In recent years, there is a saying that hot pot is dead for years and dry pot is now living on earth. I do think that it is a little bit exaggerated but in need reflects fact about the new birth of another family member of hot pot family.
Dry pot or Ganguo (干锅) is actually one type of hot pot but differs from the traditional hot pot with soup based. The seasonings, ingredients and cooking theory are similar. But dry pot do not need the soup base, which insert the spicy further into the ingredients but not in soup bases or dipping sauce.
So, you may think that it is a simplified hot pot. Comparing with hot pot, it is easier to prepare and more fitful for making and eating at home. Surely, it is less ceremonious.
It is recorded that dry pot is originated from a mountain area in Chongqing and quite popular in Sichuan area now. Local people added mainly vegetables cooking in wok with seasonings similar to hot pot. And if any guest were home, they would add some meat, seafood, or meat bolls to make it richer.
On that base, a lot of cooks make further develop and create lots of varieties, mainly based on main ingredients used.
Generally, you can use most vegetables and meat to making dry pot. The following lists are commonly used.
Green bamboo shoots, lotus root, bamboo shoot, cabbage, mushrooms, needle mushroom, cauliflower, broccoli, potato and sweet potatoes…
Edible dry black fungus, konjac
Streaky pork, ham, bullfrogs, chicken, duck, crispy bowel, shrimp, crab, crab stick…
Bean curd, frozen bean curd, dried bean curd sticks
You may choose some ingredients and make a combination yourself. However, during the process, please bear Chinese cooking theory: color, flavor and taste in mind. As long as choose the right ingredients, you can make out a colorful dry pot. In Chinese cooking theory, there are five colors of vegetables and meat: red, green, yellow, black and white. For example red peppers are red; green leafy vegetables are green; corn and potatoes are yellow; fugues are black; cabbage and scallion white are white. I hope this can inspire anyway. If you do have an idea and want to try at home, follow me on dry pot recipe.