Food and Drink

Hot Pot Broth Bases to Stock Up on for Lunar New Year

Whether you're a fan of numbing chilies or seafood, there are so many flavors to choose from.

Design by Maitane Romagosa for Thrillist
Design by Maitane Romagosa for Thrillist
Design by Maitane Romagosa for Thrillist

Hot pot season is in full swing. When the temperature outside dips, there’s nothing more comforting than gathering around a pot of bubbling broth with friends and family, getting a spicy facial from the curls of steam, and surrounding yourself with platters of napa cabbage, fish balls, thin slices of well-marbled beef, and more.

If hot pot is on the menu for Lunar New Year this year, it’s time to stock up on soup bases. There’s something for everyone: plain bone broth, tingly Szechuan pepper base, or a robust tomato-flavored soup. The best part is that the broth is only enhanced by the addition of vegetables, proteins, rice cakes, tofu, and more-so get cooking.

Little Sheep Spicy Hot Pot Soup Base

Little Sheep is a classic and reliable broth base. The Mongolian hot pot chain-which has locations in the United States, Canada, Australia, and all across Asia-clearly knows how to make a well-loved broth. My personal favorite is the spicy base, which isn’t too numbingly hot but definitely has a welcomed zip.

Haidilao Hot Pot Broth Flavor

Although we can’t currently venture to Haidilao, the international Chinese chain that specializes in hot pot and demonstrations of hand-pulled noodles, we can still have the famed soup at home. The plain broth flavor is creamy, savory, and milky. It’s not overpowering, so your meats, seafood, and vegetables will really shine here.

DeZhuang Porcini Mushroom Hot Pot Base

There’s almost always floating slices of shiitake mushrooms in hot pot. If you’re the type of person who fishes out those mushroom slivers with your chopsticks and loves the earthy and umami flavors that mushroom brings to the party, then opt for this porcini mushroom base. In addition to strong mushroom flavor, this soup base also has a hint of ginger. Bonus: it’s completely vegan.

QINMA Tomato Hot Pot Soup Base

Tomato soup as a hot pot broth is just as comforting as the kind served alongside a grilled cheese sandwich-though this version is definitely thinner and more mild in flavor. It’s somewhat reminiscent of this tomato noodle soup recipe; expect a soup that is sweet and salty and full of the unmistakable aroma of tomatoes.

Lee Kum Kee Seafood Hot Pot Base

Enhance your scallop, shrimp, fish, and other hot pot ingredients with a seafood base. Dried shrimp and scallops give this broth that funky, umami flavor while chili flakes provide some heat. This soup is a great option for pescatarians or those who prefer their hot pot proteins to consist primarily of seafood.

Bullhead Satay Hot Pot Soup Base

Bullhead makes the famed barbecue sauce filled with funky anchovies that completes every hot pot set, so we definitely trust them to make a delicious soup base as well. Like satay, this broth is sweet, salty, and nutty. The flavor is relatively mild and will taste great alongside corn, enoki mushrooms, and slivers of Kurobuta pork.

Kat Thompson is a staff writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @katthompsonn

Food and Drink

How Talking Terps Has Influenced Cannabis Hype Culture

The origins and optimism behind the cannabis brand that sells out drops within minutes. Canabis...

Photo courtesy of Buckle Your Brain
Photo courtesy of Buckle Your Brain
Photo courtesy of Buckle Your Brain

Many cannabis brands describe themselves as “lifestyle brands” and “cultural disruptors.” Few of them actually impact lifestyles or broader cultural trends. Only one of them has figurines up on Stock X right now.

“For OG Terp Crawford to be featured amongst Nike, Jordans, Supreme, BAPE, and PS5s is really sick,” says Hope Lord, co-founder of cannabis lifestyle brand Talking Terps. “Stock X is not taking everyone who makes a toy and putting it up there.”Between their psychedelic graphics, cannabis-adjacent accessories, and famous OG Terp Crawford figurine, Talking Terps has established a cult following amongst cannabis enthusiasts, hypebeasts, and beyond. On paper, it’s a lifestyle brand interested in both cannabis and psychedelics. In action, Talking Terps is an alternative universe that bridges the gaps between toy culture, cannabis culture, psychedelic culture, and American pop culture.

The brand was established as a concept in 2015 by Leor Feit aka Hope Lord, Flatbush Zombies member Antonio Lewis aka Zombie Juice, and Flatbush Zombies spiritual adviser Phil Annand aka PTA Haiti 3000. One year later, the phrase “talking terps” popped in a Flatbush Zombies song, referring to terpenes, a compound found in cannabis.

“We had a show at Red Rocks in Colorado,” Lord recalls. “I had a friend that was part of Blue River Terpenes who brought us the first sample of cannabis-derived terpenes. Then Juice and Erick made a song with it in the chorus.”

Talking Terps
Talking Terps
Talking Terps

Once Talking Terps emerged as a phrase, the graphics, accessories, apparel, events, and, of course, toys were soon to follow. By 2017, the phrase was spotted on one of Snoop Dogg’s t-shirts. In 2019, the concept of Terp Crawford was born, launching the brand towards the collectible toy game.

While the first Terp Crawford was technically a plush pillow, the first toy-named OG Terp Crawford-came in March 2020. The 6-inch tall vinyl sculpture of a humanized weed nug with a joint in his hand and a smile on his face is meant to embody everything Hope, Juice and PTA stand for.

“Our message is to love each other and be happy,” Lord says. “Tread lightly and disrupt nothing.”OG Terp Crawford drops sell out in actual seconds and resell on sites like Stock X for over double their retail price. More than a simple toy, he’s a figure that Talking Terps hopes will evolve into a full-on cartoon character.

“As time goes, the idea for Terp Crawford is for him to be a Mickey Mouse or Bugs Bunny type figure from our world that can cross over,” Lord says. “There should be no reason one day that Terp Crawford’s not throwing a football in some skit on Monday Night Football.”

That’s not just a high aspiration-the team is currently working with 3 Hearts Entertainment to develop a TV show around him. The goal is for Terp Crawford to go global and for Talking Terps to go meta. With their vast graphic library and club of TT enthusiasts, virtual collectibles like NFTs only make sense (though the team can’t let the terp out of the hat just yet).

“I can see Terp Crawford in Japan, speaking in Japanese on TV,” Lord muses. “Once we take him somewhere else, we could do big sculptures, like at KAWS level, maybe. I think we’ll get a TV show. I can’t speak too much on what we’re working on for the metaverse, but it’s got a lot of components. I can say that we’re building a whole new platform called the meta-forest.”

It’s safe to say there will be a sold-out waitlist to get into that forest.
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Danté Jordan is a freelance writer, video producer, and media consultant specializing in cannabis culture and education. Follow him on Instagram.

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