This is a kind of Chinese fondue, also known as Chinese firepot or boiling firepot. A giant communal pot of slowly simmering stock is placed in the center of the table and the participants are provided with a variety of raw, thinly sliced meats (lamb, beef, fish, poultry, etc.) and vegetables. Diners immerse pieces of their food into the simmering stock, cook it to their liking and, if desired, dip the food into one of a selection of condiments. After the food is cooked, the rich broth is consumed by any who have room for it.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.