Hot pot, less commonly Chinese fondue or steamboat, refers to several East Asian varieties of stew, consisting of a simmering metal pot of stock at the center of the dining table. While the hot pot is kept simmering, ingredients are placed into the pot and are cooked at the table. Typical hot pot dishes include thinly sliced meat, leafy vegetables, mushrooms, wontons, egg dumplings, and seafood. Vegetables, fish and meat should be fresh. The cooked food is usually eaten with a dipping sauce. In many areas, hot pot meals are often eaten in the winter. The Chinese hot pot has a history of more than 1,000 years. Hot pot cooking seems to have spread to northern China during the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-906). In time, regional variations developed with different ingredients such as seafood. By the Qing Dynasty, the hot pot became popular throughout most of China.
Contributions by Badagnani, Chensiyuan, and Thapsigargin.