What is Hot Pot?

Think of it as Asian fondue where everyone at the table cooks their own food in a communal pot of simmering broth. Like a summer barbecue, a Chinese hot pot party is as important as a social event as it is a meal, where friends and family gather and cook around a common pot while chatting and sipping beer. A big pot is set in the center of the table containing boiling hot broth with a heating element underneath. Various raw ingredients are served around the pot, such as thinly sliced meat, seafood, vegetables, tofu, dumplings, and noodles. The guests cook the ingredients in the broth and eat them with a dipping sauce.

noodles in bowl


Most restaurants offer many options, and between four people, you'll likely be sharing two soups in a divided pot. It's a good idea to keep one mild and the other spicy.

Ma la (Szechuan)

Earthy, hot and full of spices and aromatics, this is one of the most popular soups for hot pot. It's loaded with tongue-numbing Szechuan peppercorns, chilis, ginger, scallions, cinnamon, anise and fennel that flavour meats beautifully. If you can handle heat and you are not using a divided pot, go for this soup.

Chicken broth

It's the most basic soup of light chicken broth and some veggies. It's also used to top up other soups in the pot as they evaporate.

garlic dipping sauce

Dipping Sauce

Garlic Sesame Sauce

The sauce uses toasted sesame oil and finely grated garlic (ratio 1:1). It works perfectly with the Chongqing style spicy soup. To make it more approachable, add some oyster sauce, sesame oil, and a generous amount of garlic for a rich sauce.


Included in the set:

At Sichuan Kitchen, we include sliced meat, chicken, fish balls, and a variety of veggies including tofu, mushrooms, cabbage, and lotus root. Instructions are simple.... cook ingredients, take out food, dip in sauce, eat and have fun! Note that the broth is NOT to be eaten like a soup, is for flavor only.