Beef Hot Pot at Hou Yi, Dish #55


Does this beef dumpling look like Ms. Pac-Man or what?

Welcome to 100 Dishes to Eat Now, the tasty countdown leading up to our “Best of 2012” issue. Tune in every day (weekends, too!) for a new dish from the Fork in the Road team.

The beef hot pot from Hou Yi

Successor to M. Tasty, Hou Yi is a hot pot place recently popped up among Eldridge Street’s dumpling stalls and Fujianese restaurants. It might seem to offer Sichuan-style hot pots, but that’s not really the case. Rather, the hot pots are really more set soups, and they have Taiwanese leanings.

The wonderfully red broth is tart and sweet; the so-called beef is mainly beef organs and beef balls. If you’re a tripe enthusiast, the soup presents two distinct varieties. And the beef balls are quite good. The soup also contains mobs of bean-thread noodles, wood ear ‘shrooms, and other crunchy and squishy things invariably including lotus root.

By the way, there’s little if any Sichuan peppercorns in the soups, but you can find them on the appetizers in restrained quantities. And the soups, at your order, can be made mind-bogglingly hot with chile oil and cayenne.

Hou Yi
112 Eldridge Street