A traditional Chinese steamboat, where diners choose from an array of raw and marinated ingredients to dip into simmering stock, is a brilliant example of the art of interaction, of sharing and socialising. Imagine your friends sitting around a ferociously steaming wok: their eyes will be treated to a vista of the freshest, most colourful food; their noses will be tantalised by the aromas of the most fragrant herbs; and their tastebuds will be rapt with the variety of tastes and textures.
Because the meat is only lightly cooked, it is definitely preferable to use organic meats for a steamboat ̵ the flavour will be so much better. Suitable fish include blue eye, snapper, halibut and sea bass. Salted radish and pickled mustard greens, which you'll need for the dipping sauces, are available at Asian supermarkets, as are salted duck eggs.