Makes 2 servings

32 ounces fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth

1 cup sliced carrots

1 cup sliced onion

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½ pound boneless, skinless chicken breast

1½ teaspoons sesame oil

4 medium peeled shrimp

¼ pound Chinese or Napa cabbage

¼ pound button mushrooms

¼ pound Chinese noodles

Dipping Sauce

6 tablespoons low-salt soy sauce

2 teaspoons brown sugar

3 scallions, sliced

1 inch piece fresh ginger, chopped (about 2 teaspoons)

1. Place broth in saucepan with carrots and onions. Bring to a boil and cook 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, remove fat from chicken and cut into strips about 2 inches by 1 inch. Place in bowl and mix with sesame oil. Place the bowl on platter large enough to hold all ingredients to be cooked. Slice shrimp almost in half lengthwise and spread open.

3. Wash cabbage and slice on the diagonal in 1-inch pieces. Wash and quarter mushrooms; cut into sixths if large.

4. Place shrimp, cabbage, mushrooms and Chinese noodles on platter and set on the table. Mix sauce ingredients in a soup bowl and pour half into a second soup bowl. Place in front of each diner.

5. To cook: Place heating unit on heatproof mat on table. Pour boiling broth into fondue pot or electric pan and place on table; the broth should continue to gently simmer. Using chopsticks or fork, each diner adds chicken, shrimp, cabbage and mushrooms to the pot, removing them when they are cooked (about one minute).

(Note: use separate forks for raw chicken to eliminate any chance of salmonella contamination.)

6. Remove pieces as they are cooked, dip them in sauce and eat them. When the platter is nearly empty, add noodles and remaining vegetables to pot and cook about five minutes, until noodles are cooked through. Ladle into bowls with remaining dipping sauce and eat as soup.

Alternate directions: In a saucepan, bring the broth to a boil and add the carrots and onions. Simmer 10 minutes. Prepare all other ingredients. Add noodles and remaining vegetables to broth. Cook three to four minutes. Add chicken and cook about three minutes. Add the shrimp and cook one minute. Divide the dipping sauce into two large soup bowls and pour the soup over it.

Linda Gassenheimer, McClatchy-Tribune News Service