Hot pot is a very popular dish in Beijing and is primarily eaten in winter, when cold winds blow down from Mongolia. It is also a popular Chinese New Year dish. Traditionally, diners start with meat first and then move on to the vegetables. As the dinner progresses, the ingredients add more and more flavor to the broth. Instead of the noodles, the firepot can also be served with steamed buns or dumplings. This recipe does require the use of a tabletop burner to keep the stock at or near a constant simmer.