Chinese Hot Pot At Home

When the colder days roll around, Chinese hot pot tends to pop into our minds - A warm, comforting, and social meal to have with family or friends.

Here is what you can expect at a Chinese hot pot:

Meat & Seafood

Asian grocery stores sell thinly sliced meat (usually beef, lamb, and pork) intended specifically for hot pot.

Seafood items are also popular—whole shrimp, thinly sliced fish fillets, shrimp balls, squid, and scallops. 

Vegetables & Fungi

A good mix of vegetables and fungi is important to a balanced hot pot experience.

Hot Pot Dipping Sauce Ingredients:

To make your dipping sauce, start out with what you’d like your base to be (sesame sauce, peanut butter, soy sauce, Sha Cha) and add additional flavorings from there, tasting as you go. 

Here are some sauce elements: 

  • Chinese sesame paste or sauce 
  • Peanut butter or peanut sauce
  • Soy sauce (light soy sauce, seasoned soy sauce, and seafood flavored soy sauce are all good options) 
  • Sha Cha Sauce (Chinese BBQ Sauce)
  • Sesame Oil 
  • Sichuan Peppercorn Oil 
  • Chili Oil/Sauce 
  • Chili Garlic Sauce / Sambal Oelek 
  • Chinese black vinegar/rice vinegar (a less common ingredient, but up to personal preference)
  • White pepper 
  • Toasted sesame seeds 
  • Minced garlic 
  • Chopped scallions
  • Chopped cilantro 
  • Fried shallots or garlic 


  • Hot pot soup base (with water) or stock


  • baby bok choy 
  • napa cabbage (washed, cut into 1-2 inch pieces)
  • choy sum 
  • spinach 
  • pea tips 
  • watercress 
  • AA Choy/Cai 
  • Chrysanthemum Leaves (washed, trimmed)


  • lotus root
  • potato 
  • sweet potato 
  • pumpkin/kabocha squash (cut into 1/4 inch thick half moons)
  • daikon radish (cut into 1-inch chunks)
  • tomatoes (sliced into wedges)
  • corn (whole ears, cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • winter melon (cut into 1-inch chunks)


  • Enoki mushrooms (slice 1/2-1 inch of the base off, and separate the bundle of enoki’s into smaller more manageable bundles
  • Wood ears (soak to reconstitute, rinse any dirt or sand off, and remove any woody ends)
  • King mushrooms (trim the ends, thinly slice)
  • Shiitake mushrooms (trim woody stems, slice, and add to the pot early)
  • Oyster mushrooms (thoroughly cleaned)
  • Shimeji mushrooms (separated into individual pieces)


  • Beef(brisket, short rib, ribeye, sirloin, flank steak, thinly sliced against the grain)
  • Pork shoulder or loin (thinly sliced)
  • Pork belly (thinly sliced)
  • Lamb shoulder or leg (thinly sliced)
  • Boneless chicken breast or thighs (thinly sliced)
  • Fish fillets (such as tilapia, bass, fluke/flounder, thinly sliced)
  • Shrimp
  • Scallops
  • Squid or cuttlefish
  • Beef balls
  • Pork balls
  • Fish balls
  • Squid balls
  • Mixed seafood balls
  • Fish cakes
  • Fish tofu


  • Thin fresh white noodles
  • Fresh spinach noodles
  • Shirataki noodles (add directly to boiling broth, cooks in seconds)
  • Rice cakes (the thin ovals are best)
  • Frozen dumplings (smaller is better; cook time 7-10 minutes)


  • Bean threads (Dried bean curd sticks; soak in warm water for 3-4 hours, cut into 2-inch pieces)
  • Soy puffs (left whole or cut in half)
  • Frozen tofu (cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • Firm tofu (cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • Dried bean curd rolls
  • Fresh tofu sheets/skin
  • Pressed tofu



  • Place boiling soup base or stock in a wide, shallow pot the center of the table on a portable electric burner.
  • Place individual plates of raw ingredients on the table, along with dipping sauce ingredients.
  • Have each diner mix their own dipping sauce while the pot of soup comes to a boil. Once boiling, begin adding ingredients to the pot. Be sure to cook ingredients through before consuming, and allow the pot to boil for at least 30 seconds to 1 minute after adding any raw meat or seafood.