Elevate Your Hot Pot Experience with Accompaniments

The bubbling hot pot filled with savory broth is so enticing, it’s easy to focus all your efforts there. But rounding out the meal with tasty accompaniments elevates the experience to new heights. Without the right balance of cooked meats, vegetables, noodles and dipping sauces, something is missing from the table. You need an array of textures and flavors to dip into that flavorful broth for a fully satisfying hot pot dinner.

Planning the perfect hot pot spread requires some strategic thinking. Consider cooking times so ingredients are hot and tender when they reach the pot. Pair quick-cooking meats and seafood with longer-cooking root vegetables and leafy greens. Set up sauces and spices for guests to personalize their bowls.

Include a starchy filler like rice or noodles to complement the broth. Think beyond the protein-veggie-carb formula to provide an exciting diversity of tastes and textures.

With so many possibilities, how do you even begin to choose companion dishes? Let’s dive in to the versatile proteins, produce, noodles and sauces that allow you to assemble a hot pot meal brimming with variety and sensory pleasures. This interactive dining experience begs for abundant options, so be bold with your accompaniments!

Plan a Variety of Quick-Cooking and Slow-Simmering Foods

A mix of ingredients with different cooking times adds interest and prevents over or undercooking.

Quick-cooking meats for dipping:

  • Thinly sliced beef and lamb
  • Pork shoulder or belly slices
  • Peeled shrimp
  • Squid rings
  • Fish fillets or balls
  • Chicken or turkey thinly sliced

Slow-simmering veggies for the broth:

  • Mushrooms
  • Leafy greens like bok choy
  • Broccoli and cauliflower florets
  • Carrots and potato chunks
  • Bean sprouts and watercress

Highlight the Heat and Spice

Let guests customize the zing in their bowls with condiments and spice blends.

  • Chile and garlic sauces
  • Toasted sesame oil
  • Sichuan peppercorn powder
  • Dried chili flakes
  • Soy sauce
  • Vinegars
  • Chile oil

Provide a Filling Carb Component

Noodles, rice or bread accompany the broth nicely.

  • Rice or mung bean vermicelli
  • Udon, ramen, or egg noodles
  • Dumpling or wonton wrappers
  • Rice congee or fried rice
  • Steamed buns or flatbread

Feature Plentiful Vegetables and Mushrooms

Produce adds color, nutrients, and contrasting textures.

  • Bok choy, choy sum, yu choy
  • Napa cabbage
  • Spinach and watercress
  • Enoki, shiitake, oyster mushrooms
  • Lotus root
  • Winter melon
  • Daikon radish

Combine Complementary Proteins

Meats, seafood, eggs and tofu work well for poaching in broth.

  • Sliced lamb and beef
  • Thinly sliced chicken
  • Peeled shrimp
  • Fish balls or fillets
  • Silken tofu
  • Quail or duck eggs
  • Dumplings
  • Wontons

Tantalize Tastebuds with Dipping Sauces

Pungent, savory, and spicy sauces let guests season to taste.

  • Soy sauce
  • Vinegars
  • Chile sauces like sriracha
  • Sesame paste or peanut sauce
  • Ponzu
  • Chili crisp or oil
  • Oyster sauce
  • Hoisin sauce
  • Garlic sauce

Menu Inspiration – Asian Flavors

Chinese Hot Pot

  • Beef, lamb, shrimp, squid
  • Bok choy, napa cabbage, enoki mushrooms
  • Rice noodles, dumplings
  • Sesame paste, chili oil, soy sauce

Japanese Shabu Shabu

  • Wagyu beef, salmon, shrimp, tofu
  • Chrysanthemum leaves, shiitake mushrooms
  • Ramen noodles, udon noodles
  • Ponzu, sesame sauce, curry sauce

Korean Budae Jjigae

  • Pork belly, kimchi, spam
  • Enoki mushrooms, bean sprouts
  • Rice cakes, ramen noodles
  • Gochujang, kimchi sauce, seaweed

Thai Tom Yum Hot Pot

  • Shrimp, squid, fish balls
  • Mushrooms, baby corn, greens
  • Rice noodles, wontons
  • Chili-garlic sauce, nam prik, lime

Menu Inspiration – Global Flavors


  • Lamb kofte, chicken kebabs
  • Eggplant, peppers, tomato
  • Flatbread, bulgur pilaf
  • Yogurt sauce, chili sauce


  • Chickpeas, lentils, lamb
  • Carrots, potato, tomatoes
  • Couscous
  • Harissa, chermoula


  • Thin beef strips, pork tenderloin
  • Asparagus, carrots, onion
  • Egg noodles, baguette
  • Dijon mustard, herb butter


  • Meatballs, sausage, shrimp
  • Spinach, broccoli rabe
  • Orecchiette pasta, polenta
  • Pesto, marinara sauce


The bubbling hot pot filled with your flavorful homemade or store-bought broth may take center stage. But taking the time to prepare a variety of dippable ingredients, noodles, rice and sauces makes for a fully satisfying and interactive dining experience. Tailor the proteins, vegetables and seasonings to complement your broth’s regional culinary influences. Then gather around this convivial, personalized meal with family and friends to create joyful new food memories.

Share your love
Bill Kalkumnerd
Bill Kalkumnerd

I am Bill, I am the Owner of HappySpicyHour, a website devoted to spicy food lovers like me. Ramen and Som-tum (Papaya Salad) are two of my favorite spicy dishes. Spicy food is more than a passion for me - it's my life! For more information about this site Click

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *