Preparation / Directions:
It is not necessary to use all ingredients listed here as long as you offer an interesting blend of meats, fish and vegetables. Other meats and vegetables can be substituted, if desired.
Place beef, chicken and fish in freezer and chill until firm to touch but not frozen. Slice beef and chicken in strips 1/4-inch thick and about 2 inches long. Cut fish into 3/4-inch cubes. Shell and devein shrimp. Chop cabbage into bite-size chunks. Clean mushrooms.
If using forest mushrooms, remove and discard stems. Slice mushrooms and sprinkle with lemon juice. Cut off and discard root portion of enoki mushrooms and separate clusters as much as possible. Wash, trim ends and string pea pods.
Clean green onions and cut in halves lengthwise, including green portion. Cut into 2-inch lengths. Clean spinach and discard thick stems.
To serve, arrange beef, chicken, fish, shrimp, cabbage, forest mushrooms, enoki mushrooms, snow peas, green onions, spinach leaves, water chestnuts and bamboo shoots in individual rows on large platters or serving plates. Bring broth to boil. Place heating unit under Chinese hot pot and pour boiling broth into hot-pot bowl.
Using Chinese wire ladle and chopsticks or fondue forks, each person places whatever ingredients are desired into hot broth to poach. When cooked (this will take only a few moments), ingredients are then dipped into sweet-and-sour sauce, soy sauce or hot mustard as desired, and eaten with noodles, adding cilantro, if desired.
Note: The special pot needed can be purchased at Chinese shops.