Mastering Hotpot Etiquette: Dos and Don'ts for a Flavorful Experience

Hotpot dining is not just a meal; it's a social and culinary experience that brings people together around a simmering pot of broth and a variety of fresh ingredients. Whether you're a hotpot aficionado or a newcomer, understanding the dos and don'ts can enhance your enjoyment and ensure you make the most of your dining experience.


  1. Mix Your Sauce Creatively: Hotpot is all about customization. Experiment with different combinations of sauces, garlic, chili oil, and vinegar to find your perfect flavor profile.

  2. Cook Each Ingredient Appropriately: Follow the recommended cooking times for different ingredients to ensure they are cooked to perfection without becoming overcooked or undercooked.

  3. Respect Personal Space: Hotpot tables can get crowded. Be mindful of other diners' space and avoid reaching across the table or splashing broth.

  4. Try a Variety of Ingredients: Hotpot offers a wide range of meats, seafood, vegetables, and noodles. Explore new flavors and textures by sampling a diverse selection of ingredients.

  5. Stay Hydrated: Broth-based hotpot meals can be salty. Drink plenty of water throughout the meal to stay hydrated.


  1. Double Dip Your Utensils: Avoid using the same utensil for raw and cooked ingredients to prevent cross-contamination. Use separate serving utensils for raw and cooked foods.

  2. Overload the Pot: Adding too many ingredients at once can lower the temperature of the broth and affect the cooking time. Add ingredients in small batches to maintain an optimal cooking environment.

  3. Leave Ingredients in the Pot Unattended: Retrieve cooked ingredients promptly to prevent them from becoming soggy or overcooked.

  4. Waste Food: Hotpot is meant to be enjoyed at a leisurely pace, but avoid ordering more than you can eat. Order conservatively and add more ingredients as needed.

  5. Forget to Enjoy the Broth: At the end of the meal, the broth is often rich and flavorful. Consider adding noodles or rice to savor the remaining broth and complete your hotpot experience.

Mastering hotpot etiquette enhances the dining experience for everyone involved. By following these dos and don'ts, you can fully immerse yourself in the tradition of hotpot dining and enjoy a memorable culinary journey with friends and family. Embrace the communal spirit and the joy of sharing a meal together around the hotpot table.


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