You know how foodie families sort of gravitate towards particular menu items or culinary trends at a particular point in time? Well, for us right now, it’s hot pot.

“Oh, wow. You’re great at finding the best suppliers,” I told my dad jokingly. As a matter of fact, enjoying a great-tasting hot pot meal has very little to do with a “perfect recipe.” If you manage to get the right ingredients, good broth and the right combination of sauces, then you’re good to go.

Generally speaking, here’s what my father, Luis Quibranza Jr., feeds my mother, Grace Quibranza, when both are feeling a little guilty of buffets: fish tofu, fish balls, lobster balls, pork samgyup, beef samgyup, tofu cubes, bok choy and enoki mushrooms — all tossed into the boiling pork hot pot broth. Of course, platefuls of egg noodles and flat rice noodles ensure a hearty meal.

But it’s the dipping sauce that takes the feast to a whole different level: soy sauce, Chinese chili garlic sauce, special sate sauce, chopped garlic, sliced spring onion and chopped Bird’s Eye chili.

During days when we, the children, storm off to the family headquarters, having this hot pot combo is top-tier.

Here are three reasons why I think Cebuanos should stock up on these hot pot essentials, especially during these rainy days:

It’s warm and comforting. On a cold and rainy day, the hot soup can help one feel cozy and relaxed.

It’s relatively healthy. Hot pot often includes fresh ingredients, plus, one can control the amount of oil and seasoning in the soup.

It’s easy to prepare. When one is pressed for time (whether it’s related to preparation or washing the dishes), hot pot can be a great option if one wants a satisfying and delicious meal.

If you don’t feel like going through all of these, you can always choose to have hot pot in restaurants around town that offer it. I can think of about three notable ones in Cebu City.

As for me and my brothers: Thank you, parents, for keeping the soup hot and ready. Quibranza Sundays are awesome.