Chong Qing Hot Pot
Chong Qing Hot Pot
Chong Qing Hot Pot (Simplified Chinese: 重庆火锅; Traditional Chinese: 重慶火鍋; Pinyin: Chong Qing Huo Guo;). Hot pot is like Chongqing itself – strong, spicy, in-your-face with a down to earth history. It’s a dish of the native. There are various tales about the origin of the Chongqing Hot pot. One of them is widely accepted. In the beginning of the 19th century, at Chongqing Chaotianmen Wharf, one of the busiest places at that time, the boatmen and porters in winters would take the leftover meat from the butcher and boil them in a spicy brew of chilies and numbing Sichuan peppercorns, afterward dipping the cooked food in condiments, creating a delicious dish that quickly spread throughout the city. In those times, Chongqing’s famous “stick-stick men” would carry the broth and ingredients on a bamboo stick throughout the city, selling it to any passerby that wanted a meal. In those times, the hot pot would be suspended on the bamboo stick over an open fire, right on the street.
Today, hotpot has grown and diversified into a culinary art-food with prices that run that gamut, and choice, fresh ingredients that far outnumber those when hotpot was first born. There are also mild broths available for those that can’t handle spicy food.
Usually, the taste of food can reflect the attitude and status of life there. As a symbol of food in Chongqing, people in Chongqing have the sense of integrity and embrace the diversified culture. Everything edible can be cooked in hot pot, so hot pot is a must-eat when you come to Chongqing!
Archeological evidence shows that the earliest hot pots appeared around the Han dynasty. Diners among the nobility each had a personal pot. Later, during the Qing dynasty, hot pot became popular among the emperors. In particular, the Qianlong Emperor was very fond of hot pot, and would eat it for almost every meal. Later, the Jiaqing Emperor also had a banquet with 1550 hot pots at his coronation. Empress Dowager Cixi was also known to have enjoyed hot pot, especially in the winter months.
There are many reasons explaining why the hot pot become popular. The most convincing one is a folklore about emperors’ love. Qianlong, one of the emperors in Qing Dynasty ardently loved it, even eating hot pot every meal. When setting banquet, Qianlong always asked servants to prepare hot pots. His son, Emperor Jiaqing also liked the hot pot. The day he ascended the throne, he set more than 1500 tables of hot pots to celebrate. Following the two emperors, people desired to try hot pot. Thereafter, hot pot became popular.
Another widely accepted reason is that the hot pot has the power to enhance friendship and unite family members or colleagues. Several people sit around a hot pot, talking and eating. They pick up food in one pot, which create a natural closeness atmosphere to them. The warm air is also considered to make people comfortable.
Different kinds of hot pots can be found in Chongqing and Sichuan – typically, more modern eateries offer the sectioned bowl with differently flavored broths in each section. More traditional or older establishments serve a fragrant, mild broth in the hot pot, which is a large brass vessel heated by burning coals in a central chimney. The broth is boiled in a deep, donut-shaped bowl surrounding the chimney.
One of the most famous variations is the Chongqing hot pot (Chongching) má là (Chinese: 麻辣 – "numb and spicy") hot pot, to which Sichuan pepper (Chinese: 花椒 huā jiāo "flower pepper"; also known as "prickly ash") is added. It is usual to use a variety of different meats as well as sliced mutton fillet. A Chongqing hotpot is markedly different from the types eaten in other parts of China. Quite often the differences lie in the meats used, the type of soup base, and the sauces and condiments used to flavor the meat. The typical dipping sauce contains sesame oil and is mixed with crushed fresh garlic and chopped spring onions.
Má là huǒ guō could be used to distinguish from simply huǒ guō in cases when people refer to the "Northern Style Hot Pot" in China. Instant-boiled mutton (Chinese: 涮羊肉; pinyin: Shuàn Yángròu) could be viewed as representative of this kind of food, which does not focus on the soup base.
Sichuan also has a number of dry hot pots such as "Malaxiangguo" which are similar to those described above, but lack the soup base. Otherwise, similar ingredients are used and the dish served in a similar manner.
