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Partially frozen is significantly easier to cut into thin slices, since it holds its shape when you cut it.
Wash and rinse your vegetables / mushrooms. If you're using tofu (make sure it's firm), then cut it into cubes.
Before my dad starts cutting meat (or anything), he usually puts a towel underneath the cutting board so it's more stable. Speaking from decades of experience, this helped him avoid many cuts (but not all) in the kitchen.
This is much clearer in the video, but here are my dad's steps to preparing fresh squid for hot pot:
We'll cut our about half of our tilapia fillets into ~1 cm slices, and marinate it with salt, cornstarch, water, and white pepper (to taste).
My dad's epic homemade fish balls deserve their own recipe page (will be live soon).
All we need to do is peel our daikon, cut it in half, and then cut it up into about 1 cm slices. We'll start boiling our hot pot broth with daikon, and then eat it at the end after it's soaked up all of the delicious flavors from the other foods.
For my dad's dipping sauce, we'll be mixing light soy sauce, Shacha sauce, olive oil, sesame oil, oyster sauce, salt, sugar, chicken bouillon, chili oil, and boiled water.