Recently I organised a hotpot for my church group last week. Hotpot, or steamboat is a favourite with pretty much everyone – because who doesn’t enjoy eating – and is a nice social experience, too. I thought it’d be novel to blog on my planning notes :>


  1. Pick a date

  2. (Try) Confirm numbers - how many are attending? e.g. 25 – Actually confirm, this makes it much easier to budget properly. I like $10 per person, but maybe add a dollar for getting drinks next time (wang lao ji 24 pack)

  3. Plan shopping. Best to buy veges in daytime or right after work

  4. Plan stoves and pots – If borrowing stuff, take a photo/label so you know what belongs to who. Avoid - “Oh, was that your pot/did you bring those ladles?”

Tip: To plan how much to buy, group people by tables. Then plan quantities for one table. Finally, multiply everything by the number of tables e.g. 5

What to buy


2x Big chinese cabbage 4x Bundles of choi sum 2x Bundles of small bok choy 1x Diakon (White radish) – special request 3x Straw mushrooms – will probably want more mushroom varieties next time


22x 250g frozen meat (a mix of roll beef and lamb). 3 packets were leftover.

A good estimation is 4x 250g packs of meat per table of hungry young adults.

2x 1kg chicken (e.g. breast) – Simply cut into smaller pieces. Not too expensive and good for variety :)


3x Firm tofu (had some leftover) 1x Large packet of fried beancurd Totally getting fried tofu next time.


Get more fishballs / tofu next time over meats

5kg total ~$50

The possibilities are endless: - Fishball mixed (fishcake, white fishballs) - Fishball with ‘roe’ - Fishball with cheese (good choice!)

Have enough variety for each table


  • Soy sauce
  • Chili oil, e.g. black bean etc.
  • Peanut butter (check for allergies)
  • BYO (coriander, garlic)


  • 2x Ramen noodles (dried. like how you buy pasta)
  • 2x Udon noodles


  • 1x dozen of eggs. >$3
  • $10 Disposable bowls
  • Disposable chopsticks
  • Hotpot soup base (but not for gluten free)

Total cost

$248.98 for 25 people. $10 each. People can take home leftovers as they want.