In neighbouring Yunnan, although spicy broths are equally popular, there is another predominant type of hot pot that is made with various wild or planted mushrooms. The big difference between the mushroom hot pot and the spicy hot pot is that the former rarely uses spice and chili in order to keep the original flavor of the mushrooms. The mushroom hot pot is also seasonal, depending on the availability of local mushrooms.
The Manchurian hot pot (Chinese: 東北酸菜火鍋) uses plenty of suan cai (Chinese sauerkraut) (Chinese: 酸菜; pinyin: suān cài) to make the pot's stew sour.
A Cantonese variation includes mixing a raw egg with the condiments to reduce the amount of "heat" absorbed by the food, thereby reducing the likelihood of a sore throat after the steamboat meal, according to Chinese herbalist theories.
In Hubei, hot pot is normally prepared with hot spice and Sichuan pepper. Items supplied to be cooked in this broth include mushrooms, thinly shaved beef or lamb, lettuce, and various other green vegetables.
In Hainan cuisine hot pot is generally served in small woks with a prepared broth containing pieces of meat. At the time of serving, the meat is not fully cooked. Approximately fifteen minutes is required before it is ready to eat. Items supplied to be cooked in this type of hot pot include mushrooms, thinly shaved beef or goat meat (referred to as mutton), lettuce, and other green vegetables. This dish varies somewhat in different parts of the province.
Beijing Instant-Boiled Mutton Beijing instant-boiled mutton, also called mutton hotpot, is regarded as the representative of the northern China hotpots. The main ingredient is mutton, and the broth is made of nutritious sheep-bone stock, with shallots, ginger, mushrooms, Chinese dates, wolfberries, longans, and dried seafood (shrimps, fish, ...).
In Japan, hot pot dishes are called nabemono. There are dozens of varieties of hot pots, and each hot pot has a distinguished flavor and style.
Sukiyaki is one of the most popular hot pot dishes among the Japanese, and undoubtedly the most well-known Japanese hot pot overseas, particularly in English-speaking parts of the world. Sukiyaki hot pot is served with sliced beef, vegetables and tofu in a sweet sauce based on soy sauce, which is only used in small amounts, enough for the ingredients to merge in a shallow iron pot. Before being eaten, the ingredients are usually dipped in a small bowl of raw, beaten eggs.
Shabu-shabu is another popular hot pot in Japan. Shabu-shabu hot pot is prepared by submerging a very thin slice of meat or a piece of vegetable in a pot of broth made with kelp (kombu) and swishing it back and forth several times. The familiar swishing sound is where the dish gets its name. Shabu-shabu directly translates to "swish swish." Cooked meat and vegetables are usually dipped in ponzu or goma (sesame seed) sauce before eating. Once the meat and vegetables have been eaten, leftover broth from the pot is customarily combined with the remaining rice, and the resulting soup is usually eaten last.
Because the shabu-shabu hot pot cooks beef "blue rare" to rare, use of high-grade Japanese beef is preferred. Typically, shabu-shabu is considered a fine dining dish, due to the quality of the meat used, and the price charged for it at restaurants in Japan.
Both sukiyaki and shabu-shabu, rice or noodle is cooked with remained broth along with additional ingredients at the very end of the meal. This menu is called shime, ending the meal. Traditionally, hot pots are considered fall and winter dishes.
In Cambodia, hot pot is called Yao Hon (យ៉ាវហន) or other regions call it Chhnang Pleurng (ឆ្នាំងភ្លើង), which literally translates to Pot Fire. It is usually eaten during celebrations or family gatherings. Just like the Chinese Hot Pot, Cambodian hot pot consist of all the same ingredients although the dish differs in that coconut milk is used as the base of the soup. Another variation of the dish is called "Buttered Yao Hon" or "Buttered Chhnang Pleurng" where all the same ingredients are used but except cooking in coconut milk soup it is cooked on a flat grill pan where butter is used as the base. It is similar to the Korean Barbecue. An herb sauce usually assist with the "Buttered Yao Hon" since all the ingredients are not flavored.
Taiwanese hot pot (usually called 火鍋 in Mandarin or Taiwanese) is also called shabu-shabu when the food is prepared in Japanese style. It is very common to eat the food with a dipping sauce consisting of shacha sauce and raw egg yolk.
