Most Asian cuisines feature a version of a "hot pot"an Asian variation on fondue that invites diners to plunge bite-size veggies and other nibbles into a pot of simmering broth, then dip the just-cooked foods in a variety of sauces. Once the dipping course is done, rice noodles and bean sprouts are added to the veggie-seasoned broth to create a second course of comforting soup that's garnished with fresh herbs. The experience makes for a fun party meal that's exotic and elegant, but also light and healthful. Plus, a hot pot feast requires little advance preparation, since guests essentially do all the cooking at the table.
We've come up with an all-veg version of a Vietnamese lau, or hot pot, that's perfect for any winter celebration. To put together your own party, follow the recipes and instructions here, invite a few friends over, and get dipping.