After all these years of living with a Chinese major, I finally got to eat hot pot. My roommate talked about it all the time, since she has eaten it several times with her Chinese friends. But this is the first time I actually got to try it myself. Her fiance came over with the special hot pot boiler thing, and we provided all the food. We had fish balls, pork, lamb, tofu, fish tofu, shrimp, needle mushrooms, fat mushrooms that I don’t remember the name of, QQQQQ noodles (Q means bouncy in Chinese apparently), bok choy, romaine lettuce, another lettuce I don’t remember the name of, and probably some other things I have forgotten about.
Hot pot is lots of fun because it takes lots of time to eat. Basically, you start with a soup base, then add the different food and eat as you go. We started with the meat and made our way to the vegetables. We had so much food that it actually took us two days to finish it all. We started eating on Saturday at 8:00 pm, and we ate until 11:00 pm when we were too stuffed to eat any more. Then on Sunday we started eating again at 2:00 pm and finally finished (almost) everything off at 5:00 pm.
The only problem with eating hot pot is that it is, well, very hot. Temperature hot that is (and spicy hot too if you want it). Since you have the water boiling in front of you the entire time you are eating, it tends to get very hot very fast. That’s why hot pot is usually eaten in the winter. Unfortunately, our air conditioner is broken. We had a fan blowing on us while we ate, but we were still burning up by the time we were done. It was entirely worth it though.