Like fondue, Chinese hotpot is all about eating together round a single, shared pot. And like fondue, it’s also incredibly easy to prepare. A fondue pot, with burner, will double up nicely as a hotpot for your Chinese feast. The essential ingredient for hotpot is a stock base and dipping condiment. What you put in the hotpot after that is entirely up to you, with limitless possibilities. Lamb is traditionally included in a New Year version.
Possibilities for other ingredients include: Chinese cabbage, sugar snaps, mange tout, boneless fish fillet such as cod or salmon, strips of beef or pork, mushrooms (any variety), glass noodles, tofu (soft or fried), prawns, peppers… if the item is suitable for poaching and you like it – throw it in!
With the stock simmering and the ingredients readily to hand, you and your guests simply add – and keep adding – whatever takes your fancy. Cooked ingredients can be transferred with a slotted spoon to a serving plate and passed among diners to help themselves.
Each diner has their own bowl with a small quantity of dipping sauce which they can use to further garnish their cooked ingredients, perhaps with a sprinkle of sliced spring onion or a few coriander leaves… and that’s it: eat, eat, EAT!