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Lok Lok. Photo: Setjesther

Think of what hot pot cuisine encompasses and it is likely that most people would describe this form of dining as simply ‘cooking raw ingredients in hot soup before eating it’. While that description isn’t exactly wrong, there is so much more to hot pot than just a lazy man’s solution to solving dinner woes. The concept of hot pot promotes communal dining and bonding between friends and loved ones and forms an integral part of many cuisines around Southeast Asia. Here is a list of 7 hot pot styles that KnowInsider wants to share with you.

Lok Lok

Lok Lok is mostly found on the streets of Malaysia and often more rustic in appeal because they aren’t eaten in a restaurant setting, but heck, this is definitely a hotpot style you need to try if you haven’t.

The ingredients are served in the form of skewers and popular options include broccoli, quail eggs and meats. Besides having them boiled in soup, most Lok Lok eateries offer to serve them deep-fried too.


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Mookata. Photo: Sethlui

The dome in the centre is meant for barbecuing meats and surrounding it is a steamboat moat, which diners can use to boil their ingredients, cook noodles and enjoy soup all while grilling their meats. On top of that, mookata is designed in such a way that the juices from the grilled ingredients flow into the soup, resulting in a superbly flavourful broth at the end of the meal.Well-loved by many for its 2-in-1 concept, mookata is a hotpot style that is said to combine barbecue and hotpot using only one vessel.

Shabu Shabu

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Shabu Shabu. Photo: Savor Japan

‘Shabu Shabu’ is Japanese; it is an onomatopoeia for the sound the meat makes when it sizzles in boiling water. Naming Shabu Shabu as a distinct hotpot style is a bit problematic, since it means different things in different places.

First, Shabu Shabu is simply a Japanese nabemono hotpot dish of thinly sliced meat and vegetables boiled in water. What makes this hotpot different from the Chinese hotpot mainly is its use of more Japanese ingredients and different sauces.

Second, Shabu Shabu is also ‘Taiwanese hotpot’, since hot pot is also commonly referred to as Shabu Shabu in Taiwan because of the Japanese influence.

Tibetan-style Hotpot

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Tibetan-style Hotpot. Photo: Pinterest

The Tibetan-flavored hotpot is a light hot pot type, that is characterized by the use of yak bone (牦牛骨) for the broth and yak meat, eaten together with various tofu and various vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, etc.

A spicy Tibetan dipping sauce usually comes with this hotpot. Special to Tibetan hotpot are its juicy meatballs.


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Sukiyaki. Photo: D' Open Kitchen

Not to be confused with huo guo, Sukiyaki is a Japanese hotpot dish that also revolves around cooking meats and vegetables in a communal pot but instead of a broth, a rich sauce is used instead. Beef is typically the star of the show in sukiyaki and everything, from the soy-based sauce to the condiments provided all serve to elevate and complement the flavour of the beef.

If you prefer a more full-flavoured experience, opt for sukiyaki. Likewise, for a more mellow flavour, opt for a shabu shabu.

Budae Jjigae

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Budae Jjigae. Photo: Korean. Kitchen

Also known as ‘army stew’, budae jjigae is a Korean-style hotpot that is packed with lots of nutritional value. The broth is made using traditional kimchi and gochujang, a red chilli paste often used in Korean cooking, and common ingredients you can find in a typical budae jjigae includes sausages, bacon, spam, baked beans, cheese and of course, ramyeon.

Coconut Chicken Hotpot

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Coconut Chicken Hotpot. Photo: Lovepik

Hotpot restaurants focused on Coconut Hotpot have become especially popular in China over recent years.

The idea is simple: Coconut Chicken hotpot needs Hainan chicken and fresh coconut milk as its main ingredients. Since the broth is not made with butter or fatty oils, such as in the Sichuan style hotpots, this is probably one of the healthier hotpot options. You could even drink the hotpot base as a soup.

An extra flavor kick comes with the dipping sauce, that uses soy sauces and some freshly squeezed lime juice.

From North to South, from East to West, there are dozens of different ways and styles to eat hotpot. Above is a list of top 7 outstanding hot pot styles around the world that KnowInsider wants to share with you. If you have any comments, feel free to let us know on the comments section and don't forget to like, share and follow KnowInsider for more amazing news.
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