First of all, I can't really say which country first thought of the menu. But seems like most Asians love hot warming soup. And I'm definitely one of them. But then it seems like hot pot wasn't actually meant to be eaten for the soup but more like Asian Fondue. But I like keeping the soup 'edible' by itself too. I tried eating it at a restaurant before and the server was serving out our food from the pot right from our table and when she stepped away, I secretly got some extra broth in my bowl. But then she poured it back into the pot!!!
Please don't take my soup away! I don't care how the hot pot is meant to be eaten. I love soup!
So I decided that home's the best place to eat my hot pot, my way! (It's expensive anyways to eat this at a restaurant).
We used all the sauces, veggies, and meat we like and interpreted our own hot pot from Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese? who knows what's going on...embracing the love of all different cultures ?!?!
Feel free to explore since I don't know the limit of this hot pot.
But one thing... if you are like me and enjoy eating the soup of hot pot as well... BE CAREFUL what you put!
For one shrimp or one meat slice can totally change the taste of the soup.
If you just like getting only the stuff to be cooked and just dip them with sauce, I guess you are more free to put whatever you want since you don't care much about the soup itself.
Whatever it may be enjoy!
Here's what we put on ours...
Prepare as much as you want to eat! Prepare like following images:
Baby Bok Choy, chinese bok choy, any bok choy you want...
Mung Bean Sprouts (love 'em)
rib eye steak (or any thinly sliced beef that can be cooked fast enough) & shrimp
imitation crab meat
And/Or Udon noodles/pho noodles too!
When you get all the good stuff ready, you need to prep the broth.
We threw in a couple dried anchovy and little piece of dried kelp to boil a base broth. Don't put too much.
Throw them in a cold water and bring it to boil. Take them out when you are done. You don't want anchovy peeking out of your hot pot... do you??
Time to set up your table. You would need the following. You can get them at an Asian markets. They are so convenient for the outdoors too. Good thing to have in your house.
Set the burner up on the tabletop with a big pot. Yes, that's made to be used on the tabletop. We usually make a big batch of the broth since we can refill the pot on the table whenever. Also that base broth can be used for any kind of Korean stew/soup. Transfer that steaming broth and put on low to keep the temperature high. Put whatever you want and start eating them. Just make sure to use common sense with cooking meat and shrimp...and veggies touching raw meat...and you should be fine.
As far as I know there are sauces they sell out there, and Young made some chopped chillies. Some people prefer the soy sauce with wasabi or peanut sauce.
When you start getting full, get some steam cooked rice, soy sauce, raw eggs, sesame oil, and dried Laver Seaweed, crumble them, if you have some. If you still have lots of broth left, take them out as much as possible and leave the veggies out. Pour those ingredients and stir fry with left over veggies and meat you have left on the pot right from the table. That's the best, so leave some space for that later.