Hot pot can be intimidating. You're sitting in front of a bubbling, bronze cauldron straight out of the Middle Ages, with a giant, laminated menu of raw foods, and a group of expectant, equally confused pals. Once you get past ordering, you're still responsible for cooking your own dinner. To learn this process, we went to Beijing Hot Pot (2768 SE 82nd Ave., 503-774-2525, and asked about the ideal cooking times for each ingredient. Once you have your plates of raw vegetables, uncooked noodles and dark-pink meat flanks, pull out your phone and lay this list on your table. Boom.

Raw beef—10 seconds

Bean curd sheet—20 seconds

Romaine heart—20 seconds

Shrimp—30 seconds

Beef tripe—30 seconds

Chinese greens—40 seconds

Vermicelli—40 seconds

Imitation crab meat—50 seconds

Fish—50 seconds

Golden needle mushroom—50 seconds

King oyster mushroom (white)—50 seconds

Fried tofu—1 minute

Shiitake mushroom (black)—1 minute

Spinach—1 minute

Shrimp ball—1 minute

Chicken—1 minute

Fresh bean curd (tofu)—1 minute, 30 seconds

Frozen bean curd (tofu)—2 minutes

Chicken meatball—2 minutes

Tofu knots—2 minutes

Napa cabbage—3 minutes

Fresh taro—5 minutes

Noodles—7 minutes

Dumplings—8-9 minutes