Chinese hot pot is a delicious and fun communal eating experience that is thought to hail from Eastern China.
Typically, it involves a huge bowl of broth placed in the center of a table that is heated there via induction or flame.
Hot pot is thought to have originated in Mongolia 800-900 years ago. The primary ingredient originally was meat (including mutton and horse), and the broth was not spicy.
Perhaps the most famous variation is Chongqing hot pot, distinguished by the extremely spicy Sichuan peppers added liberally to the broth.
Sichuan province in China is famous generally for its spicy cuisine. Sichuan hot pot is also synonymous with being hot and spicy thanks to its peppercorns.
Hot pot has further spread throughout Asia and is popular in many Asian countries to this day (albeit under different names), including notably in Thailand, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Japan.
What goes in hot pot is entirely up to you. It starts with a soup base that can be prepared with a mild stock. Or, you can dial up the spicy in a manner that will blow your top off.