Based on a recent restaurant experience (at Hot Pot City in Milpitas,
CA), a friend and I have been having periodic vegetarian hot pot
dinners of our own.
We cut and wash napa cabbage, carrots, onions, broccoli, seaweed,
mushrooms, sprouts, tofu, tomatoes, spinach, garlic, cilantro and any
other soup vegetables we might like and also sometimes noodles and
premade wonton/pot stickers. We set out lots of sauces (chili garlic
sauce, soy sauce, various hot sauces, etc).
All of these are put on the dinner table (raw) along with a fondue pot
that we keep full of boiling water. We fill up the fondue pot with
some of our ingredients, and then start eating, replenishing the pot
as we go. We put any long cooking veggies in very early, but most of
the stuff, cabbage, sprouts, mushrooms, greens, cook very fast, so you
can add them and eat them soon after. Each person spices their own
soup after taking some from the fondue pot. Sometimes we add bouillon
to the fondue-pot water, sometimes not.
I am told that that this style of eating is a common special occasion
dinner in chinese homes. If you have more than just 2 folks eating,
a deep electric skillet would probably work better than the smaller
electric fondue pot. We often serve something on the side (grilled
meats are traditional, so we usually pick up a pack of some veggie
mock ribs from the local asian grocery and have those -- othertimes we
stir fry baked tofu with soy sauce).
It's an excellent meal.
Michelle Dick artemis@xxxxxxxxx East Palo Alto, CA