In Thailand, hotpot is called Thai suki, although it is quite different from the Japanese shabu-shabu variation called sukiyaki. Originally a Chinese-style hot pot, the number of ingredients to choose from was greatly increased and a Thai-style dipping sauce with chili sauce, chilli, lime, and coriander leaves was added. Another variation is Mu kratha, the Thai hot pot, which originated from Korean barbecue combined with Thai suki.
In Vietnam, a hot pot is called lẩu or cù lao, and the sour soup called canh chua is often cooked in hot pot style (called lẩu canh chua). The generic term for a salted fish hot pot is lẩu mắm.
In the Philippines, the term Hot Pot has a different meaning and context when it comes to Chinese-Influenced Filipino Cuisines. Usually served by Chinese Restaurants (particularly Harbour City Dimsum among others), the Hot Pot is literally a huge pot (with cover) filled with cooked rice, choices of beef, pork or chicken slices, special sauce and choice vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, shallots, gingers, pechay, kangkong leaves and spices and some slices of hard-boiled eggs on top and is usually served piping hot and is to be accompanied by other Filipino Dimsum Favorites and drinks.
Reason of Chong Qing Hot Pot
The hotpot has a long history of over 1,000 years in China. It used to be favored only in winter, but recently hotpot has been appearing on tables all year round.
Beside the delicious flavor, there are two other important reasons for Chinese liking hotpot: the first one is that it is a great way to socialize. People gather around the pot, chatting, eating, drinking, and having fun.
The other is that hotpot is a "healthy meal". Boiling is better than frying, and bone nutrients are released into the broth. Eating hotpot can warm the body and improve circulation in winter, and increase perspiration to help cool the body in summer. Some seasonings used in hotpots can help alleviate some minor illnesses like colds, blocked sinuses, and headaches.
The Types of Hot Pot
English Chinese Pronunciation Characters
Split Pot (spicy and plain sides) yuānyāng guō dǐ Ywen-yang gwor dee 鸳鸯锅底
Spicy Pot quán là guō dǐ Chwen laa gwor dee 全辣锅底
English Chinese Pronunciation Characters
Cow Stomach máo dù Maoww doo 毛肚
Cow Stomach niú bǎi yè Nyoh beye yeah 牛百叶
Frozen Rolled Beef niúròu juàn Nyoh-roh jwen 牛肉卷
Frozen Rolled Mutton yángròu juàn Yang-roh jwen 羊肉卷
Pork Tenderloin lǐjí ròu Lee-jee roh 里脊肉
Pig’s Kidney zhū yāo Joo yaoww 猪腰
Pig’s Brain zhū nǎo Joo naoww 猪脑
Sausage xiāngcháng Sshyang-chung 香肠
Luncheon Meat wǔcān ròu Woo-tsan roh 午餐肉
Chicken Wing jīchì Jee-chrr 鸡翅
Chicken Feet jī zhuǎ Jee-jwaa 鸡爪
Frozen Duck Intestine yā cháng Yaa chung 鸭肠
Duck Tongue yā shé Yaa sher 鸭舌
Boneless Fish Slices yú piàn Yoo pyen 鱼片
Fish Balls yú wán Yoo-wann 鱼丸
Crab Sticks xiè liǔ Sshyeah-lyoh 蟹柳
Shrimp Meatballs xiā wán Sshyaa-wann 虾丸
Squid yóuyú Yoh-yoo 鱿鱼
Quail Eggs ānchún dàn An-chwnn dan 鹌鹑蛋
English Chinese Pronunciation Characters
Bean Curd Skin dòufu pí Doh-foo pee 豆腐皮
Instant Noodles fāngbiànmiàn Fung-byen-myen 方便面
Edible Tree Fungus mù'ěr Moo-er 木耳
Shitake Mushrooms Xxiānggū Sshyang-goo 香菇
Needle Mushrooms jīnzhēngū Jin-jnn-goo 金针菇
Kelp hǎidài Heye-deye 海带
Vegetables shūcài Shoo-tseye 蔬菜
Lotus Root Slices Ǒu piàn Oh pyen 藕片
Oriental Giant Radish Slices báiluóbo piàn Beye-lwor-bor pyen 白萝卜片
Coriander xiāngcài Sshyang-tseye 香菜
Bamboo Shoot zhúsǔn Joo-swnn 竹笋