What Is A Chinese Hot Pot And Why You Must Try It?

spicy flavored hot pot 1160x653 - What Is A Chinese Hot Pot And Why You Must Try It?

Chinese Hot Pot, like any other Chinese food, is a popular meal served through a simmering pot of fragrant soup stock, where a variety of ingredients are cooked on a table. Ingredients include different types of meat, seafood, leafy vegetables, noodles, tofu, mushrooms, wantons, and dumplings. Depending on your taste, Chinese Hot Pot can be salty, sweet, or [extremely] spicy!

 

There are many reasons why you must love a Chinese Hot Pot or hotpot (火锅 huǒguō /hwor-gwor/), and for some, just a mention of it would make them go looking a for a hot pot restaurant nearby! It’s loved by many that it can almost be found anywhere in the world. Many restaurants serving Chinese food like hot pot could probably be the most crowded, providing fun food experience to families and group of friends! Its authentic flavour, mixed with creativity and twists, has kept its ranking as one of the best foods for Chinese in centuries. If you’re in Shanghai, China or anywhere in the country and wondering what things to, this is the best time to know about Chinese Hot Pot and look for the nearest hot pot restaurant in the city!

 

An Enjoyable Communal Food

chengdu chinese hot pot
Photo by Leacky Chen on Pixabay

 

Forget about a barbecue or a steak party for the meantime. Chinese Hot Pot is something you must try when you’re throwing out a party with your friends and relatives at your home, well, if you haven’t tried yet. There is one thing to be cautious about, though. Because Chinese Hot Pot is a communal food, meaning you had to share a pot with as many people in your table, some often say you have to make sure you don’t eat with the people you don’t like! So whether you are eating hotpot in all-you-can-eat restaurants or just having a party at your home, don’t invite over people you despise, or you’ll miss the fun!

 

Hot Pot Has A Loooong History

The hot pot has a long history. It is believed to have originated in China’s northern neighbour Mongolia nearly a thousand years ago. The original Mongolian Hot Pot, however, had only meat, particularly horse and mutton meats, as main ingredients.

 

hot pot meal spicy
Photo by Spencer Wing on Pixabay

 

Archaeological artefacts showed that hot pot became popular for Chinese noble families during the Han Dynasty. Each member would have their own bronze-made pot. Not long after during the Qing Dynasty, emperors developed fondness in eating hot pot. Chinese folklore said the Qianglong Emperor would always serve hot pot during banquets. His son also served prepared 1,500 hot pots as a celebration when he ascended the throne. It was its popularity among the noble families that the common people tried to dig into a Chinese hot pot experience.

 

A Variety Of Hot Pot Flavors

Owing to its mouth-numbing flavour, the Chinese have reinvented the hot pot into now a famous communal meal. There are over 30 variations of hot pot in all over of China. Hai Di Lao, a famed hot pot restaurant based in China, has over 400 branches in China and the USA, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Australia, Taiwan, England, Canada, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, South Korea, and Japan. Perhaps the most popular hotpot is the Sichuan Hot Pot. It is known for its spicy flavour from 20 bits of spices, including chilli and the Sichuan pepper. There are various ingredients to make up this Chinese Hot Pot recipe, including pig’s blood, duck intestine, Chinese sausages, pork, chicken, and beef, and are generally eaten by dipping on sesame oil. This variation has a mouth-numbing spicy flavour, so it’s perfect during colder days! However, if you’re not fond of extremely spicy flavours, you can have peanut milk to soothe your stomach.

 

Why You Must Try Hot Pot

There are dozens of reasons why hot pot is a must-try. Here are a few of them:

 

1.

Hot Pot Is A Social Meal

Hot pot meal in a table
Photo by Vlad Vasnetsov on Pixabay

 

You can’t go to a Chinese Hot Pot buffet near you only by yourself. It’s impossible to see hot pot restaurants serving a table with only one person. That’s because hot pot is traditionally eaten with friends and families, which perfect for a night out. You can enjoy digging at many ingredients while you engage in cheerful conversation. For this reason, hot pot restaurants have one of the liveliest atmospheres to enjoy good Chinese food!

 

2.

It’s A Good Find For Adventure Lovers

Spicy Hot pot meal
Photo by Wang Yan on Unsplash

 

If you’re the kind of person who loves to try on unique and unconventional activities, then Chinese Hot Pot is for you! Not only does this most-sought food offer you new ways to enjoy meal, it also gives you a chance to experiment on your soup and sauce! The next time you go to a hot pot buffet, it’s worth a try testing how much spiciness you can handle. For the sauce, you can create your own taste by picking from these ingredients: green onions, sesame oil, cilantro, peanut oil, garlic, crushed chilli peppers, chilli oil, soy sauce, pepper sauce, ginger, and vinegar.

 

3.

Hot Pot Is The Opposite Of Monotony 

hot pot ingredients
Photo by Jungyeon Min on Pixabay

 

Chinese Hot Pot is simply the opposite of monotony and boring. From the main ingredients like meats, poultry, vegetables, seafood, mushrooms, noodles, sausages, balls to the sauce and spices, hot pot is a find that never gets boring. Additionally, the unique experience of eating together with your friends with the overwhelming aroma of palatable meals on the table is just a natural ice breaker! All of these are reasons why hot pot dining is a real dining experience. 

 

4.

It’s A Budget-Friendly Dining Option

hot pot cooked at home
Photo by Pixcode on Pixabay

 

There are many alternatives to taking your dining into a premium experience. Chinese Hot Pot could be first on the list! This could be true as eating hot pot is communal. The more you are in a group, the lesser you pay! Most hot pot buffet in China would cost each person in a group of five people up to $17 only.

 

5.

Hot Pot Allows You To Customize

Ingredients of noodles and meats
Photo by Esperenza Zhang on Unsplash

 

There is more to eating Chinese Hot Pot than the unique and traditional experience. When it comes to diversity and freedom, hot pot is a perfect way to enjoy diverse ingredients that suit your taste. Whether you’re a vegetarian or a seafood lover, Chinese Hot Pot is a match for every gourmet!

 

Best Shared With Love

Like every other meal, Chinese Hot Pot is best served when shared with your loved ones. It’s not about the hotness of the broth, but it’s the laughter and bonding you have had while eating. Planning to go out on a hot pot party now? Enjoy!

Raymon D.
Raymon Dullana is a journalist and campus journalism advocate from the Philippines. He worked for Rappler, the top social news network in the country, as correspondent for 5 years. He also served as the editor in chief of The Northern Forum and was responsible for making the newspaper the top social media and website news platform in his region.

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