The holidays are one of my favorite times of the year, but it is also one of the most stressful. Especially when you’ve volunteered to host a dinner for 12 people in your small city apartment. (Hi, hello, I did that.) I really didn’t want to make the 45 minute trek to HMart on the subway, so I started googling to see if there were any easier options for the hard-to-find Asian ingredients I knew I would need. That’s when I came across Umamicart, an online grocery store offering a carefully curated selection of hundreds of Asian products and ingredients. How had I not heard of this before?
I began to scroll through the website and was really impressed by the selection. Fresh vegetables, tropical fruits, meats and seafood (including sashimi grade fish!) were all available for delivery right to my door! I had been planning on seeing what was available before I decided on what to make, but with this vast selection at my fingertips, I was suddenly feeling overwhelmed by all the delicious possibilities. But before I let my imagination run wild, I spotted the "Recipes" tab at the top of the site.
From Korean Fried Chicken to Spicy Laksa Noodle Soup to Creamy Ube Pudding, there were tons of great recipes to choose from. As I scrolled through, the one that caught my eye was the DIY Holiday Hot Pot Party, a dish that allows diners to cook their meal themselves by dipping their chosen ingredients into a boiling broth at their table. A comforting winter meal that requires minimal prep and is great for a social group dinner? Perfect. The pot I normally used for hot pot was definitely showing its age, so I was excited to see that Umamicart also offers cookware, including this Shabu Shabu Pot, which I immediately added to my cart.
When I went to check out the recipe to figure out which ingredients I would need to order, I realized there was a button that said “Add Kit To Cart.” With a click of a button, I had added all the ingredients I needed to my cart at once. Mind. Blown. I added 2 of the Holiday Hot Pot Kits to my cart and seamlessly checked out. My normal 3+ hour trek to HMart had been reduced to 10 minutes.
Delivery was free since my order was over $49, which was a nice surprise at checkout. My order arrived well packaged in an eco-friendly box. Everything was super fresh and perfectly proportioned.
The next day, I tidied up the apartment and set the table for dinner. About an hour before guests started to arrive, I washed, chopped, and laid out the ingredients. I followed the instructions to make the hot pot base and bring it to a boil. It couldn’t have been easier! As my guests began to arrive and realized what we were having for dinner, they were so excited. “This is exactly what I needed tonight!” and “Yessss, I’ve been craving hot pot!” were common cries as people walked in.
Dinner ended up being a huge hit. The meal was delicious - it was clear that all the ingredients were of the highest quality, and the Sichuan Hot & Spicy base was so good - flavorful and fragrant with just the perfect amount of spice. And the social nature of hot pot made it a great way to connect with all of my guests without running around the kitchen or being distracted by trying to cook a huge meal for everyone.
Needless to say, I won’t be making the long subway trip to HMart ever again. Umamicart was the perfect solution for my holiday culinary needs, and having it delivered to my doorstep was such a huge timesaver during one of the busiest times of the year. For anyone who is looking to make delicious, unique meals like Roast Duck this holiday season, Umamicart is just what you need. Plus if you shop now Umamicart is offering up to 25% OFF gift cards, and $15 off your first two orders.