Welcome to step by Chinasichuanfood.com. This is Elaine, the owner of this blog and also a fan of hot pot. I bet you love Chinese hot pot, right?
Hot pot or also known as Chinese fondue is always my favorite no matter in hot summer or cold winter. In China, hot pot has a history over 1000 years and until now, it is still the most popular dish for social or family gathering. Elaine will introduce Hot pot from the following sides.I listed some post related to hot pot which might be the content you are looking for.
If you want to more information about Chinese hot pot, just leave me a comment and I will be glad to provide more information.
A brief introduction about hot pot
As I mentioned before that hot pot has more than 1000 years of history. It firstly appeared in Mongolia area and then became popular in South part of China in Tang Dynasty. And now it becomes quite popular in China and people from different areas spread their own types of hot pot out.
Then do you know where the hot pot city of China is now?
The hot pot city is Chongqing, a municipality under Sichuan area. And I believe that many people like spicy hot pot very much. Spicy hot pot is a quite unique type of Sichuan cuisine.
Firstly, the taste and flavor is succeeded from Sichuan cuisine including many seasonings used. However it is not the same with commonly Sichuan dishes. Anyway, hot pot is originated from Sichuan and quite popular in Sichuan area.
Different types of hot pot in China
Base on area
Chinese hot pot has it own flavor and design according to different area, which is also determined by different weather conditions. The most famous type is known as Chongqing hot pot, also known as Sichuan hot pot(to understand the relationship, refer to Chongqing and Sichuan). For more about Sichuan Hot Pot history and overview, check Szechuan (Sichuan) Hot Pot Overview
The next is the worldwide popular Mongolian hot pot in Northeast China Region. In north China, there is famous Beijing lamb hot pot (涮羊肉)also known as mutton hot pot.Following is a picture shows about eating lamb hot pot. For more about Beijing Hot Pot, Check here.
In south china such as Guangdong, people are more likely to have seafood hot pot and Hong Kong beef hot pot.
In central part of china, people like to have venison stew pot. Besides, new versions of hot pot become popular across the whole china including “Three fresh pot”(三鲜火锅) in Hangzhou and “Mixed hot pot” in Shanghai province.
Following are some other hot pot pictures not included above to enjoy, please note that the pictures are not photoed by Elaine. I search them on search engine so that I can share you more information about hot pot. I will list my pictures in specific recipe post.
This is a Fish hot pot which is quite popular in Sichuan province. The fermented vegetable used in call Sichuan Pickled Vegetable (四川泡菜)
Now, dry pot is considered as a new type of hot pot in China. For dry pot, no soup base is added at the very beginning but it can be added after the meat ingredients are eat out. Generally, shrimp, ribs, chicken, fish ribs are excellent ingredients for dry pot. Additionally, dry pot can also be made only with vegetables. I will expand this in my post–dry pot.
The above is a picture of ribs dry pot!
This is a picture of shrimp dry pot!
Ice hot pot is also a special type of hot pot in China, which is popular in northern part of China including Inner Mongolia.
Additionally, Chinese hot pot is also divided into four types based on soup base and whether ingredients are cooked or not previously.
This first type is with light soup base and mainly using method of instant-boil(涮). For this type, dipping sauce play a really important role, since dipping sauce is mostly the sauce of flavors. Instant-boiled mutton hot pot and Guangdong (Hong Kong) hot pot belong to this group.
The second type is with cooked main meat ingredients such as fish or mutton. The pot is mainly used to keep the temperature and instant boil vegetables. Meat flavor certainly matters a lot and meanwhile you can enjoy the faint scent of vegetables. Famously fish hot pot, Chicken hot pot belong to this group.
The third type is with all cooked ingredients not only the meat such as chafing dish. Pot is totally used for keeping it warm. Three mixed hot pot belongs to this group.
The last type is the emphasis on the soup base and dipping sauce at the same time. Soup base of hot pot is stock boiled for a long time. Various flavors come from directly from dipping sauce and indirectly from soup base. For example, Sichuan spicy hot pot or seafood hot pot.
What are the essential parts to make hot pot at home
Since hot pot is an ideal and easy meal for social gathering. Then what are the essential parts to make hot pot at home?
Firstly, the equipment!
If you want to make hot pot at home. The basic equipment is a gas powdered or electric hot pot. Then soup and slotted ladles are also required as cutlery. For detailed list about making hot pot at home, check Equipment by Hot Pot
Then there are three essential parts for hot pot: soup bases, main ingredients and the dips.
Soup Bases –the basic soul of hot pot
Making hot pot soup base is quite important for a successful hot pot. You can surely purchase one package directly from supermarket or any online store or be brave to make one at home. Generally, there are three types of soup base in Chinese hot pot but any two are commonly used in Sichuan hot pot. (The third type not used in Sichuan hot pot is bland soup base, which is mainly used in Mongolian hot pot or Beijing hot pot).
