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May 18, 2009 12:23 PM

Does anyone do a Mongolian hotpot or Shabu at home?

I'd like to buy a hot pot for a friend of mine for her birthday (for entirely selfish reasons). I've been looking online, and can't really tell what the best method would be. It looks like an electric hotpot would be easiest. But there are all sorts of electric hotpots, as well as electric woks and saucepans. And I can't find reviews on any of them.

Does anyone do hotpot at home? What do you use? Do you have a specific style of pan you like?



ps- Here's what I'm looking at right now:

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  1. Hey there,

    My family has been doing hotpot at home for years. There's several ways to do it. Nowadays, the electric one is the way to go. I haven't used one of those, but it looks conveinent. What we've always done in the past, by using a single electric burner and medium size stockpot. We also have one of the old tradition hotpot which allows you to insert coal to use as a heat source. Also you can use a Portable Table Top Butane Stove as well. This work pretty nicely as well.

    1. For special occasions, we do shabu-shabby over a single burner gas grill. We use a traditional Japanese Donabe. I wouldn't think an electric, stainless steel donabe wouldn't feel right to my family. I think the open flame on the earthenware vessel is part of the charm.

      Besides, I think a cord draped over the table, down the side and across the floor to a plug would be more dangerous than a table top burner.

      Another benefit is that when the power goes off, the gas table is still usable.

      1 Reply
      1. re: bkhuna

        Did I type that? Shabu-shabby? Sounds like a new concept restaurant.

      2. My family and I have done table top sukiyaki and shabu shabu for 55 years using an electric skillet. Something like a Presto or West Bend 16" for $30 - 40 would do the trick.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Sam Fujisaka

          Ah yes, but sukiyaki was intended for a "skillet" type pan. Part of the joy of a traditional shabu-shabu (as well as the new Shabu-Shabby's coming to a neighborhood near you) is the cooking of udon in the wonder broth that is left over after all the veggies and meats are consumed. For that, I think a little more depth would be preferable.

          1. re: bkhuna

            Electric "skillets" are about 3 inches or more deep.

          2. re: Sam Fujisaka

            Growing up we using a electric skillet for doing hot pots. My Mother never that skillet for anything else. In fact it is in the garage somewhere.

            We now us a butane burner with a two section pot available at local Asian markets so that we can have more than one cooking base. The butane burner has been better for use for two reasons. First we do not have deal with a electric cord and is easier to use.

            Years ago before me finding chowhound the family drove up to Johnson Oyster farm up at Point Reyes (CA) did a hot pots (3 for 15 peoples) of seafood, meats, vegetables and the star of the meal fresh oysters fresh from the ocean. Making myself hungry this early in the morning.

            Wish I still had the recipes for the spicy dipping soy sauce mixture for the oyster.

          3. my family does the portable butane as well. with the table all loaded up the dishes, sauces, and eventual drips of whatever, a cord is pretty awful to deal with.

            1. The electric hot pot in your link looks pretty similar to what my family has used for decades. The four liter size would be great for a 4-5 person group, but you could consider something smaller if it's just going to be for the two of you. I don't have a brand recommendation (my parents have an obscure Chinese brand that probably no longer even exists). Just make sure there's a way for you to adjust the temperature, ideally not just to low, medium or high, but with some nuance.