Easy Entertaining

Vietnamese Hot Pot

To please a crowd on a chilly day, serve up this Asian favorite with all the fixings
Vietnamese Hot Pot Party

Most Asian cuisines feature a version of a “hot pot”—an Asian variation on fondue that invites diners to plunge bite-size veggies and other nibbles into a pot of simmering broth, then dip the just-cooked foods in a variety of sauces. Once the dipping course is done, rice noodles and bean sprouts are added to the veggie-seasoned broth to create a second course of comforting soup that’s garnished with fresh herbs. The experience makes for a fun party meal that’s exotic and elegant, but also light and healthful. Plus, a hot pot feast requires little advance preparation, since guests essentially do all the cooking at the table.

We’ve come up with an all-veg version of a Vietnamese lau, or hot pot, that’s perfect for any winter celebration. To put together your own party, follow the recipes and instructions here, invite a few friends over, and get dipping.

January 2009 p.54

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Spicy Tofu Lettuce Wraps

Spicy Tofu Lettuce Wraps

Leftover garnishes for this easy appetizer can be used to season the Hot Pot.

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Vietnamese Hot Pot

Vietnamese Hot Pot

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Because a Western-style fondue pot is too small for all the broth in a Vietnamese hot pot, we recommend using an electric skillet or electric wok that can be set in the center of the table and kept at a simmer. (Electric skillets can be found for under $20 at

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Coconut-Mango Sundaes

Coconut-Mango Sundaes

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Try this simple dessert to cool guests’ palates after the spicy Hot Pot.

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Sweet Chile Mayonnaise

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Whisk together all ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to use.

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Pineapple Miso Sambal

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Pulse all ingredients in blender or food processor until mixed, leaving pineapple in small chunks.

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Lime and Peanut Sauce

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Whisk together all ingredients until honey dissolves.

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