunan chicken in it. Sprinkle black peppercorn over it and cover with some more rice. Garnish with green coriander leaves if you like or a few drops of red chilli sauce. Serve. Let the diner mix the studs himself and be pleasantly surprised.

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