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Jan 22, 2013 05:55 AM

Shabu-shabu/hot pot… teach me!

Proper etiquette seems pretty obvious to me (don’t stick your own chopsticks into the communal pot, don’t dip your food into the communal dipping bowl)
If there are any more faux-pas that I should know of, please tell me.

Is there a ‘proper order’ to put your food into the pot?
Like if you have your choice of shrimp, clams, fish cake, tofu and sliced beef as your proteins, is it proper to start with one over another?
What goes best into the pot/What’s a good combo to put in at one time?
Do you use a spoon to drink the broth from your bowl?
Should you wait till the very end to drink the broth?
Dipping sauces – tell me about them

Thanks for the help! (I think the hot-pot is my new favorite way to eat, I just want to make sure that I’m “doing it right”)

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  1. You have the basics right, re: double-dipping w/ sticks. I don't believe there is a correct order for dipping, but I do know that the broth is drunk at the end, when it's been enriched by the flavors from the dippage. :) And many times, the host has mixed a few beaten, raw eggs and a bit of rice into the broth at the end, to enrich it.

    1. My favorite way to end is to dump a bunch of rice into the pot and let it absorb almost all of the broth. The result is similar to risotto, and very flavorful.

      1 Reply
      1. re: pikawicca

        I am just jumping in here and hope this isn't discussed elsewhere (if so, I apologize). How much is your bunch of rice? Is it long, short or medium grain? And how much broth is there? It speaks to me (and makes me drool!) to think of doing this.

        More, more, more info, please?? :)

      2. The only order I follow is to put in the things that take longer to cook first.

        I wait until the end to drink the broth and sip it out of my bowl.

        1. There is no etiquette or rules, with the possible exceptions you've already noted (re: chopsticks and communal bowl) but even those exceptions may not hold if I'm having hot pot with family members.

          1. We have separate chopsticks for dropping raw foods into the pot and personal chopsticks for eating. Usually use the cheap takeout chopsticks for the raw foods.

            Each person also has a smaller wire fishing basket to rescue the cooked foods as pictured on this blog:


            As for dipping sauces, you can mix:

            1) soya sauce and minced or sliced chillies. Add some fried garlic oil and garlic bits to enhance flavour.
            2) Thinned down hoisin sauce with some chopped garlic
            3) Sambal chilli sauce (slow sauteed onions, garlic, ginger and chillies with some fremented shimp paste). Can be purchased from grocery stores- look out for SingLong brand or something from Malaysia or Singapore. No, sambal oelek is not the same thing since it is not cooked.
            4 )Google Jaden Hair's Steamy Kitchen Blog and follow the recipe to make the Chilli garlic sauce for the Hainanese Chicken rice.
            5) Thinned down oyster sauce.
            6) Chilli oil
            7) Processed green onion, ginger and oil a la David Chang

            Any sort of dipping sauce works, really. The meats coming out of the hotpot is delicate and somewhat bland so use what you like to flavour it up.

            Our family tends to have personal sipping sauces as we are a bit paranoid.

            We have blanched egg noodles to eat wth the soup at the end of the meal. or soaked beanthread vermicelli.

            There is always a kettle of just boiled water on the side to top up the hot pot.