If you decide to purchase the soup base for your hot pot, then that’s a time-consuming decision. How about we try to make one at home.
The first step we should do is to make a clear broth, which will further added with other spices like chili pepper, doubangjiang and sichuan peppercorn etc. For details about how to make a soup base at home, check my post soup base for hot pot .
Main Ingredients –choose according to your own preference
Basically, the main ingredients for hot pot are really wide and you can use any you want to have a try. And the most commonly used ingredients include the followings (those are my favorites):
Meat: Chicken, fish, duck, pork, beef, meat balls, seafood and crab
Vegetables: Chinese cabbages, Bean sprouts, green leafy vegetables, shallots
Bean curd product: Tofu, tofu skin, frozen tofu
Fungus: Black fungus, mushrooms, needle mushrooms
Dipping sauces– adjust to different tastes
There are hundreds of dipping sauces attached to Sichuan hot pot, mainly with the following seasonings and condiments.
Soy sauce, sesame oil, chili, sesame butter, pickled tofu, Sa cha sauce, vinegar, hoisin sauce, peanut butter etc.
Lists and inspirations of Chinese hot pot
- Maodu hot pot（毛肚火锅）
- Double flavor Pot (Yuanyang 鸳鸯hot pot)
- Green hot pot(绿色火锅)
- Clear soup hot pot （清汤火锅）
- Duck hot pot with beer（啤酒鸭火锅）
- Chicken hot pot with sour soup （酸汤鸡火锅）
- Spicy chicken hot pot（辣子鸡火锅）
- Fish hot pot with pickled vegetable（酸菜火锅）
- Fish hot pot in sour soup （酸汤鱼火锅）
- Chrysanthemum Hot Pot（茶花火锅）
- Tofu pudding hot pot（豆花火锅）
- Beef hot pot(牛肉火锅)
- Lamb hot pot（羊肉火锅）
- Chinese dry pot (干锅)
Tips for eating healthy hot pot
Since I love hot pot and eat lots of different types of hot pot from time to time, besides the delicious tastes, health is also very important. Following are some tips for making health hot pot at home.
1. Choose good soup base to avoid too much fat
The best solution is light soup base of cause. I have to say that even I love spicy hot pot very much. However if you choose red soup base or spicy hot pot, try to make it healthier by controlling the amount and quality of fat and oil.
2. Choose fresh main ingredients—make a good combination of meat and vegetables
We have to make sure that all materials prepared are fresh. And it is very import that you prepare more vegetables than meat. For vegetables, choose different types with different colors. Such as green leaf vegetable, purple vegetables, or mushroom with dark color. ? Prepare some potato is also needed. They can be used as the staple food instead of noodles or pies. Certainly the choice is up to you. Select certain amount of bean products is also suggested. Fresh tofu, frozen tofu and bean curd skin are all ok. But avoid products with too much fat such as fried bean curd ?
3. Order for eating –Vegetables first, then meat
It is a common habit that people start eating meat when having hot pot. I used to do that too. My boyfriend likes to meat two or three plates of meat then start to eat vegetables. Why I recommend vegetables first? Because after having such amount of meat, you are almost full and cannot eat enough vegetable to clean the fat. We should eat at least twice amount of vegetables than meat.
4. Control temperature– keep warm but not boiling
Many people like to eat hot pot with buzzing feeling just from the boiling soup base. It is not a healthy way in fact. Our alimentary canal can endure at most 65℃ While the heat-resisting temperature of esophageal mucosa is 45℃. Thus the best way is to put the ingredients into a small dish and wait for minutes to cool down. Besides, we have to pay attention that oil can keep your food especially hot. Thus the cooling time for spicy soup base might be a little longer than light soup base.
5. Control cooking time from different ingredients
Leafy vegetables should be instantly boiled. Long cooking time will increase the loss of nutrients as well as the fresh taste. However, meat should be cooked to ensure that they are very well done to kill the bacteria and parasites. Too long cooking time will make the meat hard to mull over and lost the tastes. A nice choice is to batch adding rather than put all the meat in.
6. Match with smart dipping sauce
The most commonly used dipping sauce of hot pot is sesame oil or paste. Match smart dipping sauce with soup base to control the fat of the entire dish. At the same time, please do not eat too much dipping sauce. We should just dipping ingredients in.
7. Do not drink soup base
I do see lots of people drink the soup base. Some people even think that the soup base is nourishing. In fact, there will be an amount of fat left in soup base if you cook meat. And there also might be nitrite or oxalic acid in the soup base if leafy vegetable is cooked. So if the soup smell so nice and we just want to have a drink, we can taste it at the very beginning of our hot pot journey.
Finally, hope that everyone can have a nice time with hot pot and your friends or family members.